DFG intensifies cooperation with South Korea


New funding agreement for young researchers

This press release is also available in German.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation KOSEF are increasing their cooperation by jointly promoting doctoral candidates and creating a network of liaison scientists. The contract was signed by both organizations today in Bonn. On the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Weeks in Berlin from 19 September to 2 October 2005, the DFG also organized a meeting of German and South Korean experts to discuss the future of scientific cooperation between the two countries. A DFG-funded conference on stem cell research has also resulted from the German-South Korean cooperation.

The new agreement between the DFG and KOSEF provides for funding to enable young scientists from Germany and South Korea to participate in the International Research Training Groups run jointly by the DFG and KOSEF. This funding instrument gives young researchers in any discipline the opportunity to obtain a joint doctorate under the supervision of a group of German university lecturers and their partner group abroad. The DFG has already signed seven similar agreements on international funding for young scientists and is currently funding over 40 International Research Training Groups.

The DFG's relations with South Korea started in 1977, when it signed agreements with KOSEF and the Korea Research Foundation (KRF). So far, more South Korean scientists have come to Germany than vice versa. However, in general South Korea's interest in research cooperation tends more towards the USA than Europe. With this agreement on funding young scientists, the DFG and KOSEF hope to make cooperation between their two countries more attractive. To this end the DFG and its South Korean partner, together with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), have also agreed to establish a network of liaison scientists in South Korea. They will regularly provide information on opportunities for cooperation locally and on an ongoing basis to support the German-South Korean initiative.

On the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Weeks, the DFG and the AvH are holding an expert conference at the WissenschaftsForum in Berlin on September 29. The main theme of the conference is "Science and Research in Korea and Germany: Opportunities for an Enhanced Cooperation". Professor Wolfgang Frühwald, President of the Humboldt Foundation, and Professor Helmut Schwarz, Vice President of the DFG, will discuss the current status and prospects of German-Korean scientific relations with experts from Korea and Germany. The KOSEF delegation will also participate in this conference, which will be held in English.

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