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Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Work of the DFG

Regular updates

In response to the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Deutsche Forschungs- gemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is implementing precautionary measures. As one most members of staff at the DFG Head Office will be working from home with immediate effect, until further notice. All team members are working hard to keep funding activities functioning as normally as possible. On this website we publish all news on research funding.

Monday, 10 August 2020

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Immunity, Host Susceptibility and Pathomechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

The purpose of this first Focus Funding COVID-19 call is to address urgent, unresolved questions on immune response, host susceptibility and the infection mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Projects must be hypothesis driven and evidence based. It must also be clear from the proposal how the newly acquired knowledge will contribute to a better understanding of the infection process and the concrete management of the current crisis. Projects must be submitted by 7 September 2020.

COVID-19 Focus Funding in the Research Grants Programme

The coronavirus pandemic demonstrates that scientifically based knowledge is essential to the handling of the current pandemic. The DFG has therefore developed COVID-19 Focus Funding, a new funding opportunity designed to enable scientists to address especially urgent research questions requiring rapid answers. Between June 2020 and June 2021, the Commission for Pandemic Research will issue calls on different topics. Funding may also be used in conjunction with ongoing projects or to prepare subsequent larger-scale projects.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Equal Opportunity in Research During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Support from
the DFG

For many researchers, the current coronavirus pandemic and efforts to manage it are having an impact on their daily lives. Researchers with care responsibilities are facing the challenge of balancing their work with family obligations. The DFG is endeavouring to support them through a range of measures and uphold its efforts to promote equal opportunity.

Wednesday, 23 July 2020

Inaugural Meetings of DFG Review Boards Held

The review boards elected in fall 2019 have all held their inaugural meetings. In compliance with the contact restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the review boards were able to complete this process by 16 July 2020. They are now set to take up their important role in the DFG’s review and decision-making processes.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Extension of Rapid-Response Measures for Fellowship Recipients Affected by Corona Containment Measures

To further support DFG fellowship recipients, the DFG is extending the measures implemented in March by three months.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Covid-19 Task Force of Consortium nfdi4health

In the recently approved consortium nfdi4health within the framework of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), the DFG will also fund the Covid-19 Task Force from July 2020 onwards. The goal: to enable the research community to find relevant studies more easily and exchange data more effectively. This will help to tackle the pandemic more efficiently and prevent negative impacts on communities.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Peru Offers to Participate in Clinical Trials for Vaccine Research on SARS-COV-2

The Peruvian government has shown a great amount of interest in Germany’s scientific approaches and progress in the current pandemic and has stated via the German Federal Foreign Office that it welcomes the participation of German researchers in clinical trials in the country to develop a vaccine for SARS-COV-2. Peru is an ideal environment as a multi-ethnic country with more than 300,000 infected people. The government stated that it could provide several research teams and the immunising antigens collected in Peru could be used for study findings.

Should German institutes or clinics be interested in cooperating with the Peruvian authorities and including Peruvian patients in clinical trials, the DFG will contact the Peruvian embassy and the German Federal Foreign Office via the Latin America team. The team would also be happy to provide background information on demography, operational capacity for vaccine tests and feasibility. The DFG and HRK keep each other informed about enquiries received in order to provide advice and avoid duplicate requests.

DFG programme contacts

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Corona-Warn-App Released

The federal government has released the Corona-Warn-App. More detailed information about the app and its voluntary use is available at

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

DFG Establishes Interdisciplinary Commission for Pandemic Research

Against the background of the current coronavirus pandemic, the DFG is to establish an interdisciplinary commission for pandemic research. The commission will be made up of 18 members representing all research disciplines, and its task will be to strengthen the knowledge-driven research which is essential to pandemic and epidemic research and which forms the basis for nearly all translational approaches. The decision to set up the commission was made by the Executive Committee of the DFG, Germany's largest research funding organisation and the central self-governing organisation of the country's research community.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Relief for Staff with Family Obligations in CRCs During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is causing significant challenges to many researchers with family obligations. The DFG has therefore decided that Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) may use equal opportunity funds to provide financial relief for these individuals. For affected, DFG-funded research staff in CRCs, employment contracts that end between 1 May and 31 December 2020 can, as an exception, be extended by up to three months using approved equal opportunity funds if these staff are currently experiencing unusual family difficulties. Equal opportunity funds can also be used in appropriate amounts for the short-term relief of individual difficulties faced by project managers and other research staff who are experiencing unusual family difficulties due to coronavirus.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Joint Genome Research on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Researchers are pooling their expertise and sequencing infrastructure under the umbrella of the recently established German Covid-19 OMICS initiative, with the aim of making a scientific contribution towards overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers from more than 22 institutions have participated so far, including quite a few from DFG-funded projects. The DFG-funded sequencing centre CCGA and the Cluster of Excellence Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation (PMI) are among those expected to help improve the understanding of why some people become seriously ill and others experience mild symptoms.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Extensive Financial Support for Research Projects

