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Research funders and Open Access

Many research funders have issued their own open access (OA) policies to enable freedom of access to the scholarly outputs of the projects they fund. Funded authors are supported in various ways when publishing open access.

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Research Funders' Open Access Policies

When writing your grant application, please take the open access policy of your prospective funder into account so that you can plan appropriate budgets for publication costs. SherpaJuliet presents summaries of funder open access policies with helpful links. On this website you will find information on how selected sponsors support you. If you need information about a funder which is not represented here, please contact us.

If direct financial support from your funder is no longer possible, you should find out about the support from your institution.

Plan S & cOAlition S

Funders who have signed the 10 principles of Plan S are members of cOAlition S - including the European Commission, the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (UKRI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

From January 2021, funded authors are obliged to publish one of the two following versions of their journal article open access, with a CC BY licence* and without any time delay (embargo):

  • a) Publisher version (often subject to a fee)
  • b) Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in an open access repository (e.g. the repositories of FU Berlin and Charité - Refubium)

Some funders base the start date of 2021 on when a journal article is submitted to the journal, others on the 2021 start of a funded project or launch of a funding program. For information on how individual funders define the start date for their Plan S editions, see the cOAlition S implementation webpages

Immediate open access is possible in journals which are 100% open access or also in hybrid journals, provided the latter have credible transformation plans. The cOAlition S provides a Journal Checker Tool that allows quick orientation as to which journals are Plan S-compatible.

*Please see the Creative Commons website for information about Creative Commons licenses and the CC BY license.

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Within the framework of a DFG-funded project, funds for publication can and should be applied for. These are up to a maximum of 750 EUR per year (or in the case of a book publication 5.000 EUR), but can also be accumulated over the entire duration of the project. Recipients of grants are requested to use these funds for open access publications wherever possible. „Grey literature” will not be funded.

Further details can be found in the DFG guidelines (in German).

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Post-Grant-Fund

The so-called post-grant fund covers the costs of publications up to three years after the end of a BMBF funding project.

Scientific articles (journal publications) from projects funded by the BMBF should be published in such a way that they are freely accessible on the Internet either immediately upon publication or after a maximum period of twelve months. Additional publication costs may be incurred for this.


The following are entitled to apply for or receive funding:

  • Grant recipients of projects funded by the BMBF that are planning an open access publication and are not commercial enterprises, and
  • Private individuals who were employed by recipients of BMBF-funded projects and who are planning an open access publication.

Eligibility requirements

Funding is only available for open access publications of research results from a project funded by the BMBF.

Prerequisites for the grant are:

  • that the funding period of the BMBF-funded project ended no more than three years ago (the date of application is decisive for the three-year period),
  • that the content of the open access publication can be traced back to the project funded by the BMBF,
  • that a binding offer is submitted for publication, but no contract has yet been concluded,
  • that the publication expenditures are not or cannot be financed by other institutions or sponsors.

Type and scope, amount of funding

Up to an amount of 2,000 EUR (net) per publication, full funding is provided for publication expenses (project funding for fixed-amount financing). If publication costs exceed 2,000 EUR (net), an additional 20 % of the additional amount will be funded. The maximum funding amount per publication is 2,400 EUR (net) and publications in hybrid journals are acceptable.

Further information
For further information and details, please refer to the announcement of the BMBF (in German).