Research Data – Latest News & Worth Knowing

New DFG Templates for Funding Proposals

April 7th, 2022 | by
Close-up of a hand holding a pen with RWTH logo while filling out a formular.

Source: Stefan Hense

At the German Research Foundation (DFG), the topic of research data management (FDM) is becoming increasingly important. When preparing a proposal, you should therefore consider FDM at an early stage. This does not have to be a lot of work. What is crucial is that you reflect once on what research data you will use and how you will process it. In this article we would like to inform you about the new DFG templates.

New DFG template

Specifically, in the Information for Researchers on March 8, 2022, the DFG referred to the revised proposal template for Individual Research Grants, the Emmy Noether program, (Clinical) Research Groups and priority programs, in which RDM now carries greater weight. Researchers are asked to address the issue “within the project description and in more detail than before.”

This change has also already been made in the template for full proposals of Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) in the revised version of December 2021. Research data management is now to be addressed in chapter 1.2.2 “Detailed description of the research program” and no longer as a section in chapter 1.4 “Supporting structures” as was previously the case. In this way, the DFG is taking into account the central function that research data have in the process of gaining knowledge, as well as their importance for scientific integrity.

Checklist for RDM

In practice, this means that it is no longer sufficient to make global statements about the handling of research data in a separate section. Instead, it is necessary to reflect comprehensively on which research data will be used for the planned research and how they will be processed, secured and made available for further use. The RDM checklist provides orientation. This checklist identifies questions that researchers should address regarding the research data that is generated and how it is processed. The contents of the checklist are close to the questions that are also mentioned in various templates for data management plans (DMP).

Most chairs or working groups probably already have established procedures for dealing with research data. Thus, these do not have to be reinvented for each project. Accordingly, it is recommended to reflect on these established procedures independently of the time pressure of a concrete application and to already develop descriptive texts that can then be used in applications. The RDM team at RWTH will be happy to support you in this.

Learn more

The DFG requirements in the field of RDM will also be a topic at the open meeting of the RDM network on May 11, 2022. A DFG representative will also attend this meeting and explain the requirements.

The research funding department will be happy to advise you on submitting an application to the DFG in general.

If you have any questions about RDM in general, please feel free to write to the ServiceDesk. The RDM team looks forward to hearing from you.

For more information on RDM, please also visit the RWTH web pages.


Responsible for the content of this article is Vera Eckers, Florian Claus and Arlinda Ujkani.

Leave a Reply