Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Collaborate with German partners on arts and humanities research

Start application

Apply for funding to collaborate with German partners on arts and humanities research.

Your project can address any area of the arts and humanities, including law and linguistics.

You must be:

  • an arts and humanities researcher
  • within the remit of the AHRC
  • based at a research organisation eligible to apply to AHRC
  • working with a German team led by a humanities researcher eligible to apply to DFG.

We will consider cross-disciplinary applications.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £350,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Your project can last up to three years.

This is the fourth annual funding opportunity of the bilateral UK-German Funding Initiative in the Humanities programme.

Who can apply

Applicants in the UK must meet AHRC eligibility requirements. Applicants in Germany must meet the eligibility requirements of DFG.

Funding will be distributed among the research partners according to the researchers’ place of work and, in general, according to the funding rules of each individual agency.

Research teams

Each joint research project must consist of two (UK and German) national teams. Each team must be led by one principal investigator.

The UK team must be led by an arts and humanities researcher who falls within the remit of the AHRC and is based at a research organisation eligible to apply to the AHRC.

The German team must be led by a humanities researcher eligible to apply to the DFG.

Definition of arts and humanities

For this funding opportunity, the field of humanities is defined by the AHRC’s remit, not by the DFG’s classification of humanities.

First-time applicants

Applications to this funding opportunity are not considered as first proposals under DFG’s regulations for first time applicants. As such, proposals submitted by a first-time applicant should not be labelled as first-time proposals and will not be granted special consideration by reviewers.

International co-investigators

AHRC’s provision to include (where relevant) international co-investigators will apply to the UK component of projects. However, we would not expect international co-investigators based in Germany to be included within the UK component as we would expect investigators in Germany to be included within the German team and DFG supported component of the collaboration.

You can include more than one international co-investigator, however the total costs cannot exceed 30% of the overall 100% full economic cost of your application.

Please refer to the AHRC Research Funding Guide for further information on AHRC’s international co-investigator policy and which costs are eligible within a UK budget.

Read the AHRC Research Funding Guide.

PhD students

Costs for project PhD students cannot be included within UK budgets for this funding opportunity.

Applying for other funding

If this application has been submitted to any other funding opportunity or funding stream of any other funding agency, this must be clearly stated in the proposal.

Please also check the respective national agency’s rules regarding submission of a project to more than one funder or scheme.

Resubmission

Immediate resubmission of unsuccessful proposals from one funding opportunity under the AHRC-DFG memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the next funding opportunity is not permitted. Thus resubmission of unsuccessful proposals from the last (the third) funding opportunity to this (the fourth) funding opportunity will not be permitted.

However, applicants involved in unsuccessful applications under the last funding opportunity may submit, or be involved in, different or new proposals for this funding opportunity. A resubmission is only allowed once within the AHRC-DFG programme.

For this funding opportunity, a reworked resubmission from the first and second funding opportunity will be allowed, where the proposal has been revised, for example with changes to:

  • research questions
  • methodology
  • the project team.

Changes should be summarised under the resubmission heading in the case for support.

What we're looking for

This is the fourth funding opportunity in a series of annual bilateral opportunities under the UK-German Funding Initiative in the Humanities programme. Following the renewal of the memorandum of understanding between DFG and AHRC in June 2021, there will be eight annual joint funding opportunities in total.

Both funding agencies are aware that some of the best research can only be achieved by working with the best researchers internationally. Accordingly, the aims of the funding opportunity are:

  • to support academic research of the highest quality in the humanities undertaken by UK-German teams, whose primary aim is to make fundamental advances in human knowledge
  • to deepen and strengthen cooperation between UK and German researchers in the humanities, and to foster the growth of a transnational UK-German research culture.

The projects must focus on substantive research and feature an integrated work programme. Academic infrastructure or networking activities can only be funded within projects with a substantive research focus. Stand-alone projects, infrastructure or networking projects will not be eligible.

Only proposals whose primary aim is to make fundamental advances in human knowledge in the relevant fields may be submitted in response to the funding opportunity.

Applicants who are uncertain whether their proposal would be eligible should contact AHRC or DFG for clarification.

Research topic

The funding opportunity will be open to applications addressing any research topic where there is significant potential to advance knowledge through collaborative research bringing together arts and humanities researchers in the UK, whose research falls within the remit of the AHRC, and humanities researchers in Germany.

See a full specification of:

Disciplines

Both single-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary applications can be considered provided that the UK component falls within the remit of the AHRC and the German component within the remit of the DFG. Applications may also overlap with other disciplines provided that they fall primarily within the remit of the AHRC and DFG.

Cross-disciplinary applications must demonstrate how their project team fulfils the eligibility requirements. If you are in doubt about the eligibility, please contact the respective organisation.

Value of cross-national collaboration

Applicants should demonstrate the added value which cross-national collaboration, bringing together researchers based in the UK and Germany, will make to advancing research.

We expect that each partner substantially contributes to the common project. This also includes taking on organisational responsibilities. This division of responsibilities should also be reflected in the amount of funds requested by each partner.

Start date and duration

The duration of the projects will normally be, and must not exceed, 36 months. Successful projects will be expected to start in early 2023.

UK projects will be required to start within three months of the acceptance of the awards. German projects are expected to follow a similar schedule.

Funding available

The budget requested from AHRC may not exceed £350,000 at 100% full economic cost (£280,000 at 80% full economic cost research council contribution).

It is expected that in the region of 15 awards will be made under this funding opportunity (subject to proposals meeting the criteria and quality standards).

Standard AHRC funding requirements apply to the UK component as outlined in AHRC’s Research Funding Guide. UK costs should be approved by an eligible UK research organisation in line with the requirements of full economic costing for applications to UK research councils.

Read the AHRC Research Funding Guide.

In line with its Individual Research Grants Programme, DFG does not specify a maximum limit to the amount of funding that can be requested.

Funding will be granted from the core budgets of AHRC and DFG.

Costs requested

Projects should be integrated but do not have to be symmetrical, in the sense that neither the sums requested nor the items requested have to be identical on the UK and German sides. However, we would expect the work packages to be delivered reasonably equally.

All budget items must conform to the national rules applicable to each applicant. Applicants must note that AHRC and DFG retain the right to reject proposals where they fail to comply with the procedures set out in the guidelines of the respective agency.

If a proposal is ineligible with one national agency, the whole project will be rejected by both agencies. German researchers from non-university research institutions must comply with their duty to cooperate (Kooperationspflicht). This duty to cooperate is not met if one only cooperates with a UK partner.

A detailed justification of the requested budget will be required. For UK costs they should be included in the mandatory justification of resources document, whilst German costs should be included in the non-UK component (German budget) document (available under additional information).

How to apply

All applications must be submitted in English.

All text-based attachments should use an Arial or other standard sans-serif type font no smaller than point 11 and using standard (2cm) margins.

The UK principal investigator must submit a single integrated proposal with separate financial sections for each national agency. They must apply through UKRI’s Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) at the latest by Tuesday 22 February 2022 at 16:00 (UK time).

The UK principal investigator must provide a PDF copy of the Je-S submission to the German principal investigator in plenty of time before 23:00 (UK time) on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

The German principal investigator needs to upload the UK applicant’s PDF copy of the Je-S submission to the DFG’s submission portal ‘elan’ by 23:59 (German time) on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

Proposals received after the deadline will not be eligible.

Case for support attachment

This is compulsory. It can be up to 10 sides of A4.

This is the body of your integrated UK-German collaborative research proposal.

You must outline clearly:

  • the rationale for the activities
  • the approach or methods to be taken
  • the context in which they will operate.

Please use the following headings to structure your case for support.

Rationale and research context

Please explain briefly and precisely the research context or state of the art in your field as it relates to your project. This description should make clear in which context you situate your own research and in what areas you intend to make a unique and innovative contribution.

To illustrate and enhance your statement, you may refer to others’ and your own publications. Please list all cited publications in a bibliography at the end of the case for support document. Applicants should not list an unpublished manuscript. This bibliography is distinct from your list of publications, which is to be uploaded separately.

Please note that reviewers may, but are not required to, read any of the works you cite or include, and that panel members may not be experts in your field. The description of the state of the art must be intelligible to a non-specialist without reference to additional literature.

Work programme including proposed research methods

The quality of the work programme is critical to the success of a funding proposal.

The work programme must include:

  • a detailed account of the work packages and milestones planned during the proposed funding period (for experimental projects, a schedule detailing all planned experiments should be provided)
  • a detailed description of the methods that you plan to use in the project:
    • what methods are already available?
    • what methods need to be developed?
    • what assistance is needed from outside your own group or institute?
  • information on each participant’s contribution to the project work
  • a summary of the professional development opportunities which the project will make available to any research staff employed or any other support for early career researchers which you have built into your proposal
  • an outline of the steps which you have taken to ensure that your project team and research are informed, as appropriate, by equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations
  • a description of the added value of the proposed international cooperation (please note that a high level of integration will be a necessary condition for funding within the present joint funding initiative).

