Reliability of expectations. RSF announces long-term cooperation program with German partners

23 June 2017
Photo: RSF's press office
The Russian Science Foundation will continue working with the German research funders such as the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Helmholtz Association. This was announced by the RSF Director General Alexander Khlunov at a round table focused on the cooperation between the research funders of the two countries.

A number of meetings and negotiations between the Russian Science Foundation and the delegation of the German Research Foundations (DFG) led by the DFG President Peter Strohschneider were hold on June 22-23 in Moscow.

Alexander Khlunov highly appreciated the results of the first joint initiatives: "Together with our partners, we already supported 14 projects within the first call for proposals, focused on math and physics. There are on-going competitve selection procedures under the second joint call to support projects in life sciences, social sciences and humanities."

The RSF chief also noted the importance of the experience accumulated in exchanging the best practices for research funding: "We work closely with our partners to improve our grant programs taking into account the long-standing international experience of DFG. We place a high value on our contacts with DFG staff who help us evaluate our work externally, contributing to the confidence in the peer-review processes in the RSF. "

"It is very important to maintain the credibility among those scientists who did not receive funding," Peter Strohschneider agreed. "We are absolutely interested in cooperation in this sensitive area and in regular dialogue to maintain the highest possible trust for our joint programs in the scientific community."

The new ideas voiced out during the RSF-DFG meetings are the exchange of methods for determining priority thematic research areas, DFG approaches for differentiating funding tools for scientists. The parties will also explore the possibilities of forming new Russian-German research teams, established as a result of the implementation of the Presidential Program of Research Projects of the RSF and the German initiative of Excellence.

"The most important expectation for today is the stability in our relations with DFG. We would like to offer to Russian scientists a stable, long-term solid funding for the excellent Russian-German research projects aimed at solving concrete research problems. It is important to confirm the announcement of a joint funding programs with DFG in the autumn of each year as a regular practice. The first such call for the projects without any restrictions on research areas is scheduled in September this year" Alexander Khlunov added.

Peter Strohschneider expressed his full agreement: "We call this the term "reliability of expectations". We believe that holding joint calls on an annual basis will ensure predictability and reliability in our efforts to provide the comfortable work opportunities to our scientists."

Following the meeting, the heads of the RSF and DFG confirmed their intention to announce in September 2017 the next joint call of research projects with funding provided in 2019-2021 in all research fields, with the awards announced in December 2018.

In addition to the co-funding programs with DFG, the Russian Science Foundation invites Russian scientists to participate in the long-term co-finding program with the Helmholtz Association. In particular, the partners agreed on the indicative timetable for the future joint calls. In September 2017, they are planning to start inviting proposals for three-year projects in climate and energy research. The scientists working in all branches of knowledge, specified in the RSF classifier, will be able to submit their projects for competive selection. The results of the selection will be announced in the summer 2018. In September 2018, the third joint call will be launched, focused on research in cutting-edge areas of physics and materials science. The results of that call will be available in the summer 2019.

With these long-term funding programs with German partners, the RSF intends to address the needs of the effectively collaborating research teams from Russia and Germany producing the world-class research.