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Press Release No. 80 | 6 December 2007
Election of DFG Review Board Members Successfully Completed

Preliminary Results from One of Germany's Largest Online Elections Available

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has successfully completed its first online review board election. From 5 November, 2:00 pm, to 3 December 2007, 2:00 pm, eligible scientists and academics voted to fill the 594 places in the review boards.

"I am delighted and relieved that the online election worked so well - a real gift from St. Nicholas," declared Professor Matthias Kleiner, President of the DFG, following the announcement of the results, which, in accordance with the election regulations, are still preliminary. The results have been available on the DFG's website since 6 December 2007.

The review boards play a central role in the process employed by the DFG to assess the more than 10,000 proposals for financial support that they receive annually from researchers in every subject area. The work of the new review boards, which according to Professor Kleiner are "comparable to a parliament of German science," will begin with their constitutive meetings in the spring of 2008.

For the DFG, the online election system has proven itself during the 2007 review board election. Eligible participants only needed internet access to be able to cast their votes from anywhere in the world. The system worked without a hitch, during the voting period and the counting process, and in comparison to the paper election of 2003, the time required for counting was drastically reduced. The 2007 review board election was one of the largest and most complex internet elections held in Germany up to date. Much of the credit for the success goes to the 112 voting centres responsible for conducting the election in the particular scientific institutions. For the eligible participants not working at one of the voting centres, so-called single voters, the DFG performed the functions of a voting centre. During the 2007 online election of review board members, a total of 36,313 scientists and academics submitted the electronic ballot papers with their maximum of six votes. Altogether 207,224 valid votes, distributed among 1,363 candidates, were submitted on 35,811 valid ballot papers. In comparison to the previous election, the proportion of female scientists and academics increased from 12 to 16.8 percent.

Further Information

Preliminary election results and further information on the review board election can be found at

Contact persons in the DFG Head Office are

  • Ms. Christiane Burgbacher, Tel. +49 228 885-2421, Christiane.Burgbacher@dfg.de, and
  • Dr. Susanne Knoop, Tel. +49 228 885-2747, Susanne.Knoop@dfg.de.