Do you want to initiate an international project and need (start-up) funding? Are you interested in a scholarship for scientists, doctoral students or postdocs? Here we present some of the most important funding organizations as well as useful tools for researching suitable funding.

National funding organisations


The Federal Government supports European and international cooperation and has continuously expanded the relevant programmes in recent years. The BMBF funds e.g. the mobility of researchers and students, participates in large international basic research facilities or enables thematic research collaborations on important global challenges.

Funding opportunities BMBF

Federal "Research and Innovation" Funding Advisory Service

The Federal "Research and Innovation" Funding Advisory Service is the central point of contact for any questions concerning research and innovation funding. The centre informs potential applicants about the federal research structure, funding programmes and the persons to contact as well as about current funding priorities and initiatives.

Funding catalogue of the Federal Government

Current information on more than 110,000 completed and still running funding projects in the area of the direct project funding issued by the federal government (BMBF, BMWI, BMU). Page only available in German.


The German Research Foundation (DFG) is the central self-governing organisation of science in Germany. It serves science in all its branches by funding research projects at universities and other research institutions. All DFG funding programmes are open to international project collaborations. The DFG maintains relationships with a large number of foreign partner organisations. Through joint funding procedures and agreements with foreign partner organisations, science in Germany can be funded in global cooperation through the entire DFG funding portfolio.

GEPRIS (German Project Information System)

Database of current DFG-funded research projects:


German Academic Exchange Service - DAAD

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the largest funding organisation in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars. The DAAD promotes international relations of German universities with foreign countries through the exchange of students and scientists (140,000 Promoted in 2017) by more than 250 international programmes and projects.

The "DAAD-country machine":

  • Study and research in Germany: DAAD Scholarship Database for foreigners to promote studies and research internships at German universities and research institutions


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is a non-profit foundation established by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and awards more than 800 prizes and fellowships every year. The Foundation sponsors excellent researchers regardless of discipline and nationality to strengthen Germany as a research location through international academic exchange. More than 30,000 sponsorship recipients worldwide benefit from the strong alumni and networking strategy of the Humboldt Foundation.

Volkswagen Foundation

The Volkswagen Foundation is Germany‘s largest private research funding foundation, and one of the country’s largest common benefit foundations under private law. It is dedicated to the support of the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. The Foundation funds research projects in path-breaking areas and provides assistance to academic institutions for the improvement of the structural conditions for their work. In particular, the Foundation perceives its mission in supporting aspiring young academics and in promoting interdisciplinary and international collaboration.

Robert Bosch Foundation

The Robert Bosch Foundation is one of the major charitable foundations in Europe that is associated with a private company. The Foundation picks up on social issues at an early stage in five areas of support – education, active citizenship, health, international understanding and cooperation, as well as science and research – and, with their projects, develops exemplary solutions for the future. Researchers can receive funding by participating at running projects supported by the foundation, or by requesting funding for their own proposed projects.

Further service portals

Akademia.Net - Profiles of Leading Women Scientists


In collaboration with "Spektrum der Wissenschaft", "Nature" and the German science organisations the Robert Bosch Foundation has developed a web portal for outstanding female scientists. AcademiaNet should help to identify suitable candidates for the appointment of scientific committees and leadership positions there. This should significantly increase the proportion of female executives in science.


Stipendienlotse - Scholarship database of BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research): Database with more than 500 funding programmes, public as well as private offerers. Page is only available in German

Euraxess- Researchers‘ Mobility Portal


EURAXESS is a unique European Research Area (ERA) initiative providing access to a complete range of information and support services for European and non-European researchers wishing to pursue research careers in Europe. It offers access to the job market; assists researchers in advancing their careers in another European country and supports research organisations in their search for outstanding research talent. EURAXESS is a pan-European initiative, supported by 40 participating countries across Europe.

  • EURAXESS Jobs  is  a free recruitment tool with information about job vacancies, funding opportunities and fellowships throughout Europe. Posting their CV will allow recruiters to find them.
  • EURAXESS Services is a network of more than 500 Service Centres located in 40 European countries. These Centres help researchers and their families to plan and organise their move to a foreign country. This free personalised assistance helps researchers tackle issues such as accommodation, visa and work permits, language lessons, schools for their children, social security and medical care.

ECR - Early Career Researchers Central

 A central platform for early career researchers community: Funding schemes and fellowships for early career researchers


Christine Bismuth
Christine Bismuth
Projects & International Affairs
+49 331 288-1033
Dr. Jan Globig
Helmholtz Affairs
Building F, Room 324
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1029

ELFI - Funding Database


The weekly updated database contains a large number of cross-sectional and detailed information about approximately 8000 research funding programmes of over 3700 national and international funding authorities and provides information on 256 research and 31 cross-cutting issues.ELFI is not free of charge. GFZ has a campus license for ELFI. The use of the subscription is possible only from a computer with an IP number from the GFZ.

Funding Database of the Federal Government

Complete and current overview of funding programmes of the Federation, the Länder and the European Union. Issued by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, available only in German



EURAXESS Gemany - funding database (incoming + outgoing)