Funding Project Costs in Developing Countries


FWF supports research projects conducted in cooperation with scientists from developing countries.  The objective is to make it easier to provide collaboration partners in developing countries with the funding they need to cover project-related costs and to create transparent conditions for cooperating with these researchers.

Funding Programs 

Funding can be applied for under the provisions of all programs in the FWF's program portfolio that allow the type of funding relevant in this context (e.g., Stand-Alone Projects). In funding programs that provide lump sums (instead of funding for specific budget items), costs for research collaborations with developing countries can be covered from the lump sum. FWF should be notified of this in advance.


Under the provisions of this program, the FWF can only fund project-specific costs in countries classified as “Least Developed Countries,” “Low Income Countries,” and “Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories” (excluding India) according to the OECD’s current DAC list. The participation of researchers from developing countries must be essential for the implementation of the project. Please note that by law, the FWF is not permitted to finance costs intended to provide development aid or infrastructure in the partner country.

Research collaborations with partners from countries that do not fall into the above-mentioned categories can still be conducted in accordance with the guidelines for the respective funding program.

Application procedures 

All costs incurred in developing countries must be stated separately in the application and included in the category “other costs.” When submitting the application online, in the form “National / international collaborations,” please tick the box indicating that the international collaboration partner in the developing country should be funded by the FWF. 

Funding personnel costs 
The following applies to FWF funding for personnel costs of collaboration partners from developing countries:

  • An institutional affiliation with a recognized local research institution/university in the developing country is required.
  • The local salary level in the developing country determines personnel costs, rather than the FWF standard rates.
  • Funding for personnel can only be requested at these local rates. Proof (with stamp and signature) must be provided, stating the name of the person to be employed, costs (incl. all taxes) per year, what percent of the individual’s total employment would be devoted to the project, and the total employment volume in hours per week.
  • Furthermore, confirmation is required from the research institution/university that the individual personnel costs charged on a project-specific basis do not exceed the local salary level and correspond with the project activity and training level.

Peer Review

Project applications which include costs for collaboration partners in developing countries are reviewed according to the standard criteria that apply for the respective funding program.