To content
Funding the infrastructure

Major instrumentation and core facilities

Major research instrumentation are investment projects with a volume of more than 200,000 euros, whose necessity is based on the commitment to research and which is characterized by special scientific quality and supraregional importance. There are different programs for the realization of a major instrumentation acquisition. This can be the purchase, but also the development and construction of a new innovative major instrumentation. Furthermore, financial support can be provided for the establishment of core facilities.

Funding formats in comparison

Major research instrumentation is the sum of all instrumentation parts (including equipment) that form a functional unit. The main instrumentation and the equipment should be in an appropriate relation to each other. Major instrumentation that are available to several research groups or fields and are used in research can also be part of the main equipment – in contradiction to the usual regulations regarding third-party funded research.

Funding formats for the acquisition of major research instrumentation

  • Major instrumentation at German universities is jointly funded by the DFG (50 %) and the State of NRW (40 %), with the TU Dortmund University’s own contribution amounting to 10 %.
  • The investment sum (gross) must be at least 200,000 euros.
  • Eligible investment projects for university research must be characterized by outstanding scientific quality and supraregional importance.
  • The applied instrumentation must mainly serve research purposes.
  • The necessity of their procurement and their use must be reasonable with the use in research.
  • Usage for at least 5 years from commissioning for the research projects specified in the application (purpose of use) must be guaranteed.
  • The average review process is about 6 months.

More information

  • Major instrumentation at universities and university hospitals are funded by the federal states and universities.
  • However, the DFG is responsible for the review.
  • The investment sum (gross) must be at least 200,000 euros.

More information

  • Funding is provided for the acquisition of major instrumentation and equipment that promise new / excellent technology in research.
  • The prompt provision of this new technology is intended to form the nucleus for diverse research projects with high excellence and originality.
  • This should have a noticeable and positive effect on the relevant research areas.

More information

Funding formats for the development of new instruments for fundamental research

  • Funding is provided for the development and construction of completely new types of instruments in fundamental research that have an interdisciplinary focus.
  • These can be, for example, new measuring, production, or processing methods.
  • These new technologies are to be made accessible for fundamental research through application-suitable demonstrators.

More information

Funding formats for the establishment of a core facility

  • Research infrastructures play an important role for current and future research activities. Here, access to sophisticated instrumentation technologies is of essential importance.
  • The common use in core facilities ensures an effective use of the instrumentation and a good scientific service.
  • The DFG funds the operation and management of core facilities.
  • The aim is to improve the user experience and thus facilitate access to instrumentation infrastructures.
  • The core facilities are usually funded with 150,000 euros annually for 5 years.

ATTENTION: Major instrumentation is not funded here.

More information

Application processes at TU Dortmund University


When applying for major research instrumentation, it is necessary to involve the university before you submit the application. You should therefore first contact the Office of Controlling and Risk Management (website in German only) to clarify the funding modalities. If you have any questions about the content of the project or if you would like to make further arrangements, please contact the Grants Services team at an early stage.

Services and contact persons

In the Office of Research Support Services, the team of the Grants Services will advise you on the content and structure of applications for major instrumentation and inform you about the internal processes and procedures at the TU Dortmund University. Clarification of the funding modalities and the final preparation for approval of the application by the university management takes place at the Office of Controlling and Risk Management (website in German only). Your contact person here is Iris Allmann.

Team photo of Grants Services © OK et al. ​/​ TU Dortmund

Further information