Added value of international cooperation

The cooperation among the partners involved and the expected added value of the planned cooperation should be described in detail.

Ethical issues

If there are any ethical issues raised in the research proposal, please describe how they will be addressed. If applicable, German applicants must include an ethics committee vote from the institution within which their research will be carried out.

For more information about the conditions under which an ethics committee vote is necessary, please consult at: DFG, German Research Foundation frequently asked questions: Humanities and Social Sciences .

Resubmission changes (if applicable)

If submitting a reworked resubmission from the first or second funding opportunity, under this heading you should summarise the changes, for example changes to research questions, methodology or the project team.

Any additional information

Please use this section for outlining additional points of clarification about your project team and planned activities.

Planned and past cooperation with other researchers

Please list:

  • all researchers with whom you have collaborated on research projects or publications over the past three years
  • those with whom you have agreed to cooperate on this proposal.

This information will assist the DFG and AHRC officers in avoiding potential conflicts of interest during the review process.

Other compulsory documents

CV

Maximum two sides of A4 each.

As separate documents, a summary curriculum vitae should be attached for each principal investigator and co-investigator or named postdoctoral researchers, both in the UK and Germany.

CVs should include basic information about:

  • education
  • employment history
  • academic responsibilities.

Publication list

Maximum one side of A4 each.

Summary lists of publications or research outputs should be attached as separate documents for each principal investigator and co-investigator, both in the UK and Germany.

These should cover major publications or outputs in the last five years. Brief articles, conference papers and so on need not be included.

You should asterisk those publications of particular relevance to your current research proposal.

Unpublished publications or outputs may not be included.

Project partner letters of support

Include if required. Maximum two sides of A4.

You should include letters of support from all non-academic organisations entered on the Je-S form as ‘project partners’. A project partner is an organisation which contributes in cash or in kind to the project but which is not requesting any money.

If there is an international co-investigator included within the UK budget, a head of department letter of support must be included.

If a UK investigator is an honorary fellow, visiting fellow or on a fixed term contract, a head of department letter of support is required.

Data management plan

Maximum two sides of A4.

A data management plan should be provided in line with the requirements outlined in line with the AHRC Research Funding Guide.

Improving the management and handling of research data is a priority both for national and international research organisations and for research in general.

Please consider existing standards and data repositories or archives in your disciplines and in UK or German national and international contexts where appropriate.

UK justification of resources attachment

Two sides of A4.

This statement should be used to justify the resources required to undertake the project.

These should be for the UK costs only. Justification for German costs should be included in the German budget document.

You should:

  • explain why the indicated resources are needed, taking account of the nature and complexity of the research proposed (please note that it is not sufficient merely to list what is required)
  • have regard for the breakdown of resources into the summary fund headings:
    • directly incurred
    • directly allocated
    • (where appropriate) exceptions.

In the following cases, the basis of the costing need not be justified, but the need for the resources does need justification:

  • investigator time
  • use of internal facilities
  • shared staff costs.

Please attempt to be explicit about the need for the level of investigator time sought.

Please do not justify estates and indirect costs.

Non-UK attachment: German budget and justification of resources

Use the DFG budget and justification of resources document (ODT, 17KB).

Maximum four sides of A4.

This document should be used to list and justify the resources required to undertake the German part of the project. This document is to be uploaded as a non-UK component attachment.

You should:

  • explain why the indicated resources are needed, taking account of the nature and complexity of the research proposed (note that it is not sufficient merely to list what is required)
  • not list indirect costs, the lump sum (Programmpauschale) will be added automatically to each funded project by DFG
  • not request the module ‘Mercator fellow’ for a UK partner.

Carefully check the guidelines for the different modules. Some of them, for example the ‘replacement module’ or the ‘temporary position for principal investigators’, require additional documents.

You may delete positions from the template that are not applicable to your proposal.

Justify each item for each applicant.

Follow the outline given in the relevant guidelines (Leitfäden) for the requested modules on DFG’s Research Grants Programme (Sachbeihilfe).

Note that there are both general guidelines (50.01) as well as specific guidelines for each individual module (52.01 –52.07). Please make sure to submit all necessary documents for the requested modules.

See also the information on personnel rates (60.12) as well as the information on the payment of doctoral students (55.02).

Applying through Je-S

The UK principal investigator should submit the joint proposal using UKRI’s Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

To prepare a proposal form in Je-S, log in to your account and choose ‘Documents’ from the menu then select ‘New document’.

