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DFG extends Covid-19 relief

Funder says plan builds on well-received earlier extensions, but situation for many projects remains tense

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is extending financial support for the ongoing research projects it has funded, in order to mitigate the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DFG, Germany’s biggest public research funder, will continue existing relief funding for projects that are part of its different research programmes. In addition, the funder said it would provide further support to individuals on a case-by-case basis.

The measures taken so far to ensure that researchers whose work had to be paused because of the Covid-19 pandemic do not lose work have been well received, said DFG president Katja Becker.

“However, the situation in many projects remains very problematic in view of the current development of the pandemic, as feedback shows us,” she said, adding that this made an extension of the efforts a necessity.

Research projects funded until the end of the year can now apply for additional funding of 80 per cent of the project costs and extend their original deadline by six months, the DFG said. If this is not enough to complete the project, applications can be submitted for further emergency funding.

This timeframe has been extended to the DFG’s Collaborative Research Centres and doctoral students paid by the funder, who previously had been eligible for a maximum extension of three months.

The DFG said that, on top of these measures, it would consider “cost-neutral extensions” for up to a year, in cases where no additional costs are generated by delays. This includes scientific events where the cost had already been approved but which had to be postponed until social mixing is allowed on a large enough scale.

Such events can be delayed until mid-2022 instead of the earlier deadline of September 2021, the DFG said.