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 3 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. In view of the increasing cooperation in the field of S&T, DFG opened its India Office in 2006In the past years DFG has signed MoUs with Indian organisations like Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and University Grants Commission. So far over 500 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 more than 28,000 scholars and scientists in over 140 countries. So far, more than 1800 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 with an annual budget of 2.3 billion euros. 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 72 institutes and research units all over Germany. Though Fraunhofer has been active in India since many years, a branch office was opened in India, in Bangalore, in 2013 to strengthen its ties with the upcoming market in the science and technology field in 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 Gesellschaft or 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. The Max Planck Society is an independent, non- profit organization established in 1948. More than 15000 publications in international scientific journals are a proof of the outstanding research work that is carried out in the 83 Max Planck Institutes. The current institutes carry out research in the areas of natural sciences, social sciences, life sciences and the humanities. In 2016, more than 805 junior and guest scientists from India visited Max Planck institutes - a rise of more than 25% in the past six years. In terms of the international exchange of young scientists, this has made India one of the largest partner countries of the Max Planck Society. In 2016 there were 53 project cooperations between Max Planck institutes and research facilities in India. Since 2005, 60 Max Planck Partner Groups have been established in India, 32 of which are still active.

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Leibniz Science Association

Leibniz Association
Leibniz Association© Leibniz Association

The Leibniz Association connects 93 independent research institutions which focus on the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. With 18,141 workers including 9872 researchers, its budget sums up to around 1.9 Billion euros. Leibniz institutions form collaborative research networks to address current scientific and socially-relevant issues. In 2017, Leibniz institutions were involved in more than 4,851 international collaborations in 170 different countries.

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Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres (HGF)

Helmholtz Association
Helmholtz Association© Helmholtz Association

With more than 39,193 staff in 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centres and an approximate budget of 4.5 billion euros, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s leading 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. 400 new patents are filed every year and annually there are about 2000 collaborative projects with industry with revenues of approximately 162 Million euros in 2014.

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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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