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Federal and state funding

In addition to the DFG, the federal ministries at national level and those of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are among the most important funding sources. In terms of funding policy, the federal and state governments primarily address current and future needs and place the benefits for society at the center of their research funding. For this reason, they support primarily application-oriented collaborative projects through competitive, thematic calls for proposals.

Ministerial funding

The funding of application-oriented research projects by federal and state ministries aims by no means only at projects in the engineering and natural sciences. Since, on the one hand, the broad social challenges are addressed and, on the other hand, interdisciplinary approaches are often called for, many ministerial funding announcements are also aimed at the humanities and social sciences in all their diversity.

In contrast to other funding agencies, the ministerial calls for proposals are tied to submission deadlines or evaluation dates.

In addition, individual funding announcements may require individual contributions. Research Support Services will also advise you on this in close cooperation with the administrative units involved.


Supporting federal ministries

Research Support Services advises you on applications for external funding from all federal ministries. However, experience has shown that the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) are of particular importance at the TU Dortmund University.

The Zukunftsstrategie Forschung und Innovation  represents the interdepartmental, strategic umbrella of the Federal Government's research and innovation policy. It addresses three central fields of action: (I) social challenges, (II) Germany's future competencies, and (II) an open innovation and risk culture. Digitization is anchored as a cross-sectional issue in all three fields.

Logo of Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) © BMBF

Specialist framework programs are derived from the three fields of action, within the framework of which specific funding announcements are published with the following focal points:

Information on calls and projects



Supporting ministries of the State of NRW

The state government emphasizes the importance of freedom of science and research. Accordingly, its research policy is geared to ensuring that universities and research institutions, scientists and researchers work largely independently on future fields and research priorities.

Nevertheless, the state government emphasizes the importance of digitization in order to structurally strengthen North Rhine-Westphalia as a center of science, innovation, and business. Both the MWIDE (Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitization, and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia), with its Digitalstrategie.NRW (available only in German), and the MKW (Ministry for Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia), with its funding program Digitale Hochschule NRW (available only in German), take into account the forward-looking importance of digitization.

Specific calls for proposals of the MKW (available only in German) for the profile development of the universities. We will keep you informed!



If you are applying to the federal and state governments, please contact us in good time so that we can provide you with the best possible support and check the funding guidelines for you in advance (e.g. for necessary own contributions or similar). Draft applications must also often be signed legally by the university (requiring internal clearance processes). We will gladly assist you with the internal coordination processes within the university.

The preparation of applications for external funding follows standard processes at the TU Dortmund University, which ensure both that researchers receive the best possible support and that formalities and deadlines can be fulfilled or met.

Services and contact persons

Research Support Services offer a wide range of services related to the acquisition of third-party funding and application procedures. The team member of the Grants Services responsible for your Department will be happy to assist you with ministerial funding

  • in the selection of a suitable funding format,
  • with regard to the specific requirements of the respective format and
  • through strategic feedback on your application.


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

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