Research in Germany


Germany offers a diversity of research locations: universities, universities of applied sciences, non-university institutes, companies, and Federal as well as Länder (state) institutions. There are approximately 750 public-funded research institutions in Germany, apart from research and development centres run by industrial corporations. Here is an overview.

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)© BMBF

In light of the increasing globalization, The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) practices the idea of qualitative growth firmly grounded in education and research. The ministry supports innovative projects and ideas in research through its targeted funding programs. Students and trainees have received grants and loans in accordance with the Federal Training Assistance Act (“BAföG”) for over 40 years.

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Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

German Research Foundation
German Research Foundation© DFG

With an annual budget of over 2.5 Billion Euros, DFG is the largest independent research funding organisation in Germany. It promotes the advancement of science by funding research projects and facilitating cooperation among researchers. The website gives an overview on career options as well as research programs, especially for young scientists. In view of the increasing cooperation in the field of S&T, DFG opened its India Office in 2006, with a branch office in Hyderabad. So far over 330 Indian scientists have received support under the DFG-INSA programme.

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Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH)

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation© Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was established in 1953 to promote academic cooperation between scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. It accepts proposals of highly qualified scholars from across the world to spend extended time in Germany and also abroad to carry out research. It has a worldwide network of active scholars and scientists in over 140 countries. So far, 1727 Indians have received the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship and 22 have received research awards.

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Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG)

light-emitting diodes
light-emitting diodes© dpa - International

Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft conducts applied research in an international context to benefit private and public enterprise. The research activities promote the economic development of the industrial society, with particular regard for social welfare and environmental compatibility. At present, it maintains 80 research units all over Germany, with an annual budget of 1.8 billion Euros. In 2013 Fraunhofer opened its branch office in India, in Bangalore to strengthen its ties with the upcoming market in the science and technology field, India.

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Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG)

Max-Planck Society
Max-Planck Society© Max-Planck Society

India is a special focus of the Max Planck Society in its international collaborations. This correlates to the steadily rising number of internationally acknowledged Indian institutes that are working in scientific fields, in which Max Planck Institutes also look for partners worldwide. In the year 2016, 805 young visiting scientists at Max Planck Institutes came from India, an increase of over 25% over the past six years, which makes India one of the most important partners for international exchange of young scientists. 24 Max Planck Partner Groups have been established in India since 2005. Furthermore, as many as 53 project co-operations are being pursued by scientists from Max Planck Institutes jointly with partners in India.

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Leibniz Science Association

Leibniz Association
Leibniz Association© Leibniz Association

The Leibniz Association connects 89 independent research institutions which focus on the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. With 18,500 workers including 9300 researchers, its budget sums up to around 1.7 Billion euros. Leibniz institutions form collaborative research networks to address current scientific and socially-relevant issues. In 2015, Leibniz institutions were involved in more than 4,500 international collaborations in 139 different countries.

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Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres (HGF)

Helmholtz Association
Helmholtz Association© Helmholtz Association

With more than 38,000 staff in 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centres and an approximate budget of more than 4 billion euros, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest research organization. Its work is divided into six strategic research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Key Technologies; Structure of Matter; and Aeronautics, Space and Transport. Innovation driven Initiative for the Development and Integration of Indian and European Research by the name INNO INDIGO has been launched in the year 2013.

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Additional content

The German Centre for Research and Innovation New Delhi is a 'one-stop shop' for students, researchers and potential partner institutions in India. DWIH will disseminate information about higher education, research landscape and funding sources in Germany.

DWIH New Delhi

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