The research funding institutions endeavor to find adequate solutions to continue funding ongoing research projects despite the Corona crisis and to support the scientists in applying for new research projects.
Note: You can find additional up-to-date information under the funding agencies’ links (links below)
Many funding agencies are currently postponing submission deadlines for funding announcements that have already been published. There are other deadlines which remain unchanged, but where funding agencies are satisfied with a purely electronic application. The university management and research services (Dezernat 2) have compiled current information listed below. Due to the high dynamics in dealing with the Corona situation, this information naturally changes very quickly. If you are preparing applications, please review the information on the website of the respective funding institution about the specific conditions in your particular funding program! The usual university internal coordination processes will continue to operate.
- Ongoing application procedures:
Regarding current application procedures (full application), the existing deadlines will generally continue to apply. As previously mentioned, it is often possible to initially only submit the application documents electronically and to subsequently submit signed originals. Please contact your contact person at the particular funding agency and the university staff of the research department (“Forschungsdezernat”).
Many funding agencies have already given specific information on how to deal with currently running projects. You can find an overview of this below. The research department (Dezernat 2) forwards all project-specific letters from the funding agency to the project-leading scientists. We apologize if some of the letters will be sent to you more than once. This is due to the fact that you are often informed individually for each project and sometimes also directly by the respective funding institution.
Please document delays caused by the Corona pandemic regarding your ongoing projects to later have the opportunity for successfully achieving cost-neutral extensions. If trips / conference visits or similar have already been booked but cannot take place, cancel these bookings in a timely manner! Cancellation costs will only be reimbursable if they are reduced to a minimum. Please contact the staff in the external funds department (“Drittmittelverwaltung”, Dez. 2.3).
The central administration is currently working in a core emergency operation (this includes Dez. 2 and thus the research funding and the external funding departments) and is available to answer your questions as far as possible. Legally binding signatures for research applications are continuing in the core emergency operation, but will likely require more time than usual.
In order to avoid a mountain of cleanup work "after Corona", it is important to obtain legally binding signatures promptly if the funding agency grants you the option of submitting them later.
Here is further information for the various funding agencies:
Due to the Corona crisis, the EU Commission is extending the submission deadlines for Horizon 2020 calls. You can see which calls are affected by the specially set up Corona-Platform.
The European Commission continually updates FAQs regarding the impact of COVID-19 on running projects in Horizon 2020.
Information on force majeure for ongoing projects can be found here.
Information and FAQs about the effects on projects in the ERASMUS + program can be found both on the website of the DAAD and on the ERASMUS+ Website (English-language Factsheet).
This week, the DFG has extended the submission deadlines for the specialist information services (FID), open access publishing and national licensing programs. You will find continuously updated information and extensions to the submission deadlines in advertised DFG programs at:
DFG Senate and joint committee meetings
The meetings of the Senate and the main committee of the DFG scheduled for Thursday March 26th, 2020 and Friday March 27th, 2020 did not take place in the usual way. Decisions will be made by electronic communication and in stages. Information on newly established priority programs, research groups and other agenda items will be given at a later date.
DFG information regarding progress of project work and funding
The German Research Foundation (DFG) provided funded persons with initial information on the progress of project work and funding in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. You can read the letter (in German) here:
DFG scholarships recipients, Fellows
Financial measures and regulations for scholarship holders and for fellows in DFG programs:
The DAAD promotes the international exchange of students and scientists and is particularly affected in its funding activities. You can find detailed information on which DAAD programs will be postponed or suspended entirely for the summer semester and how scholarship holders can organize their return trips here: https://www.daad.de/en/coronavirus/
Information for project managers: https://www.daad.de/en/corona-daad-projektfoerderung/
The EFRE call for funding "NRW Patent Validation" (deadline March 31, 2020) did take place.
The beneficiaries are asked to independently check whether postponements or adjustments to their projects are necessary and which measures are required to implement them. Necessary adjustments should be communicated to the responsible project executing agency by email. In parallel, the MWIDE is endeavoring to change the relevant EU regulations through the BMWi so that the EFRE funding period can be successfully completed.
Letter (in German) from the ERDF managing authority dated 24.03.20: https://www.efre.nrw.de/fileadmin/dummydata/files/pdf/20-03-24_COVID-19_Schreiben_VB_an_ZgS_und_ZE.pdf
The competition "START-UP Hochschul-Ausgründungen NRW" (deadline April 30th, 2020) is in progress, there are exemptions regarding the timely submission of legally binding signatures. Teams have already been in contact with TecUP.
The funding period for EFRE start-up projects that end between 01.03.20 and 30.06.20 is generally extended by three months: https://www.wirtschaft.nrw/pressemitteilung/wirtschaftsministerium-und-nrwbank-verstaerken-der-corona-krise-ihr-engagement-fuer
The BMBF has announced that formal requirements for the submission of documents are currently being handled generously (electronic signature is sufficient, originals will have to be submitted at a later date) and that extensions of deadlines for submitting where-used lists, interim reports etc. are generally possible. Cancellation costs may be funded for already booked trips and events. Some of the BMBF project agencies have also contacted the project management directly by email and asked to be informed promptly about any major delays in the course of the project.
To inform project progress promptly: https://www.technik-zum-menschen-bringen.de/service/aktuelles/bmbf-forschungsfoerderung-in-zeiten-von-corona and https://www.bmbf.de/de/informationsportal-zum-coronavirus-11164.html
The BMBF project sponsors are reachable, but are also working in a restricted operation, so more time should be planned for communication. Information on this can be found on the website of the project agency, for example: https://www.ptj.de/ueber-uns/aktuelles?backRef=8&news=PtJ_bis_zum_19_April_2020_eingeschraenkt_erreichbar
The AiF currently allows the electronic submission of documents for IGF projects, whereby the originals must be submitted immediately after the end of the corona restrictions. In the case of forwarding contracts, the required signatures can be replaced by qualified electronic signatures.
Existing deadlines remain unchanged; however, the reminder procedure for interim and final reports as well as for publications is temporarily suspended. Reports and publications that are received by the AiF within one month after the restrictions have been lifted with the justification “Corona” will be recognized as having been submitted on time.
If project extensions are required, requests should be made shortly after the restrictions have ended.
A corresponding letter from the AiF was made available to the project managers of the research funding Department (Dezernat 2).
In addition to the possibility of a cost-neutral extension of the funding, the foundation is currently discussing other options to ensure planning security for funded projects and people, and is trying to find solutions to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Extension of the submission deadlines in the following programs: Global challenges: Mobility - Global Medicine and Health Research (April 30, 2020; originally April 17, 2020), Global challenges - Integration of different perspectives on heritage and change (deadline extended: May 13, 2020; originally March 25, 2020)
Alexander on Humboldt Foundation:
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has compiled important information on the promotion and planning of exchange programs and stays abroad. AvH FAQs can be found at: http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/corona-pandemic-faq.html
Beyond that, the Humboldt Foundation cannot accept any new applications for some alumni support measures until further notice. It is currently assumed that the following funding calls will no longer be realizable in 2020: European research stays, renewed research stays, visits to specialist congresses, short stays at other research institutes and Humboldt-Kollegs.
The submission deadline for conference applications on May 31, 2020 is unfortunately no longer available.