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Statutes and formalities

The National Research Platform on Zoonoses is an institutionalised consortium of scientists working in the field of zoonotic infectious diseases. This statute is not to be understood in the sense of association law, but as a basic paper of the zoonoses platform.

  • The current version of the statutes dated 29 January 2019, can be downloaded here.
  • If you would like to become a member of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses, please register here.

Information on projects and the project application procedure can be found on the following project pages.



Statutes National Research Platform for Zoonoses

(Adopted by the Internal Advisory Council on 29 January 2019)


§1 Name

National research platform for zoonoses

Office, Location MÜNSTER
c/o Institute of Virology (IMV)
Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster

Von-Esmarch-Str. 56, 48149 Münster, Germany
Phone: 0251 - 835 30 11
Fax: 0251 - 835 77 93 


c/o Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut
Bundesforschungsinstitut für Tiergesundheit
Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases (INNT)

Südufer 10, 17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems
Tel.: 038351 - 71198
Fax: 038351 - 71194

Geschäftsstelle, Standort BERLIN

Office, Location BERLIN
c/o Institute of Virology
Charité - University Medicine Berlin
Campus Charité Mitte

Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone: 030 - 450 525 094
Fax: 030 450 75 25 907

Central contact address:

Postal address: see location Münster


§2 Definition and objectives of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses

(1) The National Research Platform for Zoonoses (hereinafter referred to as the Zoonoses Platform) is an institutionalised association of researchers from university and non-university research institutions in the field of zoonotic infectious diseases throughout Germany, bound by these statutes.

(2) The objectives of the zoonoses platform are:

  • Support of zoonosis research in Germany
  • Promotion of the broad horizontal networking of human and veterinary medicine ("One Health Initiative") in the various research institutions in Germany with greater involvement of clinical infectiology, the public health sector and other relevant fields (e.g. environmental sciences, ecology, sociology, bio-geography, etc.).
  • Communication between scientists working in the field of zoonosis research and the interested public and politicians.
  • Registration, harmonisation and standardisation of existing resources.
  • Targeted promotion of young scientists in the field of zoonosis research
  • International networking of zoonoses research

(3) These objectives are to be achieved by:

  • Organisation and implementation of events which serve to cultivate contacts, exchange experiences and serve as a discussion forum
  • Establishment and maintenance of decision-making bodies in the zoonoses platform
  • Establishment, maintenance and development of appropriate infrastructures for the operation of the zoonoses platform (e.g. website and database internet portal)
  • Supporting and advising scientists on current national and international research funding opportunities
  • Information for and communication with the professional world, the general public and political representatives
  • Integration and consideration of the specific needs of young scientists.
  • Initiation and implementation of innovative and interactive pilot projects, cross-sectional projects and interdisciplinary doctoral projects.
  • Support and accompaniment of additional funding activities
  • Initiation and development of international partnerships

§3 Organization of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses

The organs of the zoonoses platform are the plenum of all members, the Internal Advisory Board and the office at three locations.

1. Plenum

a) Tasks 

The plenum discusses the need for research in the field of zoonotic infection research and elects the Internal Advisory Board. All members have the right to nominate, vote and elect.

b) Composition

The plenum is composed of all members of the zoonoses platform

c) Inclusion in the plenary session of the zoonoses platform

All registered members of the zoonoses platform are members of the plenum.

d) Mode of operation

The plenum meets at least once a year, usually as part of the annual symposium of the Zoonoses Platform. The office of the zoonoses platform is responsible for convening the meeting. Members of the Plenum may submit proposals for agenda and voting items for the annual meetings to the office at any time.

2. Internal advisory board

a) Tasks

The Internal Advisory Board shall represent the zoonoses platform externally. Together with the office, it conducts day-to-day business, performs overarching tasks of management and control and makes all scientifically relevant decisions for the zoonoses platform, including the review of applications for pilot and cross-sectional projects and for interdisciplinary doctoral projects.

b) Composition

The Internal Advisory Board consists of 34 equal members:

i) 7 representatives of the BMBF-funded zoonosis networks to be appointed by the Research Network on Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (including the spokesperson of the Research Network on Zoonotic Infectious Diseases),

ii) 6 representatives of the BMBF-funded junior research groups to be appointed by the Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Research Network,

iii) 3 representatives of BMEL- or BMG-sponsored projects or associations on the subject of zoonoses,

iv)  at least five other members of the zoonoses platform proposed by the plenary, covering the scientific fields of human medicine, veterinary medicine and infection biology with specialisations in virology, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, epidemiology, public health, clinical infectiology, infrastructure and method sciences and other relevant disciplines,

v) at least 1 representative of young scientists with scientific activities in the field of zoonoses - young scientists within the meaning of these statutes include scientists who are in an active doctoral process or who have completed their doctorate no more than three years ago at the time of election,

vi) two representatives each of the public health service and the veterinary offices appointed by BMG and BMEL,

vii) one named scientific representative of each of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, the Robert Koch Institute, the Paul Ehrlich Institute and the Institute for Microbiology of the Bundeswehr, provided that these institutes are not already part of the committee in functions other than legal or elected representatives and the respective institute does not explicitly request additional representation.

