Research priorities

The BMBF funds projects for empirical educational research on specified priority topics. This enables it to concentrate its research funding on topics where there is a particular need for scientific knowledge on the part of practitioners and policymakers. At the same time, this allows the BMBF to reinforce the content profiling of educational research and foster interdisciplinary cooperation among researchers.

Hand legt Baustein in eine Zielscheibe

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Researchers identify the content of new research priorities based on their scientific expertise. The funding is fundamentally designed to be of a competitive nature. The BMBF publishes research funding directives for the particular topic area in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger). In a two-stage decision-making process, prospective researchers begin by submitting their project proposals. The BMBF engages with external experts to review these project briefs. Eligible projects are identified on the basis of the expert assessments. In the second stage of the procedure, the BMBF then asks those prospective researchers with positively evaluated project briefs to submit a formal application from the institution at which the project is to be carried out. The BMBF issues a decision on these funding applications following a final review. The project management agency DLR-PT monitors the research clusters and projects throughout the entire project duration. In addition, overarching meta-projects are conducted in parallel with the projects.

What does a meta-project do?

The meta-project runs parallel to the projects in the funding lines, conducting independent research projects from an overarching perspective in order to place the results in a wider scientific and social framework.

The contact details for the meta-projects can be found at the bottom of the overview page for the relevant research priority.

The following research priorities are currently receiving funding:

Overcoming educational barriers

Early childhood education

Digitalisation in education

Research on sexualised violence

Inclusive education

Cultural education

Online platform on learning disorders

Quality of all-day schooling

Language education and multilingualism

Current support for emerging researchers:

Emerging researchers groups

The following networking projects are currently being funded:

Strengthening European cooperation in educational research

completed research priorities

The following research priorities have been completed. All research results and data on completed projects can be found on the Topic Finder.

  • Professionalisation of teaching staff
  • Teaching and learning research from a neuroscience perspective
  • Equal opportunity and participation
  • Educational governance
  • Developmental disorders of scholastic skills
  • Language diagnostics/language support
  • An instrument for every child
  • Doctoral grants for emerging researchers

Overview Fields of action

Overview Structural goals