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German funder warns of research ‘Covidisation’


Basic science must not lose out to research that tackles one specific problem, says DFG

Germany must avoid the “Covidisation” of research by providing better support for wide-ranging basic science, according to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany’s largest public research funder.

Ensuring that knowledge-oriented research is perfectly placed to react to unforeseeable crises is the best way to prepare for future pandemics, the funder said in a position paper. Basic research should therefore not be put at a funding disadvantage compared with programme-oriented research with a predetermined focus, such as work specifically aimed at tackling Covid-19.

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