With immediate effect, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is offering additional funding to support DFG-funded projects affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on public life. The Joint Committee of Germany's largest research funding organization and the central self-governing organization of the country's research community 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 programs, 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, augmented by the standard 22 percent program allowance for indirect project costs.
"The coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have led to unavoidable restrictions and delays for many research projects. This affects not only the research work itself but also the staff employed on a project. The DFG introduced a first set of measures early on to minimize the consequences of delays and the financial impacts. These measures include the cost-neutral extension of projects as well as compensatory, bridge and supplemental funding and the extension of calls for proposals, fellowships and doctoral researchers' employment contracts. The new cost-related measures give our funding recipients and their staff the necessary extra security to successfully continue their work," said DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker following the Joint Committee's decision, which in view of the current situation was made using a written procedure.
The newly approved package is aimed initially at projects for which funding ended or will end between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021 and for which work could not continue due to the coronavirus pandemic. If grant funding is no longer available, they can also apply, for a period of three months, for up to 80 percent of the average amount originally approved for the same period while funding was active. This arrangement applies to all research grants, Research Units, Priority Programmes and many other project funding programs, and therefore covers the majority of the more than 30,000 projects funded by the DFG.
With regard to the larger research groups, Collaborative Research Centres whose current funding period runs out between 30 June 2020 and 30 June 2021 and which cannot apply for a continuation of funding may receive, for three months, supplemental funding of 80 percent of the average amount originally approved for this period. Research Training Groups may extend the contractual period for their doctoral researchers beyond the usual 36 months to up to 48 months. If the approved funds are not sufficient to cover this, additional funding of up to the amount of three monthly payments for a staff position or fellowship can be requested for each doctoral researcher. In the case of fellowship recipients outside such research groups and DFG fellows, the Joint Committee has confirmed the measures decided upon in March, which include the continued payment of fellowships for three months.
In all projects, the cancellation costs for events that have had to be canceled due to the pandemic can now be settled as project expenses. For canceled events which are rescheduled up to autumn 2021, the original approved amount will continue to apply and can be supplemented by the cancellation costs.
This and other regularly updated information on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the work of the DFG can be found at: www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/corona_information