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Press Release No. 31 | 1 July 2015
Six New Members in DFG Senate

General Assembly in Bochum Elects Four Women and Two Men

On Wednesday 1 July 2015, the General Assembly of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) elected six new members to the Senate of the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation of the research community in Germany at its session at the DFG's annual meeting in Bochum. The Senate is the central statutory body responsible for scientific affairs. It advises and decides on all important affairs of the DFG.

Of the six places in the Senate, two had to be filled in Biology / Medicine / Agricultural Sciences, two in Mathematics / Natural Sciences and one each in Humanities / Social Sciences and in Engineering Sciences.

Four of the new members are women, bringing the total number of women in the 39-strong Senate to 15.

The following six members were elected for an initial first term of office in the DFG Senate: Professor Dr. Julia Fischer (Zoology), University of Göttingen; Professor Dr. Chris-Carolin Schön (Agricultural Sciences), TU Munich; Professor Dr. Peter Grathwohl (Geosciences), University of Tübingen; Professor Dr. Antje Boetius (Atmospheric / Ocean Research), Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research and Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology Bremen; Professor Dr. Cordula Artelt (Educational Science / Educational Research), University of Bamberg; Professor Dr. Jürgen Fleischer (Production Sciences), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Four members of the Senate were re-elected for a second term of office: Professor Dr. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Non-European Cultures), University of Bielefeld; Professor Dr. Frauke Melchior (Developmental and Cell Biology), University of Heidelberg; Professor Dr. Ekkehard Neuhaus (Plant Sciences), TU Kaiserslautern; Professor Dr. Georg Peters (Conservative Medicine), University of Münster.

The terms of the new and re-elected Senate members will last four years instead of the previous three. This is now the standard term for all members of statutory bodies as defined in the statutes of the DFG, amended last year.

The following members have rotated out of the DFG Senate, having completed two terms of office: Professor Dr. Detlev Leutner (Educational Science / Educational Research), University of Duisburg-Essen; Professor Dr. Jürgen Heinze (Zoology), University of Regensburg; Professor Dr. Ingrid Kögl-Knabner (Agricultural Sciences), TU Munich; Professor Dr. Antje Schwalb (Geosciences), TU Braunschweig; Professor Dr. Clemens Simmer (Atmospheric / Ocean Research), University of Bonn; Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Hirt (Production Technology), RWTH Aachen.

Guided by the principles defined by the General Assembly, the Senate advises and decides on all important affairs of the DFG which do not fall within the remit of the Joint Committee. It is therefore responsible for all important decisions relating to research funding prior to the final funding decision and for all important decisions relating to organising the review, assessment and decision-making processes. The Senate decides which review boards should be formed and how they should be structured.

The Senate consists of 39 members. 36 members are elected by the General Assembly and are also scientific members of the Joint Committee. The Presidents of the German Rectors' Conference, the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the Max Planck Society also belong to the Senate by right of office. The Presidents of the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers and the Fraunhofer Society as well as the Chair of the German Council of Science and Humanities are permanent guests of the Senate.

Further information

Media contact:

  • DFG Press and Public Relations,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2443,

A list of members of the Senate and further information are available at: