The effects of the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak have shown that epidemics and pandemics cannot be managed on a solely national level; instead, the global framework needs to be taken into account. To be better prepared for the diverse aspects of global waves of infection, it is essential to support wide-ranging research across different disciplines. In addition to investigating the current pandemic, it is important to identify fundamental research questions that produce generalizable scientific findings.
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is therefore issuing a call for a multidisciplinary funding initiative. Funding is available for projects addressing the prevention, early detection, containment and investigation of the causes, impacts and management of epidemics and pandemics, taking the example of SARS-CoV-2 and other microorganisms and viruses that are pathogenic to humans.
This includes, for example, the investigation of
- the challenges and effects of an epidemic or pandemic and of measures taken for healthcare systems;
- psychological, social and cultural factors in the emergence, spread and treatment of epidemics and pandemics and the legal and ethical implications;
- the impacts on global and regional economic development, production and value creation chains, logistics, transport and communication;
- fundamental biological and medical aspects of a pathogen and the associated symptoms, as well as therapeutic methods or preventive measures in combination with one or more of the above topic areas.
The call is primarily aimed at multidisciplinary research projects. Proposals will also be considered for projects designed to gather and record basic data on the current epidemic and current countermeasures, which can serve as the basis for future retrospective analyses. Projects involving the simulation of the spread and consequences of pandemics and the effectiveness of interventions may also be submitted.