Every research project begins with an idea. But for an idea to be put into practice another resource is generally required, which is scarce: money. While the allocation of money to research takes place in different ways, it is probably fair to say that research funding organizations play a crucial and ever-growing role in this regard.
In Germany, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), a membership association under private law with its members being mainly universities, is the most important organization of this kind. We talked to Dr. Robert Paul Königs, head of the department of scientific affairs at the DFG, about the role of third-party funds for science and the humanities, the characteristics of the German funding system, and the principles of DFG funding.
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