The largest organisation funding knowledge-oriented research, DFG, uses open project
funding as main mechanism.
Funding proposals for the selected topic – either from
a particular discipline or using an interdisciplinary approach – can be submitted by
individual scientists, groups of scientists or universities. Following an initial examination
whether formal requirements are met, the proposals are evaluated for their scientific
Funding decisions are taken in a multi-layered process by voluntary reviewers. On
the basis of this expert review, the proposal is furthermore assessed by a review board
(constituted of elected members), and the final decision is taken by a grants committee.
Some interviewees pointed out, that in a relatively small research field with a generally
increasing number of proposals it was necessary to ask scientists of related fields as
reviewers, baring the danger that the innovation or meaning of the research question under
concern might not be valued adequately. They proposed to involve more international
reviewers in the process to solve this issue. The above-described DFG funding mechanism
gives freedom to scientists to carry out research on self selected topics.
funding is another opportunityto follow own research interests and in order to carry out
long-term research which is not influenced by short project funding periods. Basic funds
are cut down, however, and for public funds other than DFG, thematic calls for proposals
are issued. The importance of private funds depends on the respective subject in the field
of agricultural sciences. Agricultural Engineering e.g. Acquires more industrial research
funding than agricultural economists.
Besides industrial funding, there are different
foundations like the Deutsche Bundesumweltstiftung, the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank,
the Stiftung Kulturlandschaft, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung, VW-Stiftung as well as some NGOs,
financing smaller research projects. Some interviewees expect these funds to increase,
others hint on the fact that interest rates are low leading to decreasing funds of