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Press Release No. 22 | 30 April 2007
Joint Research on Poverty-Related Diseases

DFG Funds German-African Cooperation Projects in Infection Biology

As part of a new funding initiative, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is promoting projects in which German and African scientists carry out joint research on infectious diseases. Funding is provided for projects that deal with infection-biological processes and for accompanying social scientific research into these frequently poverty-conditioned diseases. Among the objectives of the initiative are the long-term networking of German and African research and the stabilisation of the professional careers of young African researchers.

Infectious diseases cost the lives of several million people each year. Large parts of the African continent are hit especially hard. While the research and the combat of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS are already being funded by large international programmes, research into other comparably severe infectious diseases that effect people and livestock is often pushed into the background. The DFG therefore hopes that, as part of this initiative, funding can be made available in particular to projects dealing with these neglected diseases.

The cooperation projects should be arranged as equal partnerships to the mutual advantage of both sides, and they should open up long-term research opportunities for German science on the African continent, which are important for infection biology, but for which the right conditions are lacking in Europe. This applies among other things to the areas of epidemiology, infection genetics and immunology. At the same time, by means of the approved projects, the DFG would like to make an effective, differentiated contribution to the organisation and expansion of research capacities on the African partner side. In this programme, which should run for a maximum of eight years, the DFG will also provide funding for the cooperation partners of German applicants.

The funding programme can be traced back to the initiative of former DFG President Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker and will be formally announced in May 2007. The first funding awards are expected to be announced in the spring of 2008.

Further Information

For questions on infection research, please contact:

  • Dr. Andreas Strecker, Life Sciences, Tel.: +49 228 885-2530, E-mail: andreas.strecker@dfg.de

For questions relating to German-African cooperation, please contact:

  • Christoph Mühlberg, International Affairs, Tel.: +49 228 885-2347, E-mail: christoph.muehlberg@dfg.de

The announcement to the funding initiative is available at