The main focus of federal research funding is on maintaining and expanding scientific expertise, strategic technology developments and projects with a particular leverage effect for growth and jobs. Priority is given to research collaborations between scientific institutions and commercial enterprises. The Federal Government's High-Tech Strategy forms the political-strategic foundation for most of the thematic funding programmes.
German Research Foundation (DFG)
The German Research Foundation is the central point of contact for purely scientific projects with no economic participation. The DFG supports projects from all scientific disciplines and particularly promotes young researchers.
A large part of the Federal Government's research funding is awarded through calls for proposals issued by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). But other ministries also issue calls for research programmes. You can inform about funding programmes from individual ministries under the keyword "Research funding" on the websites of the respective ministries.
The BMWi's Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) is a federal funding programme that is specially designed to promote economic development. ZIM is a nationwide, technology- and sector-open support programme for medium-sized companies and research institutions cooperating with them. ZIM aims to sustainably support the innovative strength and competitiveness of commercial enterprises and to contribute to their growth, combined with the creation and safeguarding of jobs.
Research on funding programmes
For comprehensive research into funding programmes, THI provides staff and students with access to the ELFI funding database free of charge. Instructions with hints for use can be found on the library's information page under General Databases.
We look forward to supporting you in applying for federal projects. We provide contact persons and provide templates for project description, calculation and other application documents. Please contact us as soon as possible if you have any questions or if you are planning to apply for a project..
You are also welcome to send inquiries to the central e-mail address: