RSF Director General, Alexander Khlunov, Deputy Chairman of the RFBR, Vladimir Kvardakov, RFBR Director Oleg Belyavsky as well as the representatives of Moscow State University and Saint-Petersburg State University took part in the lively discussion moderated by DFG Secretary General Prof. Dorothee Dzwonnek.
The central theme of the conversation was the presentation of successful cooperation cases among DFG and different partners in Russia, such as the joint SRF-DFG call to support international research teams.
"We are grateful to our colleagues from DFG, the renowned research funder with a great track record and the highest reputation, for these a few years of our cooperation. One day DFG became one of the first foreign partners of the Russian Science Foundation. We successfully launched three calls within a short time frame in the context of full confidence in each other's operational procedures, we could establish our review procedures at the highest international level and have already funded dozens of joint projects. We should keep in mind that real researchers are associated with these projects who are not similar to each other. And we believe the science wins from that diversity of ideas and backgrounds," stated the RSF head in the course of the roundtable discussion.
The DFG representatives noted the establishment of a special commission focused on the digitalization in the DFG structure and presented a long-term Exellence initiative, which is now in its final stage of the evaluations. It is expected that 45-50 Clusters of Excellence will be funded since January 2019 in amounts of about € 385 million annually.
The participants of the discussion agreed that it is important for both countries to develop programs focused on supporting young researchers, to improve review procedures for the interdisciplinary projects, and to develop co-operation in larger formats along with project funding for individual teams.