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Press Release No. 51 | 19 December 2014
DFG Awards Prizes in International Research Marketing Competition

Three Universities Recognised for Strategic Ideas / 75,000 Euros per Prize for Implementation / Competition Forms Part of "Research in Germany"

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has presented awards for international research marketing ideas for the first time in a competitive framework. Three universities will each receive 75,000 euros to transform their research marketing ideas into reality: University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), University of Heidelberg and University of Tübingen. The prizes are being funded from special funds of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). A total of 21 universities and research institutions took part in the competition, which is part of the International Research Marketing project.

The competition invites ideas to enhance the visibility and appeal of German research abroad and attract highly qualified researchers, either to participate in collaborative projects with German researchers or to visit Germany for research purposes. "Research marketing is becoming increasingly important at German universities and research institutions. Good research marketing ideas must be based on efficient networking between research and administration. Through the competition, the DFG aims to send out an important signal and recognise international research marketing actions that are geared towards the needs of the research community," said Dorothee Dzwonnek, the DFG's Secretary General.

The winners impressed the international selection panel, consisting of research managers and experts in internationalisation, communication and marketing, with their promising proposals. The proposals build strategically on the internationalisation strategies, unique characteristics and strengths of the individual institutions. In addition to the quality of the actions, two key criteria influenced the jury's decision: the effective structural networking of different research marketing actors within the institutions and the willingness of the universities to make international research marketing a long-term strategic concern. The jury also noted how all three ideas enhanced the international visibility of the respective institutions and generated added value for the promotion of Germany as a place to research.

The proposal submitted by the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, "FAU Open Research Challenge", presents an attractive competitive format aimed at young international researchers. The competition addresses internationally significant questions in information technology, optics, and climate and energy research, all flagship areas of German research. The concept is solution-oriented and strongly research-motivated, designed to encourage qualified early career researchers to engage in international cooperation with researchers at FAU.

The aim of the proposal "Heidelberg: Top Science Attracts Top Scientists", presented by the University of Heidelberg, is to develop an effective employer brand with a focus on relevant subject areas in order to position the institution as an employer. The university proposes to attract excellent researchers and integrate them in its research community with a range of new measures designed to increase international visibility.

The research marketing campaign designed by the University of Tübingen, "World Tour 2015", is based on the motto "Research – Relevance – Responsibility". It takes the form of a research roadshow with on-site marketing measures that will visit international research institutions of high strategic importance. By holding interactive workshops between researchers, senior management and university research funding representatives, showcasing top-level research and successful collaborations and highlighting available funding instruments, the university aims to establish new strategic partnerships and cooperation projects.

The International Research Marketing project is a joint initiative by the DFG, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. These organisations are promoting Germany as a place to carry out research through the “Research in Germany” brand. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the initiative “Promote Innovation and Research in Germany”.

Further Information

For more information about the DFG ideas competition "International Research Marketing", please visit:

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