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Press Release No. 58 | 7 December 2018
National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI):
DFG to Coordinate Selection and Evaluation of Consortia

Joint Committee agrees to take on new tasks following GWK decision / Expert committee appointed

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) will play a key role in creating a national research data infrastructure (NFDI). At its meeting on 6 December 2018 in Bonn, the Joint Committee of the largest research funding organisation and self-governing organisation of the research community in Germany agreed to take on new responsibilities following the decision of the Joint Science Conference (GWK) on 16 November to set up a national research data infrastructure in Germany. The DFG will conduct the initial selection process, regularly evaluate the established consortia and manage their funds.

Initial funding of approximately €85 million per year will be available to the consortia for the next ten years. This is expected to fund around 30 consortia, which will be selected in three rounds of calls. The consortia will be evaluated at regular intervals by the DFG. The German Council of Science and Humanities will be responsible for evaluating the overall structure of the national research data infrastructure. The first funding decisions are expected to be made by the GWK in June 2020.

Research data are a constitutive and complex element of research processes. Creating an infrastructure for research data management is important for the entire research system, as this supports science-led research practices and access to and handling of data, thereby stimulating and driving knowledge processes. “Therefore, it is good that the research-policy and financial conditions for a national research data infrastructure have been created. It is gratifying to see that this important new funding measure will be built on proven and recognised research-driven principles. The DFG and all members of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany have strongly advocated for this result," said DFG President Prof. Dr. Peter Strohschneider during the discussions of the Joint Committee.

Although the final funding decisions will be made by the GWK alone, Strohschneider was pleased that the Federal-State Agreement is precise on this point: Only consortia with a clear funding recommendation based on the review and evaluation process can receive funding. "This guarantees that, for the NDFI, the selection and evaluation of consortia will be made according to strict research principles," said the DFG President.

An NFDI expert committee comprising researchers and representatives of infrastructure facilities will take on a central role in the next stage of the process. It will conduct the initial selection process and decide which funding proposals will be put forward to the GWK for consideration. The members of this committee have now been selected by the Joint Committee of the DFG.

Further Information

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DFG Head Office programme contacts:

Additional information on the programme and further stages of the process will be published by late January 2019 at:

  • www.nfdi.dfg.de/en