Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany)


Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
BMBF Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed20 October 1955 as Bundesministerium für Atomfragen
JurisdictionGovernment of Germany
HeadquartersHeinemannstraße 2
53175 Bonn
50°42′12″N 7°08′21″E / 50.70342°N 7.13917°E / 50.70342; 7.13917Coordinates: 50°42′12″N 7°08′21″E / 50.70342°N 7.13917°E / 50.70342; 7.13917
Annual budget20.799 billion (2021)[1]
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • Jens Brandenburg, Parliamentary State Secretary
  • Thomas Sattelberger, Parliamentary State Secretary
  • Kornelia Haugg, Permanent State Secretary
  • Judith Pirscher, Permanent State Secretary

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (German: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung), abbreviated BMBF, is a cabinet-level ministry of Germany. It is headquartered in Bonn, with an office in Berlin. The Ministry provides funding for research projects and institutions (aiming for "research excellence"[2]) and sets general educational policy. It also provides student loans in Germany. However, a large part of educational policy in Germany is decided at the state level, strongly limiting the influence of the ministry in educational matters.


The Federal Ministry for Atomic Issues was established in 1955, concentrating on research in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The ministry was renamed in 1962 to Federal Ministry of Scientific Research, with a broader scope; it was renamed again, to Federal Ministry of Education and Science, in 1969.

A separate ministry, the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology, was established in 1972. The two Ministries merged in 1994 to form the Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology; this title was shortened to Federal Ministry for Education and Research in 1998.


Ministry of Education and Research headquarters building, Bonn

The BMBF currently has eight directorates-general (as at November 2020). These are in addition to the central directorate-general that is responsible for administrative tasks:[3]

  • Directorate-General 1: Policy Issues and Strategies
  • Directorate-General 2: European and International Cooperation in Education and Research
  • Directorate-General 3: General Education and Vocational Training; Lifelong Learning
  • Directorate-General 4: Higher Education and Research System
  • Directorate-General 5: Research for Technological Sovereignty and Innovation
  • Directorate-General 6: Life Sciences
  • Directorate-General 7: Provision for the Future - Basic Research and Research for Sustainable Development

Each directorate-general consists of one or two subdivisions and 10 to 15 units. The greater part of the subdivisions is located in Bonn, the smaller part in Berlin. The BMBF has around 1000 employees. The head of the BMBF is formed by two parliamentary secretaries and two permanent state secretaries in addition to the minister.

Federal Ministers

Political Party:   CDU   SPD   FDP

Portrait Party Term of Office Chancellor
Federal Minister for Education, Science, Research and Technology
Jürgen Rüttgers
(b. 1951)
Juergen Ruettgers.jpg CDU 17 November 1994 26 October 1998 Kohl
Federal Minister for Education and Research
Edelgard Bulmahn
(b. 1951)
2014-09-09 - Edelgard Bulmahn MdB - 7159.jpg SPD 26 October 1998 22 November 2005 Schröder
Annette Schavan
(b. 1955)
Schavan 2010.jpg CDU 22 November 2005 14 February 2013 Merkel
Johanna Wanka
(b. 1951)
Johanna Wanka MWK 2.jpg CDU 14 February 2013 14 March 2018 Merkel
Anja Karliczek
(b. 1971)
Karliczek, Anja-1612.jpg CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021 Merkel
Bettina Stark-Watzinger
(b. 1968)
2018-05-10 Bettina Stark-Watzinger-7710.jpg FDP 8 December 2021 Incumbent Scholz

See also


  1. ^ "Bundeshaushalt". www.bundeshaushalt.de. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Research excellence is a must in a country whose prosperity is built on the innovative strength of its industry. The aim of the High-Tech Strategy is to make Germany a leader in providing scientific and technical solutions to the challenges in the fields of climate/energy, health/nutrition, mobility, security, and communication." Ministry: Objectives and Tasks
  3. ^ "Organizational Chart of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research" (pdf). BMBF. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-11-26.

External links

  • Official English website