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Press Release No. 52 | 26 October 2015
DFG Review Board Election Begins

Approximately 150,000 researchers eligible to vote online until 23 November / 1,707 candidates for 613 positions / Key role in evaluating funding proposals

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has launched its 2015 review board election. From Monday, 26 October at 2 pm to Monday, 23 November at 2 pm, approximately 150,000 researchers in Germany are eligible to vote online for their representatives on the DFG's review boards, which have a key role in the system of academic self-governance and in the evaluation of proposals for funding. A total of 48 review boards, representing 213 subjects, are being elected for the 2016-2019 term of office. There are 1,707 candidates for the 613 positions. The proportion of women candidates is approximately 29% – a significantly higher percentage than in the previous election in 2011 when it stood at 21%.

The DFG's review boards are elected every four years. Their members serve on a voluntary basis and evaluate proposals for project funding after they have undergone review. They also assess them for their compliance with uniform standards. The members also advise on issues concerning the further development and refinement of the DFG funding programmes.

The DFG is hoping that voter participation will be high and is calling upon all those eligible to make use of their right to vote – not least because, as the DFG President, Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider, said, "The review board elections are an expression of the integrative power which the DFG as a self-governing organisation can exert for the entire research community in Germany."

Through voting, the electorate can actively participate in this self-governance and can bring a direct and practical influence to bear on it. The election regulations determine who is permitted to vote. In Germany, these are mainly individuals who work in academic research and who have a postdoctoral qualification. The DFG review board election will again this year be conducted completely online. To ensure the confidentiality of the election and the security of the voting system, a member of the DFG Senate and the DFG's Data Protection Officer have the duty of overseeing the entire election process. There are voting centres at over 140 research institutions in Germany. They ensure that the election is conducted smoothly at each location, record those eligible to vote and provide them with election documents.

Before the election began, the subject categorisation was reviewed and specified, the list of candidates drawn up and the election system installed. After the votes have been counted and approval given by the member of the Senate, the DFG will publish the preliminary results of the election on the election portal. The DFG President will announce the final results after the appropriate procedures have been carried out. The newly elected review boards will be constituted in spring 2016 when they will also take up their duties.

Further Information

For more information concerning the review board election and to access the voting system from 26 October 2015 at 2 pm to 23 November 2015 at 2 pm, please go to the election portal at

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