RWTH Continues to Achieve Top Positions in DFG Funding Atlas


Creating a strong profile pays off: RWTH is leading the field in engineering and achieves outstanding results in the natural sciences.


According to the 2018 DFG Funding Atlas, in the reporting period between 2014 and 2016, RWTH has received more than 200 million euros in national funding– more than any other Germany university. The funding ranking is published every three years by DFG, the German Research Foundation.

The Aachen University is also among the top five German universities with respect to funding from the European Union. Moreover, in the reporting period, RWTH has received 281 million euros from the DFG, coming in third place and leading the field of Germany’s universities of technology.

The RWTH engineering departments are the most successful by far nationally in acquiring DFG funding, receiving 134.3 million euros in the reporting period and thus 47.9 million euros more than the second-ranked educational and research institution, the University of Nürnberg-Erlangen.

Furthermore, RWTH has received 33.9 million euros from the Industrial Collective Research program (IGF) funded by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations, AiF for short, which makes it the top beneficiary of the funding program. TU Munich comes in second place, receiving 24.2 million in IGF funding.

Receiving 48.1 million euros in DFG funding, RWTH’s natural sciences departments are also placed in the top group.

"These results go to show that a university has to have a strong profile to position itself among the top group. The Funding Atlas confirms that we are the leader in engineering, a result based on our achievements in fundamental research and our interdisciplinary outlook,” said RWTH rector Ernst Schmachtenberg.

Receiving 23 million euros in the reporting period, the RWTH chemistry departments are leading the field with respect to DFG funding as well. The DFG explicitly confirmed the University’s strong position in molecular chemistry and polymer research.

In the field of architecture, with DFG funding in the amount of 7.2 million euros, RWTH is in third position, following the universities of Bochum and Stuttgart.

The Funding Atlas analyzes data from the DFG, the federal ministries, the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, the funding programs from the European Research Council ERC, as well as AiF. It provides a set of key indicators on public, project-related external funding; on funding provided by business, industry, and non-university research institutions; as well as indicators on internationally oriented mobility funding, such Alexander von Humboldt professorships and fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD.

Alongside LMU Munich, TU Munich, and the universities of Bonn and Münster, RWTH is one of the major host universities of visiting researchers in the engineering and natural sciences. As Rector Schmachtenberg concludes: “RWTH has established itself as an attractive location for excellent researchers. This is one of the many successes confirmed by the DFG Funding Atlas."