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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 55 | 28. Juli 2015
Priority Programme “INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA – a Microbial Ecosystem at the Edge between Immune Homeostasis and Inflammation” (SPP 1656)

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has established a Priority Programme entitled ”INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA – a Microbial Ecosystem at the Edge between Immune Homeostasis and Inflammation” (SPP 1656). The programme started in 2013 and is designed to run for six years. Applications are now invited for the second three-year funding period.

The Priority Programme is focussed on understanding the molecular mechanisms how the intestinal microbiota functionally interacts with the intestine under normal, infectious and chronic inflammatory conditions. The programme is an interdisciplinary research programme that determines fundamental principles of microbe-host interactions. It goes beyond the descriptive microbiota and metagenomic analysis and addresses hypothesis-driven research to understand the role of the intestinal microbiota in regulating gut epithelial and immune homeostasis under physiologic and pathologic conditions. The programme specifically focusses on intestinal infectious diseases and chronic inflammatory disorders of the intestinal tract.

Intestinal microbiota intends to include projects covering the following topics:

  • understanding functional characteristics of protective and disease-conditioning (dysbiotic) microbiota in infectious and chronic inflammatory pathologies using novel gnotobiotic models
  • define functional mechanisms for the interaction of complex microbial ecosystems and their specific microbial structures with the mucosal immune system
  • exploring mechanisms of novel therapeutic concepts using fecal microbiota transplantation, probiotic and dietary intervention
  • developing novel tools to understand the functional aspects of the intestinal microbiota using metagenomic, proteomic and metabolomic and computational analysis

Intestinal microbiota will not support projects that focus on the following topics:

  • impact of the intestinal microbiota on extraintestinal organs (e.g. brain, lung, liver, pancreas, skin) and vice versa
  • metabolic and allergic disorders as well as celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome
  • descriptive studies addressing solely the compositional analysis of the intestinal microbiota
  • studies solely addressing host immune functions that are not related to questions of microbial interactions
  • human cohort studies

Proposals must be submitted in English no later than 18 November 2015 via the DFG’s electronic submission system “elan” selecting “INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA”. Please distinguish carefully between new and renewal proposals.

Projects are prepared according the guideline forms 50.05en and 54.01en. Proposals by one applicant must not exceed 20 pages. Joint proposals may comprise five additional pages for each additional applicant. If you are using the elan system for the first time, please note that you need to register yourself and your institutional address before being able to submit a proposal. Also, if you are planning to move to a different institution (e.g. with a Temporary Position for Principal Investigators) you need to register the new institutional address beforehand. Please make sure that all applicants of your project (in case there is more than one) start their registration at the latest two weeks before the submission deadline. The registration requests are handled manually by DFG staff.

Proposals will be evaluated in the course of a colloquium in Freising with short talks and poster presentations scheduled for Wednesday, 16 March 2016.

Further information

For further information please refer to the Priority Programme’s website:

The DFG’s electronic portal “elan” can be found at:

Proposal guidelines and preparation instructions are outlined in DFG forms 50.05en and 54.01en, which can be found on the DFG’s website at:

For scientific enquiries concerning the scope of the programme, please contact the Priority Programme’s coordinators:

Further instructions on submitting a proposal are supplied by the DFG:

For scientific matters:

For technical matters: