German Research Foundation (DFG)

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is the central self-governing organization of science in Germany. It serves science in all its branches by funding research projects at universities and other research institutions. The DFG promotes scientific excellence and quality by selecting the best projects in competition and provides impetus for international scientific cooperation. Special attention is given to young researchers and to equal opportunities for women and men researchers. To carry out its activities, the organization has an annual budget of about 3.3 billion euros, which is provided by the federal government of Germany and by the country’s state governments. Internationally, the DFG is represented by six international offices and is also involved in all six German Centres for Research and Innovation  DWIH.

In 2011, the DFG Office Latin America was established in São Paulo to develop a joint funding portfolio with partner organizations in the region.

The Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel CAPES (Coordenação e Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) and the National Counsel of Scientific and Technological Development CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) are both partner organizations of the DFG at the federal level. Together with CAPES the DFG finances projects such as the Collaborative Research Initiative on Smart Connected Manufacturing“(CRI-SCMfg), a research network in the field of production engineering and digitalization.

The DFG also maintains cooperation agreements and promotes German-Brazilian research projects in partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the Minas Gerais Research Foundation (FAPEMIG) and the Rio de Janeiro Research Foundation (FAPERJ).

In cooperation with FAPESP, it is also possible to fund so-called coordinated programs such as International Research Training Groups (IRTG). For example, together with FAPESP the DFGhas funded the first German-Brazilian Research Training Group over a period of nine years, which investigated networks with complex topology. Within this framework, physicists, mathematicians, biologists, climatologists and geographers from both countries worked together in research and at the same time jointly supported the training of German and Brazilian doctoral students.

Besides Brazil, there are collaborations with research funding organizations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico. In Mexico and Chile, the DFG is supported by liaison scientist.


Dr. Christina Peters

Director DFG Latin America Office