Facts and figures about the BIF

With its yearly budget of nearly five million euros, the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) finances its four programmes: PhD fellowships, MD fellowships, travel grants, and the International Titisee Conferences.

In 2019, the BIF spent approximately 5.003 million euro, 4.712 million of which flowed into the funding of research. The remains went towards financing the BIF's administration, as audited by Rödl & Partner GmbB Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft Steuerberatungsgesellschaft.

Since 2010, the BIF has been fully funded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation (Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung), an independent sister foundation.

Fellowship programmes

The largest part (73 %) of BIF's research funding flows into its flagship programme, the PhD fellowships for outstanding junior scientists pursuing an ambitious PhD project in basic biomedical research in an internationally leading laboratory. Every year, we award about 45 new fellowships selected in a two-step peer-review process from the roughly 600 applications we receive. At any given time, we fund approximately 110 PhD fellows. Among them, the ratio of males to females is about even, and roughly 60 % are non-German. Over the years, we have funded junior scientists of about 60 different nationalities through this programme.

Our newest and smallest programme, the MD fellowships received 5 % of our research funding in 2019. The programme provides gifted young medics studying in Germany with the opportunity to pursue an ambitious research project in an internationally renowned laboratory. About 80 % of its grantees use the fellowship to do research in North America. At any given time, we fund about 10 MD fellows. In 2018, we awarded our 100th MD fellowship.

Seminars, network & personal support

We support our fellows with much more than just the monthly stipend. They also receive travel allowances, e.g. to present their research at international conferences or to learn new methods. In addition, they are invited to tailor-made seminars and training courses that are rated as highly beneficial to academic careers. We also support them personally and individually during and after the fellowship period and nurture the ever-growing network of BIF fellows and alumni, which currently includes about 1,600 members. About 90 % of them stay in touch with us.

In 2018, the BIF spent 10 % of its research funding on its comprehensive support, training measures, meetings and seminars.

The BIF fellowship is seen as a certificate of excellence. Currently, about 260 professors and around 90 principal investigators in academia are counted among our alumni.

Travel Grant Programme

Our Travel Grant Programme is aimed at junior researchers who are currently conducting an experimental project in basic biomedical research and wish, as part of their project, to pursue a short-term research stay or attend a practical course of up to three months.

Every year, we award about 150 travel grants. From a German perspective, about 80 % of the applicants are from abroad, and about 25 % of these are from overseas. To date, we have funded junior researchers of around 50 different nationalities in this programme.

In 2019, about 8 % of our research funding went to our Travel Grants Programme.

International Titisee Conferences

Our biannual International Titisee Conferences (ITCs) bring together leading scientists from around the world to discuss topics at the cutting edge of science. Their topics cover the entire spectrum of basic research in biomedicine. This highly acclaimed conference series has been running since 1962, and has thus far included about 120 conferences. The goal of the ITCs is to provide a forum for in-depth discussion of unpublished research results and new concepts, and for exchange between different subdisciplines. ITCs are small in size, with only about 60 participants per conference.

In 2019, the BIF spent about 5 % of its research funding on its ITCs.