In DepthResearch Funding

German researchers promised a decade of budget increases

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Science  10 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6440, pp. 519
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6440.519

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Since Angela Merkel became chancellor in 2005, German research organizations have been the envy of the world, enjoying 3% budget boosts every year, even during economic downturns. Many observers credit the influence of Merkel, who has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Although she will step down by 2021, when her term ends, the budget increases will continue: On 3 May, state and federal ministers agreed to 3% yearly increases through 2030—an extra €17 billion over the next decade for organizations such as the Max Planck Society and the grantmaking agency the German Research Foundation. The agreement is also good news for universities and technical schools, traditionally funded by the states. It commits the federal government to a long-term role in university funding, and it includes significant boosts through 2027.