The History

30. Oktober 1920

Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft founded in Berlin on the initiative of Fritz Haber, “Father of the Notgemeinschaft”, and Friedrich Schmidt-Ott, who became its first president
On the Notgemeinschaft


Creation of a Donors’ Association, Stifterverband der Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft e.V., for the purpose of acquiring additional funding in the form of private donations
On the origins


An spectacular Expedition funded by the Notgemeinschaft and the Stifterverband starts.


The Pamir expedition was funded jointly by the Notgemeinschaft and the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Eleven German and eleven Russian researchers traversed a largely unknown mountainous region in the south-eastern Soviet Union bordering Afghanistan and China for five months.
On the Pamir expedition

since 1934

The Notgemeinschaft conformed to the requirements of the NS regime without much resistance: it surrendered its self-governing structures in favour of an autocratic Führer principle, and from 1937 it increasingly focused its work on funding research on war-related topics.
An organisation conforms

Critical reappraisal of the National Socialist era

The DFG as a self-governing organisation of German science and research has put intensive effort into the critical reappraisal of its role during National Socialism. An independent research group worked through this issue for seven years under the leadership of historian Professor Rüdiger vom Bruch and Professor Ulrich Herbert. Their findings can be summed up as follows. After 1933, the DFG and the researchers it supported dedicated themselves largely – and for the most part without reserve – to serving National Socialism.
Critical Appraisal of the National Socialist Era

Presidents from 1951 on

Learn more about the DFG’s Presidents from 1951 to 2020
Presidents from 1951 on

2. August 1951

Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft and Deutscher Forschungsrat merge to form the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)
From the Notgemeinschaft to the DFG

since 1951

The predecessor organisation to the DFG, the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft, had its headquarters in Berlin. Since 1949, the DFG has been based in Bonn/Bad Godesberg. The buildings on Kennedyallee are an architectural and artistic gem to this day.
The Buildings of the DFG Head Office

Retrospect: Names through changing times

It began with Deutsche Gemeinschaft zur Erhaltung und Förderung der Forschung – Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft – E.V. (The German Foundation for the Preservation and Promotion of Research – Emergency Foundation of German Science (registered association))
On the Names

since 1952

An overview of the DFG’s current funding strategy and its development. They also trace the development of the current funding programmes since the DFG’s establishment in its present form.
Funding Past and Present

© Foto: Bundesarchiv Koblenz: BAK B 227-540 Hefter 3

Extract from the statutes of the Notgemeinschaft, October 1920

© Foto: aus Zierold, Forschungsförderung in drei Epochen, 1968

Notgemeinschaft committee 1924 with Fritz Haber (front left) and Max Planck (centre)

gemeinfrei/Steve Nicklas, NOS, NGS,

The Meteor in the 1920ies

© Foto: aus Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Alai-Pamir-Expedition 1928 im Auftrage der Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft, 1932

Map of the Notgemeinschaft Glacier

© Foto: DFG

The first home of the DFG’s Head Office after the Second World War: a villa on the Rhine, Bad Godesberg 1950

© Foto: DFG

The DFG Head Office at Frankengraben 40 with its first annex in 1957.

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