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Germany: Responsible Bodies, Initiatives and Programmes

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Federal Ministry of Education and Research is responsible for funding education and research in Germany. Research funding is provided for projects in a wide spectrum of research areas. The range covers everything from basic research in natural sciences, environmentally friendly sustainable development, new technologies, information and communication technologies, the life sciences, work design, structural research funding at institutions of higher education to innovation support and technology transfer. EU-wide standardised regulations play a decisive role in the basic conditions of research funding. These regulations apply to, for example, definitions for research institutions and businesses, the criteria for what can be considered small and medium enterprises, or what relation between funding and equity capital is permissible with funded businesses.


Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is responsible for a range of government policies that are reflected in the name of the ministry itself. The ministry has been working for more than 30 years now to protect the public from environmental toxins and radiation and to establish an intelligent and efficient use of raw materials, to advance climate action and to promote a use of natural resources that conserves biodiversity and secures habitats.


Philipp Schwartz Initiative

The programme resides at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. It allows researchers who are no longer able to work in their own countries because they are threatened or persecuted to continue their work at German universities and research institutions. In the context of the Initiative, the Humboldt Foundation cooperates closely with international partner organisations.



Stifterverband is a joint initiative started by companies and foundations devoted to consulting, networking and promoting improvements in the fields of education, science and innovation.

It engages in holistic work in all three areas, with projects that build on one another and create synergies. Stifterverband actively promotes equal opportunities in education, excellent universities and internationally competitive research institutions. Its instruments range from extracurricular talent promotion and higher education structural programmes to detailed analyses of the scientific and innovation system that serves as a basis for recommended policy courses of action.


Bridge and Bridge II Projects

From South East Europe to its heart, BRiDGE provides solutions for the localised guidance of refugee researchers (RRs) in the European Research Area (ERA) and enables the 40 EURAXESS country members in the ERA to identify and utilise the potential of RRs across Europe. Support of 220 RRs focus on early and late stage post doc researchers and professors of all ages, especially those displaced in Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Priority will be given further to researchers with an asylum related status. The measures are nevertheless open also to researchers without asylum, such as threatened scholars, if capacity is given.  For more resources, see the Directory of Services.