The funding program “Sonderforschungsbereiche” of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) is dedicated to collaborative research centers that are either localized at one university (SFB) or involve more than one university at different locations and are thus called trans-regional (SFB/TRR).
Collaborative Research Centres are long-term university-based research institutions, established for up to 12 years, in which researchers work together within a multidisciplinary research program. They allow researchers to tackle innovative, challenging, complex and long-term research undertakings through the coordination and concentration of individuals and resources within the applicant universities. SFBs thus enable institutional priority area and structural development. The centers set up their own scientific-administrative infrastructure and public relations, possibly integrating additional funding components, for example an integrated graduate school or projects for knowledge transfer. Expanding international collaboration is also especially promoted.