When applying select:

  • council: AHRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: Development Grants
  • call/type/mode: UK-German collaborative research projects in the humanities 22 February 2022.

Then select ‘Create document’.

Je-S will then create a proposal form, displaying the relevant section headings. Using the blue question marks and the ‘Help’ link at the top of each section will provide guidance relevant to that section of the form.

Please remember to allow sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the funding opportunity closing date. Please note that selecting ‘Submit document’ on your proposal form in Je-S initially submits the proposal to your host organisation’s administration, not to AHRC.

Please remember to allow sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the funding opportunity closing date.

Please note that when submitting the proposal through Je-S, the German principal investigator and co-investigator (or co-investigators) must, for technical reasons, be entered as “co-investigators”.

All investigators named on the Je-S application form, whether based in the UK or Germany, must have a Je-S account. Where a named investigator does not already have a Je-S account, one can be easily set up, but please note that the process can take a number of days. It is therefore strongly recommended that the process is started well before the application deadline.

Je-S accounts can be created on the Je-S site. During account set-up an account type of ‘An applicant on a standard or outline proposal’ must be selected.

Costs

German applications will be required to submit their costings on the finance form provided as an attachment to the integrated proposal submitted to the AHRC. UK applicants should include their costs in the Je-S budget table.

No staff costs should be included for the German principal investigator or co-investigator in the Je-S form. In the ‘Investigator section’, zero should be entered into the fields which ask for ‘salary rate’ and ‘total number of hours to be charged to the grant over the duration of the grant’ for the German principal investigator.

No costs should be included on the Je-S form that will be incurred by the German members of the project team. Only costs incurred by the UK team should be included.

Shared costs or resources may go under either budget.

Objectives box

Please give a concise description of your project’s research objectives with particular attention to:

  • the innovative nature of the project
  • its importance for the development of this particular field of study
  • the added value of collaboration between UK and German researchers in addressing the stated research objectives.

If the proposed research is likely to have wider benefits, applicants should describe these benefits in the case for support, for example:

  • in terms of the involvement of cultural and heritage organisations, public engagement or generating other forms of economic, social or cultural value
  • in developing wider international networks and collaborations beyond Germany and the UK
  • in providing the basis for collaboration with disciplines beyond those specified as eligible in the funding opportunity.

Download a PDF version

Please note that a complete document including all attachments can only be generated once the application has been submitted to AHRC.

To download a PDF format document of the Je-S application, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the application (you may need to first tick the “Show documents submitted to Council” at the top of the screen).
  2. Select ‘Document actions’ at the top of the screen.
  3. Select ‘Print document 5’.
  4. Select the option ‘Download the PDF version including attachments’.

Elan submission

Once the UK principal investigator has submitted the joint proposal through Je-S, the downloaded PDF proposal documents should be submitted by the German principal investigator to Elan.

Applicants requesting funding from DFG need an Elan account.

The deadline for the registration of the German applicants for Elan is 15 February 2022. UK applicants do not need to be registered.

Enter these details:

  • funding scheme: Individual Grants Programme/Research Grant (Einzelförderung/ Sachbeihilfe)
  • call to select: UK DFG/AHRC-Call 2022
  • acronym: please do not fill in an acronym, use it to state the ‘AH/X000000/I’ number from your proposal submission to Je-S (the funding agencies need this information to link the different submissions)
  • title and summary: you do not have to translate either from English into German, just copy and paste your English title and summary into the boxes that call for the information in German
  • principal investigators and co-investigators from the UK are to be added as ‘participating individuals’ in the role of ‘cooperation partner’
  • all documents submitted to Je-S are to be uploaded to Elan as well (one PDF)
  • in addition, also upload the CV (or CVs) of the German team as an extra document (one PDF)
  • DFG-specific documents (for example, a statement from the potential employer for temporary positions for principal investigator, or the statement by the university for the replacement module) need only be submitted to Elan, not to Je-S.

Peer review process

It should be noted that the only information relating to applications that will be used in the peer review assessment process will be that submitted through the UK Je-S system. Information submitted through Elan will not be used as a part of the peer review process.

Right to reject

Applicants must note that the national agencies retain the right to reject proposals where they fail to comply with the procedures set out in the guidelines.

If a proposal is ineligible with one national agency, the complete project will be rejected by both agencies. If the stated maximum number of pages is exceeded, or if required documents are not included, the proposal will be disqualified.

How we will assess your application

The applicants’ and projects’ eligibility will be checked by both AHRC and DFG for the UK and German sides, respectively. As this funding opportunity is being led by the AHRC, the assessment process will follow that used by the AHRC and will have three key stages.

