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National Research Data Infrastructure for Earth System Sciences

The aim of the national research data infrastructure (NFDI) is to systematically manage scientific and research data, provide long-term data storage, backup and accessibility, and network the data both nationally and internationally. The NFDI will bring multiple stakeholders together in a coordinated network of consortia tasked with providing science-driven data services to research communities.

© NFDI4EarthCopyright: NFDI4Earth

Within the framework of the NFDI4Earth consortium, Geoververbund ABC/J is committed to the development of a national research data infrastructure in the field of Earth system sciences.

On October 15, 2019, the application entitled NFDI4Earth - National Research Data Infrastructure for Earth System Sciences was submitted by Prof. Lars Benard, spokesperson at TU Dresden. The further schedule of the DFG is as follows:

  • November-December 2019: Review of the proposals of the first round (date for NFDI4Earth: December 2-3, 2019)
  • February 2020: Communication of the evaluation results to the consortia with an opportunity to comment
  • March/April 2020: Meeting of the Expert Panel / Funding Recommendation to the GWK
  • June 2020: Funding decision of the GWK on first round proposals

About the consortium

Since spring 2018, the initiative has been promoted by scientists from various universities and non-university research institutions as well as representatives of infrastructure facilities in Earth system research. In a first step, a joint expression of interest was formulated in order to address further actors and to be able to put together a consortium as broadly based as possible.

© Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ)TeilnehmerInnen des 1. Plenumtreffens zur NFDI4Earth am 19.12.2018 am DKRZ in Hamburg. / Participants of the 1st plenary meeting of the NFDI4Earth initiative on 19.12.2018 at the DKRZ in Hamburg.
Copyright: Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ)

Around 60 colleagues took part in the first plenary meeting on 19 December 2018 at the DKRZ in Hamburg. More than 40 colleagues worked in the coordination group as well as in the working groups (1) Community Building & Collaborative Governance, (2) Needs of Digital Change, (3) FAIR Principles / Interoperability and (4) Training Strategies on the structure and content of a joint proposal. The second plenary meeting took place on 21 February 2019 at the PIK in Potsdam. Compared to the number of participants of the first plenary meeting, the second meeting with more than 80 participants was not only more attended, but also the spectrum of represented research institutions, interest groups and infrastructure providers was broader.

On 13 and 14 May 2019 the NFDI Conference took place in Bonn with the following objectives: (1) To inform the representatives of planned consortia about the concept and overarching goals of the NFDI and about the cornerstones of the expected DFG call. (2) Mutual exchange between the consortia and with international experts. (3) Supporting the self-organisation and networking of consortia for cross-consortia services, for subject-related or data-related offers. In order to be able to participate in the NFDI Conference, a short project description in the form of an "Extended Abstract" was submitted to the DFG in advance, concisely outlining the basic ideas, background and objectives of the project; a total of 57 Extended Abstracts were submitted to the Conference. The NFDI4Earth consortium was represented by Prof. Monika Sester (Leibniz Universität Hannover), Prof. Lars Bernard (TU Dresden) and Roland Bertelmann (GFZ). Participation in the NFDI Conference was a prerequisite for the possibility to participate in the NFDI call for abstracts.

The 3rd NFDI4Earth Plenum Meeting took place on 17 and 18 June 2019 at the University of Göttingen. The reports of the various NFDI4Earth working groups and highlights on the implementation of the FAIR principles in the field of geosciences were presented and interfaces and their possible design to other NFDI consortia were discussed. The meeting focused on the preparation of the NFDI4Earth proposal. The TU Dresden, represented by the speaker Lars Bernard, was introduced as the applicant institution. By June 24, 2019, the co-applicants and co-spokespersons of the participating institutions had been identified and by July 4, 2019, the binding LoI have been submitted to the DFG. The final proposal was submitted on 15.10.2019.

In May 2020, the NFDI expert panel of the DFG did not recommend the NFDI4Earth proposal for funding in the first round of the NFDI programme, but instead invited the consortium to submit a new proposal for the second round. An intensive review with the involvement of all participants to reshape the proposal was carried out until the resubmission of the final proposal on 30.09.2020. The further schedule of the DFG in the second round of proposals includes the following steps until the final funding decision:

  • November-December 2020: Review of the proposals of the second round (date for NFDI4Earth: December 3, 2020)
  • February 2021: Communication of the evaluation results to the consortia with an opportunity to comment
  • End of March 2021: Meeting of the Expert Panel / Funding Recommendation to the GWK
  • June 2021: Funding decision of the GWK on second round proposals

In the course of the second application, the Geoverbund was able to position itself together with Geo.X and DAM in one Measure, in order to be able to support the NFDI4Earth in the future, especially through its expertise in the area of promoting young scientists.

In the sense of a national infrastructure, which should meet the requirements of all actors in the field of Earth system sciences, the consortium remains open and invites all interested institutions to participate. Registration for the e-mail distribution list, participation in an interest group or submissions of own pilots is possible via the homepage via the homepage The homepage also contains detailed background information and reports on current developments of the initiative.

Links, information and documents related to NFDI4Earth

Contact persons in the Geoverbund

© Konstantin Ntageretzis

Dr. Konstantin Ntageretzis

Head of Coordination Office

phone: +49 2461 61-96640