Funding Organisations

In response to frequent requests on funding opportunities in the field of Sino-German collaboration in agricultural research, this article provides an overview of German institutions that provide research funding for both German and Chinese applicants. However, it might be that not every institution has open calls at the moment, please check the funding organisation's websites for more information.

The German Research Foundation (DFG)

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation - DFG) is the central, self-governing research funding organisation that promotes research at universities and other publicly financed research institutions in Germany. The DFG serves all branches of science and the humanities by funding research projects proposed by individuals as well as by several institutions (collaborative institutional proposals). It proposes a wide range of funding opportunities, all of them open to international project collaboration. Proposals for funding of international project collaborations compete with all other proposals under the respective DFG procedure. In cooperation with China, there are additionally joint calls for Sino-German Research projects for which the assessment of the proposals is based on a peer review process at both the DFG and the NSFC. Read more

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) maintains intensive cooperation with Asian countries and wants to further increase the presence of German research and cooperation in this region. The BMBF has commissioned project management agencies with the management of external research projects.
At present, key topics of the Sino-German research partnership under the aegis of the BMBF are innovation research, clean water and environmental technologies, urbanisation and land management, life sciences and bioeconomy, marine and polar research, climate research, electromobility, digital economy as well as higher and vocational education and exchange of students and scientists.
In regards to cooperation with China, especially two agencies manage projects for BMBF:

1. DLR Projektträger (DLR):
The International Bureau of the DLR supports a stable international research and education cooperation between Germany and its partners across the globe.It is using the funds provided by the BMBF to explore, initiate and expand international cooperation activities of German universities, research institutions and companies. Focus areas of currently funded projects with China managed by the International Bureau are thematic alumni networks, concepts for the development of China expertise at universities and application-oriented projects with industry participation (so-called '2 + 2' projects) in various fields as well as research projects on marine environment and polar research. Read more

2. Project Management Jülich (Projektträger Jülich) (PtJ):
Founded as a project management agency in 1974 to implement the German federal government’s first energy research programme, today PtJ boasts a wide range of topics. It covers three business areas, “Energy”, “Sustainable Development” and “Innovation and Knowledge Transfer” and pools its competency in key cross-cutting issues and tasks such as resource efficiency, digitalisation and European research management into areas of expertise. PtJ implements research and innovation funding programmes exclusively for public authority clients, among others the BMBF. With relation to cooperation with China in the broad field of agricultural sciences, it manages, among others, the Bioeconomy International 2019 funding measure and the Client II programme. Read more

The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (CDZ)

The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (CDZ) is a research funding institution based in Beijing, established as a joint venture by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), in 2000. Its aim is to promote scientific cooperation between Germany and China in the fields of natural, life, management and engineering sciences. The SGC has a dedicated budget for this purpose that is used to support a range of funding programmes with a particular focus on mobility and early career researchers. Read more

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) supports research cooperation and exchange with different partner countries. The BMEL has commissioned project management agencies with the management of external research projects.
1. The Federal Office for Agriculture and Nutrition (BLE) is, among others, in charge of the funding programme "International Research Cooperation on World Food Security". The "Bilateral Exchange of Scientists" grant is part of this funding programme. Read more
2. The Agency of Renewable Resources (FNR) is the BMEL's project management agency for research, development and demonstration projects on renewable raw materials and their market introduction. Read more

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): One of the most important responsibilities of the DAAD is promoting the internationalisation activities of German universities and research organisations through the granting of scholarships for both foreign students and scholars for studying and doing research in Germany, and vice versa, for German students and scholars for studying and doing research abroad. DAAD is providing, e.g. the funding programme PRIME (Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience) for postdoctoral research or doctoral research funds for stays from one month to 12 months, and in some circumstances even up to 24 months.
The DAAD has had its own scholarship programmes for German scholarship holders in China since the 1970s and has also had programmes with the Chinese Scholarship Council and the Chinese Academy of Sciences for Chinese scholarship holders in Germany for several decades. However, there is no experience in agricultural sciences and only very little mobility of agricultural scientists to China can be observed. Read more

German Research Institutions in Agricultural Sciences

This chart gives an overview over relevant German institutions involved in agricultural research

Chinese Research Institutions in Agricultural Sciences

This chart gives an overview over relevant Chinese institutions involved in agricultural research. A Chinese version of this chart can be found here.