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What has to be considered?

Application processes at TU Dortmund University

TU Dortmund University uses standard processes to ensure that researchers receive the best possible support in the application process, and that all formalities and deadlines are considered and complied with.

General application process

TU Dortmund University will support you from advice on the appropriate funding format to the management of the projects you acquire. You always have a main contact person:

  • Research Support Services provides coordinating advice prior to submission,
  • after submission, the Department of Finance and Procurement (Division of Third-Party Funding Management and Legal Matters in Research and Development) supports you.

Please feel free to take advantage of our advice as soon as you are considering an application. No elaboration is necessary; the idea is already sufficient. This allows clarifying formal and legal questions in time.

Antragsprozess; Zahnräder auf schwarzen Hintergrund © athree23 ​/​ Pixabay

Before submitting the application, a formal review is usually required, which may take up to 10 working days. Please consider this time in your application.

You can download an illustration of the general application process here (in German only).
Please click here for a list of the most important contact persons (in German only).

Application process for DFG collaborative projects

Coordinated programs of the DFG – Collaborative Research Centers, Research Training Groups and Research Units – are prestigious research consortia that require intensive preparation and substantial contributions by the respective Department.

Research Support Services accompanies the application throughout the entire process and offers both strategic and financial support (e.g. in the form of personnel resources for the preparation of the application). In addition, the application can be supported within the framework of MERCUR Sprint (website in German only).

Frequently asked

Below you will find explanations of frequently asked questions regarding the application process:

Some funding formats require that own contributions are made. For this purpose, early advising and involvement of the Division of Third-Party Funding Management and Legal Matters in Research and Development is necessary from the very beginning of the application process.

In principle, the applying project management (formally the Department) is responsible for the own contributions; central funding is not available. If own contributions have to be provided in the form of “freie Drittmittel” and these are not available at the applying Department, smaller sums (<100,000 euros) of “freie Drittmittel” may be provided in exchange for equivalent other funds from the project management after individual case assessment.

The draft phase is the most essential for the assessment! Here the strongest selection is carried out. As a rule, the funding amount applied for in the draft phase cannot be exceeded in the full proposal.


A legally binding signature can only be given by the Rectorate or by the Division of Third-Party Funding Management and Legal Matters in Research and Development of the Department of Finance and Procurement. The prerequisite for this is a formal review of the financially and formally final application by the Division of Third-Party Funding Management (10 working days due to any necessary agreements).


The overheads, referred to as program lump sums by the DFG and project lump sums by federal ministries, serve to cover the so-called indirect project costs (such as the provision of offices and workplaces, the administrative departments that support the project, etc.). The university decides autonomously how to use the overheads, but it may only be spent on indirect costs – and not to increase project funding. The overhead is therefore not available to project managers.

It is generally possible to submit an application to funding agencies that do not pay overheads. If funding agencies approve the application of overheads, these must be applied for in the full amount.

TU Dortmund University honors successful third-party funding with the “forschungsbasierten Zusatzzuweisung” (FobaZuZ; research-based additional allocation). Third-party funding is also taken into consideration when calculating the annual Department budget.

Collaborative projects of the DFG are especially supported by the TU Dortmund University: After a positive draft evaluation, applicants will be offered an additional E13 position for 12 months (100% for Collaborative Research Centers, 50% for Research Training Groups or Research Units).

When applying for an ERC Starting Grant, TU Dortmund University will supplement the remaining 50%, unless full employment is already available.

On request, Research Support Services will be happy to provide you with text modules on cross-sectional topics such as research data management, gender equality as well as early career researchers and proposals for measures for collaborative projects.

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Further information