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Press Release No. 8 | 19 March 2020
Coronavirus: DFG Launches Call for Multidisciplinary Research into Epidemics and Pandemics

Research topics range from basic medical and biological aspects and psychological and social factors to economic impact / Proposal deadline 1 September 2020

The effects of the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak have shown that epidemics and pandemics cannot be managed on a solely national level; instead, the global framework needs to be taken into account. To be better prepared for the diverse aspects of global waves of infection, it is essential to support wide-ranging research across different disciplines. In addition to investigating the current pandemic, it is important to identify fundamental research questions that produce generalizable scientific findings.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is therefore issuing a call for a multidisciplinary funding initiative. Funding is available for projects addressing the prevention, early detection, containment and investigation of the causes, impacts and management of epidemics and pandemics, taking the example of SARS-CoV-2 and other microorganisms and viruses that are pathogenic to humans.

This includes, for example, the investigation of

  • the challenges and effects of an epidemic or pandemic and of measures taken for healthcare systems;
  • psychological, social and cultural factors in the emergence, spread and treatment of epidemics and pandemics and the legal and ethical implications;
  • the impacts on global and regional economic development, production and value creation chains, logistics, transport and communication;
  • fundamental biological and medical aspects of a pathogen and the associated symptoms, as well as therapeutic methods or preventive measures in combination with one or more of the above topic areas.

The call is primarily aimed at multidisciplinary research projects. Proposals will also be considered for projects designed to gather and record basic data on the current epidemic and current countermeasures, which can serve as the basis for future retrospective analyses. Projects involving the simulation of the spread and consequences of pandemics and the effectiveness of interventions may also be submitted.

Funding is available for individual or joint proposals in the form of individual research grants or proposal packages. The DFG will support scientific dialogue and networking between grant recipients during the course of the projects.

For current groups such as Research Units, Research Training Groups and Collaborative Research Centres that thematically fit this call, it is possible to submit a supplemental or additional proposal.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 1 September 2020.

Researchers based at universities, universities of applied sciences, non-university research institutions and healthcare facilities are equally eligible to submit proposals. Applicants should aim to cooperate with international researchers.

Further Information

Media contact:

The full text of the call with detailed information on submitting a proposal can be found as "Information for Researchers" at

This and other regularly updated information on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the work of the DFG can also be found at