Science is our passion

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) is a public foundation – an independent, non-profit organization for the exclusive and direct promotion of basic research in biomedicine. We support excellent scientists worldwide who elucidate the basic phenomena of human life and push the boundaries of our knowledge through experimental research. We believe that a stimulating environment, scientific freedom, and a sound financial basis are essential to the development of great scientific ideas and discoveries.

We, at the BIF, are a foundation that is specifically geared to and intended for people. Whether in terms of our personal support of our fellows, our long-standing relationship with our alumni, or the tenor and atmosphere of our International Titisee Conferences – we put people first.

Programmes for junior scientists

The BIF awards long-term PhD fellowships worldwide, thus supporting some 110 outstanding doctoral students at any given time. Our Travel Grant Programme is geared towards PhD and medical students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, to enable their participation in short-term practical training and scientific courses.

Research knows no borders. In both programmes, the BIF, therefore, funds irrespective of nationality, provided that either the projects are located in Europe or the researchers are European. To date, we have supported junior scientists of over 60 nationalities.

In our third programme for junior scientists, we grant MD fellowships to medical students studying in Germany to help them pursue ambitious experimental research projects in basic biomedical research in Europe or overseas.

ITCs: Local flavour, global reach

We organize and fund the International Titisee Conferences (ITCs), established in 1962. For these highly-acclaimed conferences, leading scientists from around the world come to Lake Titisee in Germany's Black Forest region to discuss the latest concepts and results in the life sciences in an atmosphere conducive to scientific exchange.

The scientists leading the conferences are selected by the BIF's Board of Trustees on account of their international scientific standing and their contributions to the field(s) of the respective ITC. The scientists then set the topic and select the participants. The organization and funding of the ITCs are taken care of by the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds.

Evaluation attests BIF high-quality work

A scientific research project by Heidelberg University has found that applicants and grantees perceive the BIF as a renowned and reliable organization with high standards and that it “obtains high levels of satisfaction among its partners”. Furthermore, the BIF’s “purposeful and customized supportive programmes” are rated as highly beneficial to academic careers.

Comments from study participants

“For me, it was very motivating for my career as a scientist to be a part of BIF’s funding programme. BIF has the extraordinary talent to create a feeling of belonging.”

"BIF promotes excellence, creative thinking and brings great minds from various parts of the world together. BIF fosters future leaders in various fields of life sciences."

The BIF's legal status

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) is a public foundation established in 1983 under German civil law. It is approved by and registered with the authorities of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate. The BIF’s purpose, as set forth in its Articles of Association, is “the promotion of basic research”, and is thus in the public’s interest. The BIF is, therefore, recognized as a charitable organization by the tax authorities. This means that it is exempt from corporate and trade taxes. The BIF’s current notice of tax exemption for the period of 2015 to 2017 was issued by the Mainz tax office on 20 March 2019. Its Tax ID Number is 26/674/13602.

The BIF is a member of the Association of German Foundations (Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen), the umbrella organization for foundations in Germany.

What is a foundation?

The principle behind a charitable foundation, such as the BIF, is simple: a person or institution wishes to actively support a purpose in the public's interest and to this end donates assets with which he or she endows his or her foundation, thus becoming its founder. The founder determines the foundation’s purpose and articles of association. Both must be approved by the state authorities. Any changes require their approval, as well. Once founded, foundations are independent legal entities with their own decision-making bodies.

German law stipulates that foundations, such as the BIF, must preserve their endowment as their capital stock. Only the revenue generated from their capital stock and any donations may be used, to the exclusion of all other purposes, to fulfil the foundation’s purpose, as set forth in its articles of association.