This is the fifth in a series of annual bilateral opportunities with AHRC and DFG since 2018. Following the renewal of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in June 2021, there will be at least eight annual joint opportunities in total.
Both funding agencies are aware that some of the best research can only be achieved by working with the best researchers internationally. Accordingly, the aims of the funding opportunity are to:
- support academic research of the highest quality in the humanities undertaken by UK-German teams, whose primary aim is to make fundamental advances in human knowledge
- deepen and strengthen cooperation between UK and German researchers in the humanities, and to foster the growth of a transnational UK-German research culture.
The projects must focus on substantive research and feature an integrated work programme.
Academic infrastructure or networking activities can only be funded within projects with a substantive research focus. Infrastructure or networking projects will not be eligible as stand-alone projects.
Applicants should demonstrate the added value which cross-national collaboration will make to advancing the research topic by bringing together researchers based in the UK, Germany, and where applicable, other countries.
We expect that each partner substantially contributes to the common project. This also includes taking on organisational responsibilities. This division of responsibilities should also be reflected in the amount of funds requested by each partner.
When undertaking research and innovation activities outside the UK and Germany, you must recognise and address the possible impact of contextual, societal and cultural differences on the ethical conduct of those activities.
The project description (DFG’s equivalent to the UKRI case for support) should be used to evidence how partnerships (if present within your project) are equitable, ethical, responsible and meaningful. Researchers should also follow the key principles of equitable partnerships to address inherent power imbalances when working with partners in resource-poor settings.
Research topics and disciplines
The funding opportunity will be open to applications addressing any research topic where there is significant potential to advance knowledge through collaborative research. Projects will achieve this by bringing together arts and humanities researchers in the UK and Germany.
For this funding opportunity, the field of humanities is defined by the AHRC’s remit, not by the DFG’s classification of humanities.
For a full specification of AHRC’s and DFG’s subject remits, read the AHRC research funding guide and DFG index.
Both single-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary applications can be considered provided that the UK component falls within the remit of AHRC, and the German component within the remit of DFG.
Applications may also overlap with other disciplines provided that they fall primarily within the remit of AHRC and DFG.
Cross-disciplinary applications must demonstrate how their project team fulfils the eligibility requirements. If you are in doubt about the eligibility, please contact the respective organisation.
Only proposals whose primary aim is to make fundamental advances in human knowledge in the relevant fields may be submitted.
Costs and duration
Applicants who are uncertain whether their proposal would be eligible should contact the relevant agencies for clarification.
The duration of the projects will be a minimum of 24 months and must not exceed 36 months. Outcomes will be issued in early November 2023. The UK component of successful projects will be required to start between January and mid February 2024.
Standard AHRC funding requirements apply to the UK component as outlined in AHRC’s research funding guide. UK costs should be approved by an eligible UK research organisation in line with the requirements of full economic costing for applications to UK research councils.
The full economic cost of the UK component of your project can be up to £420,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost (up to £336,000). International co-investigators outside of the UK and Germany will be paid at 100% full economic cost.
In line with its individual research grants programme, DFG does not specify a maximum limit to the amount of funding that can be requested.
Projects should be integrated but do not have to be symmetrical, in the sense that neither the sums requested, nor the items requested, have to be identical on the UK and German sides. However, we would expect the work packages to be delivered reasonably equally.
All budget items must conform to the national rules applicable to each applicant.
A detailed justification of the requested budget will be required. For UK costs they should be included in the mandatory justification of resources document (available under additional information) and submitted by the German principal investigator.
AHRC and DFG retain the right to reject proposals where applicants fail to comply with the procedures set out in the guidelines of the respective agency.
If a proposal is ineligible with one national agency, the whole project will be rejected by both agencies.
It is expected that in the region of 18 awards will be made under this funding opportunity (subject to proposals meeting the criteria and quality standards).
Funding will be granted from the core budgets of AHRC and DFG.