With immediate effect, the DFG, is offering additional funding to support DFG-funded projects affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on public life. The Joint Committee has approved a package of measures proposed by the DFG Executive Committee. These measures allow additional staff and project funding to be requested across a wide range of funding programmes, allowing research work that cannot be carried out as originally planned to be continued and completed. The support package amounts to at least €175 million.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Changes to DFG Annual Meeting in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has significant implications for the annual meeting of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). To protect all participants, and given the ongoing restrictions on public life, the meeting scheduled for 29 June - 1 July in Berlin cannot be held in the originally planned form but will be adapted to current circumstances.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

CRC 902 "Molecular Principles of RNA-based Regulation" Analyses SARS-CoV-2 with NMR Spectroscopy

Researchers in CRC 902 "Molecular Principles of RNA-based Regulation" are analysing the structures of the RNAs and proteins of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 30 teams from 11 countries are now involved in the research using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The DFG approved an additional proposal for this project in May 2020. The researchers are publishing the results of their research on a weekly basis.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Information on Dates and Times of Meetings

The DFG and its various bodies are continuing to make funding decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic. To find out when new and extended Research Units, Priority Programmes, Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups will be announced and how the procedures will be organised, please consult the

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Video Statement by DFG President Katja Becker: Support During the Current Crisis

The DFG is responding to the current crisis with flexibility and a minimum of bureaucracy, and as quickly as possible. It is supporting researchers such that they can continue their important basic research with the standard of quality they are accustomed to. Now more than ever, substantiated facts and scientific findings are crucial to public information and evidence-based advice to politicians.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

International Calls With China and India

India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the DFG are resuming their joint open funding programme in the life sciences. Among other things, the programme is suitable for Indian-German projects on epidemics and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Proposals can be submitted with immediate effect and up until 28 February 2021. The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (CDZ), an international research funding organisation initiated by China's NSFC and the DFG, has also published a call for bilateral projects in COVID-19-related research.

Monday, 11 May, 11:00

BMBF Forum “Research in Germany” goes virtual

The DFG is a member of the BMBF initiative “Research in Germany”. This year’s International Research Marketing Forum, taking place from 18-20 May, enables experts from universities, non-university research institutions and associations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to exchange knowledge and experiences, network and advance their training. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the forum will be held in different virtual formats over the course of three mornings.

Thursday, 7 May 2020, 16:00

Science Organisations Welcome Amendment of Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The German Bundestag has amended the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (WissZeitVG) in order to protect researchers with temporary contracts from potential disadvantages caused by protective measures taken within the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Research institutions and universities are now able to extend employment contracts beyond the current maximum limit. The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany expressly welcomes this amendment.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Research on coronavirus in Africa

Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" at the University of Bremen is analysing the development dynamics of state social policy worldwide. In a recent podcast interview, Professor Dr. Klaus Schlichte describes how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting African countries and the measures taken by governments. He leads the project "Transnational welfare: Rise, disintegration, and renaissance of social policy in Africa".

Monday, 27 April 2020, 15:30

DFG Supports MOSAiC Expedition in Arctic Ocean During Coronavirus Pandemic

The DFG together with the BMBF is stepping in to support the MOSAiC expedition in the Arctic Ocean by sending the research vessels Sonne and Maria S. Merian to Spitzbergen. There they will rendezvous with the research icebreaker Polarstern and perform a complete changeover of approximately 100 personnel as well as exchanging cargo and supplies. Interner Linkmore

Friday, 24 April 2020, 15:00

DFG Underlines Importance of Scientific Quality Standards in Publications

Amid the global spread of SARS-CoV-2, a growing number of publications are being made available on preprint servers without having undergone peer review. In a statement for the Science Media Center, the DFG has commented on the opportunities and risks associated with this method of publishing scientific findings.

Monday, 20 April 2020, 12:00

Special Recognition for Christian Drosten

Virologist Professor Dr. Christian Drosten is to receive a special award from the DFG and the Stifterverband for outstanding science communication amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, 20 April 2020, 10:00

Research for Enhanced Epidemic Modelling

Mathematical models help to predict the spread of epidemics and assess different options for containing them. A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Ralf Engbert associated with the DFG-funded CRC 1294 "Data Assimilation - The seamless integration of data and models" has combined a stochastic SEIR model with data assimilation to estimate current contact rates. Understanding these rates and how they change over time is important to estimating factors like the regional effects of limiting social contact. This is an example of how research is learning from the coronavirus pandemic, making it better equipped for the future.

