DFG-Förderatlas: Outstanding results for Bielefeld University
Excellent in mathematics, sociology, and computer science
Relative to their colleagues at the strongest research universities in Germany, researchers at Bielefeld University have been particularly successful in applying for third-party funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG). This finding comes from the 2015 DFG-Förderatlas [funding atlas] published today (03.09.2015). The atlas collates DFG grants to universities for the years 2011 to 2013.
Bielefeld University’s success becomes particularly apparent when looking at grants from a relative perspective. The authors of the funding atlas asked themselves the following question: on average, which applications to the DFG for third-party funding can be expected from a researcher in each respective subject? They then related these expected values to both the size and the subject area structure of each university. This makes it possible to compare universities even when they vary greatly in their profiles and their size. In the present analysis, Bielefeld University is Number 4 in Germany (with reference to the total number of academic staff) or Number 8 (with reference to the professors). In North Rhine-Westphalia, it is Number 1 in both categories.
Looking at DFG grants in absolute terms – that is, the total sum of all DFG third-party funding over the entire period, Bielefeld University is Number 33 among German universities at 84.5 million Euros. In the subject-area-related DFG statistics, mathematics (11.6 million Euros, Number 3), sociology (11.5 million Euros, Number 4), and computer science (14.6 million Euros, Number 5) at Bielefeld continue to hold leading positions.
‘This result in the DFG funding atlas is an outstanding success for Bielefeld University. It once again confirms our strong research position,’ says Professor Dr. Martin Egelhaaf. ‘However, we must not allow this to make us complacent – maintaining this outcome is a major challenge.’
Third-party funding is the proportion of funding for research projects that does not come from the budget provided by the responsible ministry for higher education. A major proportion of third-party funding in Germany comes from public research spending such as that provided by the DFG. Academics apply for this funding in competitive procedures. The DFG funding atlas published every three years presents comprehensive statistics on publicly funded research in Germany differentiated according to subject areas.