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Collaborative Research - Research Units

Research Units of the DFG are research groups of outstanding researchers in which those involved collaborate closely on specific medium-term research projects whose anticipated findings would not be able to be achieved within the scope of the individual grants programme. Research Units can be clustered at one location or distributed over several research locations. They will be funded for two four-year periods (for applications from 1 October 2018 onwards; prior to that two three-year periods).

Further designs of Research Units:

  • Centres for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences are specifically tailored to the working methods used in these particular fields. One specific feature is a fellow programme for visiting researchers from Germany and abroad.
  • Clinical Research Units are associations in the field of disease- or patient-oriented (translational) clinical research and aim at a long-term implementation of scientific working groups in clinical institutions.

  • Proposals may be submitted at any time (for Centres for Advanced Studies applies an annual call by the DFG). The application process comprises two stages. Initially, a draft proposal is submitted to the DFG. In case of a positive evaluation, a full proposal can be submitted and will be evaluated during an on-site review.


    The Research Department supports you during the application and review process:

    We consult with you regarding the preparation of your proposals, facilitate the compilation of the research profiles of participating researchers, help you when it comes to the cooperation with universitary committees, confer with the DFG and offer you an extensive reviewing service.

    Any further details specific to your project or concerning precise processes will gladly be discussed in individual consultations. We therefore cordially invite you to contact us early on.

    You do have the possibility to apply for start-up funding which you can use for the preparation of your application.

    Please consider that university committees may need to be involved before draft or full proposals can be submitted to the DFG.