DFG receives 261 draft proposals for the second round of the Excellence Initiative
Commitment of universities in the competition for funding remains undiminished
German universities have submitted 261 draft proposals competing for funding in the second round of the Excellence Initiative. By the deadline on 15th September, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) had received 123 draft proposals for excellence clusters, 118 for graduate schools and 20 for development concepts. The draft proposals were submitted by 70 universities from throughout Germany. The main scientific disciplines, including humanities and social sciences, life sciences, natural sciences and engineering sciences, are all equally represented.
The draft proposals will soon be sent to international panels for review in November 2006. On the basis on the results of this review, the Joint Committee of the DFG and the German Science Council will decide which initiatives will be invited to submit detailed proposals in January 2007. The submission of the proposals is scheduled for 13 April 2007. These proposals will then be reviewed in the summer of 2007, with funding decisions by the responsible Grants Committee expected in October 2007.
The results of the first round in the selection process will be announced on 13 October 2006. After the Joint Committee has considered the 88 proposals submitted in total for the three funding lines, the Grants Committee will then decide which proposals are to receive funding. In January 2006, the Joint Committee invited a total of 36 universities to submit proposals.
The Excellence Initiative, which was launched by the federal and state governments in July 2005, involves a total of 1.9 billion euros in funding for the period from 2006 to 2011. This programme is intended to finance the development of top-level university research, to give a lasting boost to German universities and research institutions, to improve the international competitiveness of Germany and to focus attention on the achievements of German universities and the German scientific community. The aim is, through the two calls for proposals, to fund around 40 graduate schools with an average of €1 million p.a. each and around 30 excellence clusters with an average of €6.5 million annually. For the third funding line, the so called "development concepts", an annual average of €21 million per university is planned, including funding provided in the first two funding lines. In addition, a general allowance, amounting to 20 percent of the total funding granted, will be provided to cover the indirect expenses arising in connection with the programme.
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