The funding recommendations of the joint expert panel will be subject to approval by the AHRC and DFG, including by the relevant DFG decision-making board, taking into account the availability of funds.

Stage one

In the first stage each proposal will be assessed by at least two external expert peer reviewers. Usually, one is nominated by the AHRC and one is nominated by the DFG.

Stage two

In the second stage, once the proposal has been reviewed, the principal investigators will be given a 10-working-day response opportunity. The peer review comments will be communicated to the UK principal investigator through the Je-S system, and it is important that they share and discuss the feedback with the German principal investigator and jointly agree on the principal investigator response.

The response should only be used to respond to, or provide clarification on, issues which have been raised by reviewers and should not be used to propose substantial changes to the proposal.

If the applicants wish to submit a response, the agreed response will then need to be submitted to AHRC by the UK principal investigator through the Je-S system by the stated deadline (normally 10 working days).

Please note that whilst we will make every effort to provide applicants with an opportunity to respond to reviewers’ comments as outlined above, where the submission of completed reviews is delayed, it may not be possible to give an opportunity to respond. Also it may only be possible to provide an opportunity to respond to one rather than two reviews. In some circumstances, the period given to provide a response may be reduced.

Stage three

In the third review stage, each proposal will be assessed by a joint expert panel in light of the reviews and principal investigator response obtained in stages one and two. The panel will consist of recognised researchers from various fields of the humanities and from both the UK and Germany, who are familiar with the relevant decision-making systems at the national level.

Assessment criteria

All project proposals will be assessed against three sets of criteria:

  • expertise of the research team members
  • academic quality of the research project
  • feasibility of the project.

Expertise of the research team members

This includes:

  • research portfolio of the research team
  • relevant preliminary work.

Academic quality of the research project

This includes:

  • innovative nature of the project
  • appropriateness of research design
  • contribution of the research project to advances in the relevant academic discipline or disciplines and international cooperation
  • scholarly merit of objectives and work programme
  • integrated approach of the project, maximising the added value of UK-German research collaboration
  • contribution of the project to deepening UK-German academic collaboration.

Feasibility of the project (budget, research facilities and management arrangements)

This includes:

  • feasibility of the project
  • appropriateness of the project’s budget and overall value for money
  • access to research facilities and infrastructure required for the research
  • appropriateness of support for early career researchers, where applicable
  • appropriateness of management arrangements of the project.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity

AHRC should be the first point of contact for general enquiries.

Lead responsibility for the administration of funding opportunities alternates between AHRC and DFG. AHRC is leading the administration of this fourth funding opportunity.

AHRC

Emma Bessent, International Partnerships and Engagement Manager (Europe)

Email: enquiries@ahrc.ukri.org

Include ‘DFG’ in the subject line.

AHRC aims to respond within five working days.

DFG

Email: AHRC-Ausschreibung@dfg.de

DFG aims to respond within five working days.

Telephone either:

  • Sigrid Claßen: +49 (0)228 885-2209
  • Dr Nora Böttcher: +49 (0)228 885-2693

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

Additional info

Please note that the outcomes from the last (the third) funding opportunity will be published in mid-November and will be available on this page and on the DFG website.

You do not need to have applied or been successful under the previous joint funding opportunities to submit a proposal.

Data protection

By submitting a proposal you are giving your permission to the AHRC and DFG to process and disclose the data you provide, including processing of personal data. The AHRC and DFG may publish on publicly available websites the details of funded projects such as the:

  • project title
  • project summary
  • impact summary
  • names of all investigators
  • project dates
  • amount awarded
  • names of project partner organisations.

Impacts of COVID-19

UKRI and DFG acknowledge that it is a challenge for applicants to determine the future impacts of COVID-19 while the pandemic continues to evolve. Applications should be based on the information available at the point of submission and, if applicable, the known application specific impacts of COVID-19 should be accounted for.

Where known impacts have occurred, these should be highlighted in the application, including the assumptions or information at the point of submission. There is no need to include contingency plans for the potential impacts of COVID-19. Requests for travel both domestically and internationally can be included in accordance with the relevant scheme guidelines, noting the above advice.

Reviewers will receive instructions to assume that changes that arise from the COVID-19 pandemic, post-submission, will be resolved and complications related to COVID-19 should not affect their scores. Where an application is successful, any changes in circumstances that affect the proposal will be managed as a post-award issue.

Supporting documents

DFG budget and justification of resources document (ODT, 16KB)

NOTE Council web content is being transitioned to this website – let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.