External Funding in 2013 at Record High

SuperC and RWTH Main Building Copyright: © Peter Winandy

RWTH Aachen was able to increase its external funding budget by 33 million Euros. In 2013, the University's external funding expenditure was  €354 million Euros – a ten percent increase compared to the previous year.


RWTH researchers use external funds for projects in fundamental and applied research. Extramural funds have been acquired, for example, through Germany’s excellence initiative, endowed chairs, international collaboration, and DFG institutions such as collaborative research centers, research groups, and graduate research training groups.

The financially strongest interdisciplinary research areas in this respect are materials research; life sciences and medical engineering, and energy research with external funding budgets of 52, 44, and 37 million Euros, respectively.

Public institutions, including the EU, provided 123 million Euros, business and industry 102 million Euros. The German Research Foundation, DFG for short, contributed 88 million Euros in research funding. Furthermore, foundations, associations, and individual research sponsors contributed to RWTH’s external funding budget.

Externally funded research also significantly contributes to the economic vitality of the region: about 3100 research staff and 1700 student assistants, who contribute to consumption of goods and services in the region, are financed through extramural funds. Further positive effects include increased construction activities, tax revenues, and rate support grants for the City of Aachen and the Federal State of NRW.

The University’s total budget amounts to 888 million Euros, including funding from the Federal State of NRW, funds from the 2020 University Pact, the NRW Quality Improvements Funds, and extramural funding.

With its over 10000 employees, RWTH Aachen is the largest employer in the region.