Thursday, 16 April 2020, 10:00

Good Scientific Practice Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic – a European Matter

The DFG is a member of the European Network of Research Integrity Offices (ENRIO). The network recently published a paper underlining the importance of continuing good scientific practice during the coronavirus pandemic. The DFG draws particular attention to appropriate quality assurance in the research process. In the network's opinion, scientific integrity is vital to the all-important trust of society in research.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020, 13:30

DFG-Funded NGS Centres of Competence and Coronavirus Research

The DFG-funded centres of competence for next generation sequencing (NGS) are conducting research on SARS-CoV-2 as part of the COVID-19 Omics initiative. They are contributing their expertise in sequencing to efforts to better understand the virus. So far, 16 German institutions belong to the network. Other participants, including those in other European countries, are welcome to join.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020, 13:00

Extended eligibility period for submitting proposals to the Emmy Noether Programme

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions on working conditions at universities and research institutions, the DFG is extending the individual eligibility period for proposal submission within the Emmy Noether Programme by three months for prospective applicants who would otherwise only be eligible to apply by the end of 2020. Note that the rules on calculating the eligibility period, as outlined in the programme’s frequently asked questions, remain unaffected.

Monday, 13 April 2020, 17:00

Third statement by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina today released a third ad-hoc statement regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The statement addresses the psychological, social, legal, educational and economic aspects of the pandemic and strategies for a gradual return to normalcy.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Information on Reviews and Awards for Collaborative Research Centres

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the committee meetings for Collaborative Research Centres scheduled for 27 and 28 May cannot be held in the usual way. Decisions will be made in a written procedure or by video conference in compliance with data protection legislation. For proposals submitted up to 1 July 2020 which cannot be reviewed on site, a written procedure will also be initiated and the DFG will offer bridge funding to affected universities, as announced in a letter on 9 April 2020.

Thursday, 9 April 2020, 12:00

Call for Proposals on Research into Epidemics and Pandemics Includes New Information on International Cooperation

The DFG has provided additional details to its Call for Multidisciplinary Research into Epidemics and Pandemics in Response to the Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. The additions were made with regard to information on funding principles and funding opportunities with an international component.

Thursday, 9 April 2020, 11:00

The Global Research Council (GRC) represents the majority of publicly funded research and research funding organisations worldwide who are not directly supported by governments. The GRC website shows the COVID-19 activities of its members including the activities of the DFG.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020, 9:00

DFG President Katja Becker: Utmost Support for the Continuation of Research Activities during the Corona Crisis

DFG Professor Dr. Katja Becker released a statement today addressed to researchers involved in DFG-funded projects.

Friday, 3 April 2020, 16:00

Second ad-hoc-statement by German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Today, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina presented a second ad-hoc-statement with further proposals on how to deal with the challenges and measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 11:00

Extended deadline for DFG calls

In view of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on research activities, the DFG has extended the submission deadline for several of its current calls for proposals and programmes. Further deadline extensions will be introduced if necessary. Researchers can find regular updates under the information on the relevant call and under the respective programmes.

Monday, 23 March 2020, 12:00

The meetings of the DFG's Senate and Joint Committee, originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week in Bonn, cannot be held in the usual form; decisions will be taken using the written process and on a staggered basis. Information on new Priority Programmes, Research Units and other agenda items will be issued at correspondingly later dates.

Saturday, 21 March 2020, 14:00

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has convened an ad-hoc working group of researchers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This working group today issued a statement concerned primarily with the healthcare system challenges and intervention options.

Friday, 20 March 2020, 20:30

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the DFG has published a letter on financial measures and arrangements for fellowship recipients and those employed as fellows in DFG programmes.

Friday, 20 March 2020, 13:00

The award ceremony for the 2020 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes, originally scheduled for 5 May in Berlin, is to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 19 March 2020, 10:00

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 repercussions / Proposal deadline 1 September 2020

The effects of the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak have shown that epidemics and pandemics cannot be managed simply on a national level; instead, the whole 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 generalisable scientific findings.

The DFG is therefore issuing a call for a multidisciplinary funding initiative. Funding is to be offered for projects dealing with 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 which are pathogenic to humans.

The full text of the call for proposals, with detailed information on submitting proposals, can be found here:

A press release summarising the call can be found here:

Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 12:00

In a letter to funding recipients, the DFG has circulated some initial information on the continuation of project work and funding programmes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. DFG staff are also working hard to identify other options to absorb the additional time pressures and financial impacts on funded projects. The DFG will notify you as soon as these measures can be implemented.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 10:00

As an additional precautionary measure in view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, most members of staff at the DFG Head Office in Bonn, the Berlin office and international DFG offices will be working from home with immediate effect, until further notice. The best way to contact them is by e-mail. All team members are working hard to keep funding activities functioning as normally as possible. However, should there be any delays, we would ask for your patience.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Press Release

Coronavirus Pandemic: DFG Stresses Importance of Long-Term Basic Research and International Cooperation

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Press Release

DFG Responds to Spread of Coronavirus