Information for Researchers No. 82 | 18 December 2015

Refugee Scientists and Academics: DFG to Facilitate Participation in Research Projects

Higher education institutions and project leaders can apply for additional staff / Contribution to integration in research and society

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) plans to help scientists and academics who have fled their home countries to participate in research projects. Presenting a package of measures, DFG President Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider explained: “We as the DFG want to create the financial and organisational framework needed for participation in the projects we fund in an efficient, flexible way. We are confident that this will make a positive contribution to the integration of refugees in our research system and our society.”

The DFG would like to draw attention to the fact that all project leaders and also higher education institutions can submit supplemental proposals to integrate qualified refugees – whether researchers in training or established researchers – in existing DFG-funded projects. These proposals may be justified by the fact that additional persons are now available whose participation would make a valuable contribution to the project.

Supplemental proposals can be submitted for any funding which allows refugees to be integrated in a project, especially guest funding and staff posts. For the integration of established researchers, the Mercator module is an especially suitable option. This can be used to cover accommodation and travel costs and also provide remuneration at a level which, as with guest funding, is based on academic qualification. Proposals can be submitted informally at any time and should not exceed five pages (not including CV and bibliography). Applicants should however ensure that the proposal is clear and detailed enough to allow prompt review in accordance with the DFG’s usual quality criteria. Proposals must contain details of the persons to be integrated in a project and explain what added value their participation would contribute to the project.

Refugee scientists and academics can also be funded directly in Research Training Groups, Collaborative Research Centres and other DFG-funded coordinated projects. The financial resources for this do not have to be specially requested with a supplemental proposal, as appropriate measures can also be financed from previously approved funds. For example, refugees with a bachelor’s degree or comparable qualification can receive a qualifying fellowship for later doctoral research in a Research Training Group or be accepted directly into such a group.

The legal framework for the integration of refugee scientists and academics is the responsibility of project leaders and of higher education institutions or non-university research institutions. This includes the verification of academic qualifications and the checking of legal requirements, for example for the purposes of fellowship or employment contracts.

Further information

More information about funding opportunities and submitting supplemental proposals is available from the contact persons below.

For Research Training Groups, graduate schools and qualification fellowships:

For Collaborative Research Centres, Research Centres and clusters of excellence:

For all other funding programmes: