Logo der Universitätsmedizin Mainz

The Key Funding Agencies

The current calls for proposals from these and other individual funding agencies can be found in our Funding Opportunities section. You can find important documents and instructions on how to submit applications as well as on how to implement projects of individual programs in our download area.

Please make sure you provide us with sufficient time to process your planned project application and to give you informed feedback. Please thus ensure you submit all the documents relating to your project to the Research Office at least  14 days before the submission deadline.


The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation funds academic co-operation between outstanding foreign and German scholars, enabling academics from abroad to conduct research in Germany and those from Germany to pursue projects abroad. Regardless of whether they are young postdocs at the beginning of their careers, experienced and established academics, or even world leaders in their fields, the foundation’s research fellowships and research awards are commensurate with the needs of individual researchers and with their current level of professional status.

You can find more information on the types of funding provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation on its homepage.


The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports innovative projects and research concepts by means of targeted funding programs. You can find general information on BMBF funding lines as well as the German federal funding database here.


UMC-internal procedures

Researchers who wish to submit a funding application to federal ministries must always complete an AZAP application. You can find an application template for the University Medical Center Mainz in our download section. The staff positions listed there should be regarded as examples. For information on calculating personnel and other costs, please contact the relevant staff member from the Third-Party Funding Administration Office in good time. All applications must be signed by the management. To ensure enough time to provide informed feedback, the control of the cost calculations and the signature by the management, please submit your application, including all attachments, to the Department of Research and Teaching at least 14 days before the deadline. If you have any questions on the application process or on the process of sending an AZAP version that can be easily filled out online, please do not hesitate to contact the  Research Department.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds is an independent, non-profit organization promoting basic research in biomedicine. One of the focuses of its funding is to provide support for challenging dissertation projects conducted by outstanding young researchers in internationally renowned laboratories over a maximum period of three years. The foundation also offers a similar funding program for medical students who are prepared to interrupt their degree courses for at least ten months to pursue an experimental project in basic biomedical research in a laboratory outside their home university.

You can find more information on how to apply for these funding programs by clicking on the following link.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is a legally independent, non-profit organization promoting the advancement of medical, biological, chemical and pharmaceutical science. Through its initiatives, funding programs, and science prizes, the foundation promotes outstanding basic research in the natural and life sciences. The aim, in particular, is to provide scientists with the professional freedom to pursue outstanding research.

You can find details about the foundation’s funding on its website.

Carl Zeiss Foundation

The Carl Zeiss Foundation provides funds for projects in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. Its stated goals are to promote visionary and outstanding science in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. It considers basic research and application-oriented science to be equally important. Its goal is to offer researchers in both disciplines the freedom they require to achieve scientific breakthroughs.

For more information on the foundation’s funding lines, please visit its website.

German Cancer Aid

German Cancer Aid is the largest private provider of third-party funding in Germany. It supports exemplary innovative projects and measures that directly benefit patients.

You can find an overview of German Cancer Aid’s individual funding programs here.


The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a national agency that supports German higher education institutions and their student bodies in the internationalization of higher education. Its scholarship funding facilitates access to the best study and research resources for students, researchers, and teaching staff. It promotes international collaborations and partnerships between higher education institutions and is the German national agency for cooperation between European higher education institutions.

You can find an overview of the DAAD’s funding opportunities on its website.


The German Research Foundation (DFG) is the self-governing organization for research in Germany. The DFG’s core task is to competitively select and fund the top research projects conducted by academics at German higher education institutions and research institutes. Funding is awarded to both individual and collaborative projects. As a rule, it places no restrictions on which subjects it funds, and submissions can be made throughout the year.

You can find the University Medical Center’s guidelines for applying for funding as a Collaborative Research Center here. (Pdf-file, 183,4 KB)

Further information on DFG funding can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please feel free to contact  Dr. Angela Clement by telephone at 06131- 39 29403.


The DFG Liaison officer acts as a local contact person for DFG applicants.  The name of the DFG Liaison officer at JGU and their contact details can be found here.   


Application procedure for large-scale equipment

On 1 April 2018, the DFG modified its procedure for submitting applications for large-scale research equipment to comply with Article 91b of the German Basic Law (GG). With immediate effect, proposals are now to be submitted by applicants (researchers) through the DFG’s web-based elan portal. Once an application has been submitted, the portal provides the applicant with a receipt document, which is then presented to the Executive Board for authorization and signing. Only after the receipt document has been submitted to the DFG will the DFG begin processing the application. As the Executive Board must confirm 50% co-funding of equipment in applications, all researchers must contact the Research Department before submitting their application  via the DFG’s elan portal to clarify in advance all important administrative steps as well as the availability of co-funding.


The non-profit Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation (EKFS) is dedicated to promoting medical research and supporting medical-humanitarian projects. The two guiding principles of its medical science funding are scientific excellence and the promotion of early-career medical scientists, in particular clinical scientists. In general, most funding is provided for projects for which applications can be submitted at any time; also provided is funding through annually varying calls for proposals designed to promote early-career researchers.

You can find details about the foundation’s funding lines on its website.

EU Funding

EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020


The current funding program of the EU is the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020, which has been in place since 2014 and will run through 2020.

Past, current and future calls can be found on the Funding & Tenders Portal of the EU. On this page you will find important information and relevant documents for submitting a proposal.

The first step towards a research project involves finding the right funding instrument. You will find current Horizon 2020 calls under the three major program lines:


1. Excellent Science

2. Industrial Leadership

3. Societal Challenges


and under the following minor funding lines:


4. Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation

5. Science with and for Society

6. European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

7. Euratom


If you have questions regarding the calls and tenders available and their suitability for your project, the  Department of Research will be glad to offer their advice and support.


Other European Funding Programs

G-BA Innovation Fund

The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) is tasked with promoting new forms of healthcare that go beyond the current standard care provided by the statutory health insurance system, as well as funding health service research projects designed to acquire data that will help improve existing healthcare.

The German federal government has established an innovation fund to achieve these objectives.  The G-BA’s Innovation Committee is responsible for evaluating applications. You can find more information and funding announcements here.


UMC-internal procedures

In addition to an application form, applicants must always complete a separate cost specification form, which you can request from the  Research Department; the relevant details of University Medical Center Mainz will already be entered.  For information on calculating personnel and other costs, please contact the relevant staff member from the Third-Party Funding Administration Office in good time. All forms must be signed by the management of the Department of Research and Teaching. To ensure enough time to provide informed feedback, the control of the cost calculations and the signature by the management, please submit your application, including all attachments, to the Department of Research and Teaching at least 14 days before the deadline. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please feel free to contact the  Research Department. 

International funding

There are a variety of ways to raise funds for international collaborations and the internationalization of research. Visit the BMBF’s “Kooperation international” online portal for an introduction to the opportunities for international cooperation in the fields of education and research. The portal will provide you with advice if you want to establish international contacts or launch specific projects. You can search for region-specific funding opportunities for preparatory measures in international cooperation with the help of the BMBF’s International Bureau.

You can also find country-specific funding programs offered by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


The BMBF “Kooperation international” online portal / The BMBF International Bureau

International cooperation support provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

The German-Israeli Foundation

The Novartis Foundation

The Novartis Foundation for Therapeutic Research supports biomedical research projects at German universities and comparable institutes that are distinguished by their innovative research approach and outstanding therapeutic relevance. In addition to funding projects, the foundation also operates a scholarship program for exceptionally well-qualified early-career researchers.

Information on the application process is available on the homepage of the Novartis Foundation.

US funding

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Science Foundation (NSF)


Conflicts of interest in US-funded projects

In particular when it comes to grants funded through US taxation (e.g. NSF, NIH), funding bodies place great emphasis on ensuring that the heads and staff of projects have no conflicting financial interests that could influence project outcome. For this reason, all institutes receiving grants from these funding bodies are required to comply with the following guidelines with regard to possible financial conflicts of interest:

The Regulations on Financial Conflict of Interest in US Funded Projects of the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz was prepared based on the above guidelines. You can find more information as well as the regulations and accompanying documents in our download area.

The Thyssen Foundation

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation was established with the aim of promoting science and research. Under its statutes, the sole aim of the foundation is to provide direct funding for science and research at universities and research institutes primarily in Germany, with a special emphasis on help for early-career researchers.

You can find information about the foundation’s various funding opportunities on its homepage.

The Volkswagen Foundation

The Volkswagen Foundation is dedicated to the support of the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. It funds research projects in path-breaking areas and provides assistance to academic institutes to improve the structural conditions for their work. In particular, the foundation perceives its mission as supporting aspiring early-career researchers and promoting interdisciplinary and international collaboration.

You can find more information on the foundation’s funding opportunities on the website of the VolkswagenStiftung.

The Wilhelm Sander Foundation

The purpose of the Wilhelm Sander Foundation is to promote medical research, especially the fight against disease and cancer. The focus of its funding is increasingly on cancer research. To support such research, the non-profit Wilhelm Sander Foundation has to date made around €190 million available since its establishment, primarily for projects in clinical and clinical-experimental research, making it one of the most significant extra-governmental organizations in Germany supporting innovative research.

You can find more information about the Wilhelm Sander Foundation here.

Additional current funding programs and opportunities

Further information on current funding programs can be found on the website of the ELFI – the Electronic Research Funding Information System. The “Forschung, Internationales, Transfer - FIT für die Wissenschaft” service provides information on a wide range of current funding opportunities. 

The Stifterverband (Association of Foundations) website provides a good overview of foundations in Germany.



Dr. Angela Clement
Deputy Head of Research Office / Research Officer
Tel.: +49 (0)6131 39-29403


Dr. Tsanan Heimann
Research Officer
Tel.: +49 (0)6131 39-27705


Research Officer