Funding and Grants in Germany
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, or BMBF) supports scientific institutes, companies or individual researchers by specific funding programs. The spectrum of support spans from basic research in the Natural Sciences to environmental sustainability, new technologies, information and communication technologies, Life Sciences, traffic, space travel, construction, structural funding of universities and the promotion of innovation and transfer of technology. On the BMBF-website you can find out about announcements relating to funding, read the funding catalogue or obtain information about funding programmes.
The technical and organizational realizations of the BMBF-funding programs are handled by several project management organizations (Projektträger) which are based at research establishments and other organizations. Qualified specialists from a wide range of scientific and technical backgrounds advise prospective applicants and all those who are involved or interested in the funding. Moreover, they accompany the projects in all technical and organizational phases, from the birth of an idea to the utilization of the project results.
The project management organization in Jülich (Projektträger Jülich, PTJ) is the main contact point and co-ordinator for funding programs in biotechnology. Its major task component is technical and administrative support of those projects being funded by the BMBF, but also from other institutions such as the Federal Ministry for Economics and Employment (BMWA), the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and some Federal States. Beyond that, PTJ is the national contact point for the European Union and is responsible for co-ordinating various European research programs. All current information relating to funding opportunities is presented in detail on the PTJ-website.
The BMBF has established a specific funding framework for biotechnological researchin Germany. At present, there are 25 different ongoing programs to financially support scientists with research projects in this field. For example the ‘GoBio’ program, which began in 2005, is supporting start-ups in the Life Sciences with 150 million Euro over the next ten years.
Information about application conditions and deadlines for the respective funding programs can be found on the PTJ-website, which has a section dedicated to biotechnological research projects. Details about contact partners for the individual programs, who will be able to help with specific enquiries, can also be found on the site.