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Press Release No. 42 | 20 October 2022
Extensive Funding Measures for UAS Now Fully Implemented

DFG launches call for proposals for Research Impulses (RI) as another programme to promote knowledge-driven research at UAS / Significant level of interest in specific programmes

The DFG has launched its call for proposals for “Research Impulses” (RI) at universities of applied sciences (UAS, including HAW – Hochschulen für Angewandte Wissenschaften and FH – Fachhochschulen). It is the latest funding programme that explicitly calls on UAS to submit proposals. The aim is to establish research consortia with ideas for knowledge-driven research, thereby supporting UAS in further developing their research excellence and enhancing their scientific profile.

The DFG previously initiated a number of other specific funding programmes aimed at UAS. These include major instrumentation campaigns to expand existing major instrumentation infrastructures for designated research projects (GGA-HAW), calls for the submission of research grant proposals in connection with the use of a major instrumentation (GG-SBH), support for the internationalisation of research at HAW (UDIF-HAW) and the programme Transfer HAW/FH PLUS for the funding of transfer projects at UAS.

“I am very pleased that all UAS funding measures are now up and running, and I especially welcome the lively interest shown by UAS researchers in both the existing opportunities and the newly created funding programmes. We feel encouraged by the impressive response and positive feedback we are getting at our information events on the UAS measures,” says DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker.

Research at UAS has advanced considerably in recent years, and as the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing body for science in Germany, the DFG has sought to take this into account by reviewing and expanding its funding portfolio over the past two years. In addition to adapting existing DFG programmes and funding conditions accordingly, measures have been developed that are specifically geared to the needs of UAS and are assigned their own dedicated budget. To this end, an intensive consultation process has been ongoing since 2020 involving researchers at UAS and other higher education institutions, the German Rectors’ Conference and the office of the German Council of Science and Humanities, as well as federal and state governments.

“Promoting outstanding research is the core task of the DFG. This also includes encouraging the very best research at UAS. In addition to improving the framework conditions within our funding programmes, we’ve now also been focusing on communication with UAS in order to fully tap into their research potential to the benefit of the German science landscape,” says Katja Becker.

The increasing interest of UAS in the programmes is reflected in the number of proposals being submitted as well as in the amounts of funding approved by the DFG. In 2021, for example, funds amounting to more than €15 million were approved for the major instrumentation campaign aimed at HAW alone. More than 70 proposals have been received for the 2022 call. In view of disrupted supply chains and the global shortage of semiconductors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DFG expects a significant increase in funding outflows for major instrumentation from 2023 at the latest.

With its Research Impulses programme, the DFG will spend significantly more than 1% of its funding budget on UAS, thereby fully complying with the budget memo issued by the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag. At the same time, the carryovers earmarked for UAS in 2021 and anticipated in 2022 will be entirely eliminated in subsequent years. By implementing the Research Impulses programme, the DFG will support UAS in further enhancing their scientific profile and increasing their competitiveness up until 2035 at least.

“From the DFG’s point of view, it was important to develop efficient and well-coordinated measures that are sustainable in the long term, strengthening collaboration and international compatibility, and having a system-wide impact. This is why we’re seeking to achieve not just a high short-term outflow of funds to universities of applied sciences but also integrate UAS sustainably in the DFG funding portfolio as a whole,” says Katja Becker. The DFG has now laid the foundations for this by introducing its additional funding measures.

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