Call Guidelines for Sino-German Scientist Cooperation and Exchanges
In accordance with an agreement reached by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and endorsed by the Joint Committee of the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (SGC) in 2018, the SGC intends to launch a call for proposals to support cooperation and exchanges between scientists in China and Germany. The call includes two funding measures: a Mobility Programme and Workshops. The proposed collaboration must be based on a joint proposal for a single project/workshop (or both), with one team based in China and one team based in Germany.
I Programme Information
● The purpose of “Workshops” is to provide a flexible platform for interaction between exceptionally qualified scientists based in China and Germany to stimulate new collaborations, prepare a specific joint project, or explore possibilities for specific, topic-related collaboration.
● The “Mobility Programme” serves to facilitate bilateral cooperation between a research team in China and a research team in Germany by funding multiple visits (up to 3 months per visit) and small-scale workshops over a period of 36 months.
2. Subjects covered
All fields of natural sciences are covered, including but not limited to the life sciences, medical sciences, engineering sciences and management sciences.
3. Implementation period
The workshops proposed in response to this call can only be held in 2020. Please note that for workshops to be held in 2019, the Sino-German Center will continue to apply the continuous submission model. However, considering the time required for processing, such proposals can only be accepted until 30 June 2019.
The implementation period for mobility projects approved within this call will be from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022.
Applicants must be researchers based at a Chinese/German university or research institution.
● Applicants from Germany must have completed their research training by obtaining a doctorate and be eligible to apply for funding from the DFG. Proposals may not generally be submitted by persons working at an institution that is not non-profit, at a government-run institution or at one that does not permit the immediate publication of research findings in a generally accessible form.
● Applicants from China must be a PI or participant in an NSFC grant (ongoing or already completed) with a duration of at least 3 years. The Chinese applicant’s support organisation must have registered at the NSFC. Lindau alumni previously supported by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion but without an NSFC grant at the time of submission are also eligible to apply.
Please contact the Head Office of the Sino-German Center if you have specific questions.
Workshops need to have a specific topic and should bring together researchers especially qualified in this field. Workshops may take place either in China or in Germany. For workshops to be held in Beijing, the meeting facilities of the Sino-German Center may be used. The Sino-German Center covers domestic and international travel expenses, catering and hotel accommodation costs according to its funding rates for workshops ( Chinese / German) to be held in China and Germany. If additional items that are not covered by these funding rates (e.g. rental costs for conference rooms, expenses for scientific excursions, visa-application related costs) are applied for, these have to be mentioned separately and explicitly justified. Details about the programme of the workshop have to be specified in the proposal.
● As a rule, the duration of a workshop is five to seven days, including two days of travel and a one-day excursion.
● The workshop should generally be held at the place of work of either the German or the Chinese coordinator.
● The Sino-German Center supports measures to promote equal opportunity among men and women in science. When selecting participants, please make sure to achieve an equal balance between male and female participants as much as possible.
● Total number of participants from China and Germany: up to 40 (max. 25 from the host country, max. 15 from the guest country). In justified exceptional cases, up to three individual guests from other countries and regions may also be invited to attend exploratory workshops. In this case, the benefit of inviting these individual guests to the workshop should clearly be described in the proposal.
● Each participant for whom funding is requested should contribute actively to the workshop by giving an oral presentation.
● As a rule, only scientists who have completed their research training by obtaining a doctorate are eligible to be funded as participants. However, the participation of early career scientists from nearby universities / research institutes is strongly encouraged; for these early career scientists, only costs for lunches will be covered. The names of these early career scientists should not be added to the participants’ list.
● As a rule, persons working at an institution that is not non-profit or one that does not permit the immediate publication of research findings in a generally accessible form are generally not eligible to be funded as participants.
● Furthermore, the participation of additional scientists at their own expense is possible. The names of these additional scientists should not be added to the participants’ list.
(2) Mobility Programme
Mobility projects need to have a specific topic and should bring together researchers especially qualified in this field. The mobility projects should be applied for by one research team in China and one research team in Germany, each led by a PI, to facilitate bilateral cooperation. The exchange visits may take place in China and/or in Germany.
The Sino-German Center covers domestic and international travel expenses, catering and hotel accommodation costs, conference room expense according to its funding rates for research stays ( Chinese / German), and for workshops to be held in China and Germany ( Chinese / German). If additional items that are not covered by these funding rates (e.g. rental costs for conference rooms, expenses for scientific excursions, visa-application related costs) are applied for, these have to be mentioned separately and explicitly justified. Details about the planned exchange visits must be specified in the proposal.
