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NFDI Basic Services: 3rd Round of Calls

February 22nd, 2022 | by
National Research Data Infrastructure


The funding of NFDI Basic services is a highly topical and exciting subject. Just a few weeks ago, we reported on the schedule and the resulting reactions from the scientific community. This blog post will now focus on the third round of calls for proposals.

As part of the third round of calls for proposals, the German Research Foundation (DFG) invites applications for basic services funding and announces that multiple basic services initiatives can be bundled together for one application for funding. For funding within the third round of calls, however, the DFG specifies criteria that must be met.

Funding can be granted if:

  • requested basic services cannot be provided by specialist consortia themselves on a sustainable basis or cannot be provided for all consortia.
  • Basic services are closely oriented to the common needs of the expert consortia and show this needs orientation in an appropriate way in the proposal.
  • basic service initiatives develop their technical solutions in a process supported by the technical and methodological consortia and ensure acceptance by the consortia. This negotiation process is elementary for basic service initiatives, must be carried out in advance of the application by means of a needs analysis for basic services, and must be documented in the application. At the same time, this process must be continued continuously during the project term in order to meet changing needs; corresponding plans must also be presented in the proposal.
  • all consortia are basically interested in using a basic service. This must also be shown in the application. The actual use of a basic service in technical and methodological consortia can vary over time, as can the contributions of individual consortia to a basic service. However, unless services are intended in principle for all NFDI consortia, they cannot be funded as basic services.


The decision on whether to fund a subject specific or basic service consortium will be made by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) in November 2022. 70 million euros are available annually for this purpose, with which up to 30 consortia can be funded. However, basic services can only be funded if the number of 30 consortia eligible for funding has not already been exhausted by subject-specific consortia.


The third round of calls for proposals starts funding on January 1st, 2023. Applications can be submitted for a funding period of five years. A binding letter of intent is mandatory for submitting an application. In this binding letter of intent, the names of all applying and co-applying institutions, the spokesperson as well as all co-spokespersons and all participants must be named conclusively and completely, as a later adjustment or addition is not possible.

Basic service initiatives can choose between two organizational forms for applying for funding for the development and operation of basic services:

  1. as an independent consortium
  2. as a joint collaboration between NFDI consortia.


The binding letters of intent must be submitted by March 21st, 2022.

The application must be submitted by April 29th, 2022.

Learn more

For further guidance and information on the topic, please visit the DFG website. There you will find instructions and fact sheets on how to submit an application, such as the application template or the funding criteria.

If you have any further questions about the NFDI or research data management in general, simply contact the ServiceDesk. The RDM team looks forward to hearing from you.

For more information on FDM, please also visit the RWTH websites.


Responsible for the content of this article is Arlinda Ujkani.

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