A maximum of 1.5 million RMB (or equivalent sum of euros) per project for multiple exchange visits and workshops would be provided to both Chinese and German teams to be completed within three years.
● The duration of a mobility project is three years. It will include multiple visits by multiple scientists (early career scientists’ involvement encouraged) from each side every year; and small-scale workshops.
● The visits can take place in China and/or Germany.
● The total number of research visits from both China and Germany should be based on the need for academic exchange and fall within the budget of up to a total of 1.5 million RMB (or equal sum of euros) per project including both sides.
● Each participant for whom funding is requested should contribute actively to the mobility project and his/her role must be described in the proposal.
● The applicants should outline in detail the exchange plan for each year including the time and length of visits, outgoing and/or incoming scientists’ names and the anticipated research contents for each visit and fill in the budget table in good faith.
The Chinese PI and the German PI should submit a single joint proposal after in-depth and full consultation. The proposal must be written in English, and its format and the information provided must be in accordance with the “Workshops” and “Mobility Programme” application forms.
Proposals must be submitted via the DFG’s online submission system
Proposal documents within this call have to be submitted by one German applicant only (NOT by the other participants of the workshop or the mobility programme) to the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system elan. After the log-in, please use the respective path “Proposal Submission > New Project/Draft Proposal > Special Programmes for International Cooperation” and start the online form of the programme “Initiation of International Collaboration”. Please note that the links to the guidelines and templates given on the elan webpage refer to the general DFG programme “Initiation of International Collaboration” and are NOT applicable for this call – proposals submitted in this call must follow the guidelines outlined in this document and must use the templates <Application Form Workshops> and/or <Application Form Mobility>, respectively. After having started the elan online form “Initiation of International Collaboration”, please select on the page “proposal data” the call for proposals “China-SGC Workshops/Mobility 2019“ to tag your proposal for this specific call .
Together with the proposal, an academic curriculum vitae of the Chinese and the German applicant has to be uploaded as a separate document via elan. For all other participants, short CVs have to be included in the proposal application form.
If you are the German applicant submitting the proposal and you are using the elan system for the first time, please note that you need to register yourself and your institutional addresses before being able to submit a proposal. Also, if you are planning to move to a different institution you need to register the new institutional address beforehand. Please make sure you start your registration at latest by 24 April 2019. The registration requests are handled manually by DFG staff.
Proposals must be submitted by 4pm Bonn time on May 8 2019. Proposals submitted later than that time will be declined.
Please note that after online submission, two copies of application forms (final version) for each proposal must be printed out, signed by both applicants (electronic signature allowed) and sealed by Chinese applicant’s support organization, and mailed to Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (Address: No.83, Shuangqing Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China, postal code 100085).
The hard copies of afore-mentioned proposals must be received by the SGC by May 31st, 2019.
Contact persons at the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion
Contact information for Chinese applicants:
Mr. Zhao Chuang
Mr. Wu Daohua
Contact information for German applicants:
Ms. Anne Münchau
phone: +49 228-885-4802
Questions concerning the electronic submission of proposals may be addressed to
Ms. Claudia Bordach
Proposals are evaluated in a peer-review process based on the following criteria:
Choice of topic – scientific relevance
Choice of participants: qualification and representativeness (for each side, participants of at least three different institutions must be involved)
Potential for future cooperation
Feasibility of the work programme; adequacy of the workshop description
2. Mobility Programme
Academic merit of the project
Feasibility of the exchange plan
Qualification of the applicants and the team members, their track record and the premises of previous work
Potential for future cooperation
Involvement of early career scientists
1. General Obligations
Within two months after completion of the funding measure, the Sino-German Center expects a written report signed by both applicants. A joint mid-term report is also required for the mobility projects. Please use the form provided by the Sino-German Center and make sure the report is written in a way suitable to be added to the description of the funded projects, which will be published on the Sino-German Center’s website. For the accounting of funds, please use the table provided together with the grant letter.
The submission of a written report and of the accounting table are prerequisites for eligibility for further funding by the Sino-German Center.
Both applicants must notify the Sino-German Center in writing of any changes in relation to the details of the workshop as outlined in the proposal (such as changes of participants or shifting of dates); note that such changes must be approved before implementation.
3. Mobility Programme
Both applicants must notify the Sino-German Center in writing of any major changes in relation to the details of the mobility projects as outlined in the proposal (such as changes of participants); note that such changes must be approved before implementation. Both applicants would be given the freedom to make small no-cost involving changes in relation to the details of the mobility projects (such as shift of dates within the originally planned year) without prior consent from the Sino-German Center.