viii) Location manager of the office (currently 3, permanent members). In addition, representatives* nominated by name from the Federal Ministries of Education and Research (BMBF), Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Health (BMG) and Defence (BMVg) as well as the Project Management Agency for Health Research at DLR participate in the meetings of the Internal Advisory Board without voting rights.

c) Elections to the Internal Advisory Board

The Internal Advisory Board is elected annually in the plenum of the Zoonoses Platform within the framework of the Zoonoses Symposium. The members of the Advisory Board are elected for one year; re-election is possible without limitation.* 

The elections are held in three separate ballots:

i) for 3 advisory boards from the zoonosis projects and associations currently funded by the BMEL or BMG,

ii) for a further 5 advisory councils, the number of which may be increased by seats not occupied in ballot i),

iii) for 1 advisory board from the ranks of young scientists*. All candidates should present themselves to the voters with an assignment to the required fields of competence in accordance with § 3.2.b iv).

The office of the zoonoses platform is responsible for conducting the elections.

The election of representatives for young scientists in accordance with § 3.2.c v) need not necessarily take place within the framework of the Zoonoses Symposium. Only young scientists are entitled to vote actively and passively in this ballot within the meaning of these statutes. The term of office is based on that of the Internal Advisory Board, which is regulated in §3 Paragraph 2c Sentences 1 and 2.

* If, due to unforeseeable circumstances, it is not possible to hold the General Assembly for the election of the Internal Advisory Board within the framework of the Zoonoses Symposium, the term of office of the Internal Advisory Board may, in justified exceptional cases, be extended by democratic decision of the Internal Advisory Board in consultation with the office sites until the next possible regular General Assembly.

d) Mode of Operation

The Internal Council shall meet at least three times a year. Additional votes by e-mail, telephone or web conference are possible. The office of the zoonoses platform is responsible for convening, organising and recording the meetings.

e) External participants at meetings of the Internal Advisory Board

Persons wishing to attend meetings of the Internal Board as external participants must apply to the Secretariat in due time. The Internal Advisory Board decides on the application.

3. Office

Together with the Internal Advisory Board, the office shall manage the day-to-day business and administrative affairs of the zoonoses platform and implement the objectives set out in §2. It is the point of contact for members of the zoonoses platform for organisational questions. The office is managed by a management committee consisting of the three site managers. The three locations of the office represent the university research and departmental research as well as the various disciplines (human medicine and veterinary medicine) of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses.

§4 Membership

a) Conditions for membership

Members of the zoonoses platform may be all publicly funded scientists who are involved in zoonoses research and/or whose zoonoses research projects have been subject to an independent scientific assessment in advance. In addition, those scientists* who have published in peer-reviewed journals on zoonotic research issues in the past three years (at the time of the application for membership) are granted membership status.

b) Application for membership

Membership becomes effective upon registration using the appropriate form and is valid until revoked. The registration serves the legitimation of the plenum and the traceability of the activities of the members in zoonosis research. The office is entitled to check the information provided during registration.

c) Participation rights and duties of the members

Registered members of the zoonoses platform are entitled to participate in the plenary session and to exercise the rights of the plenary session regulated in §3. In addition, all members are entitled to submit project proposals for pilot and cross-sectional projects as well as for interdisciplinary doctoral projects. The procedure for awarding pilot and cross-sectional projects as well as interdisciplinary doctoral projects is regulated in a separate document. Upon request, each member may have access to the internal area of the zoonoses platform website and can present his project to the other members as well as to the interested public in the external area. Each member receives a personal, password-protected profile on the database internet portal. The members are asked to maintain the data in their profile. Each member is included in the distribution list of the zoonoses platform and is informed by the office about activities and events of the zoonoses platform. In particular, it receives invitations to the Plenum of the Zoonoses Platform. Membership does not entail any legal or financial obligations.

d) Exclusion from membership

At the request of a third party, a member may lose membership for a serious reason. The Internal Advisory Board shall decide on a corresponding application for expulsion.

e) Maintenance of member data and profile data in the database internet portal

The office regularly (e.g. within the framework of events) requests updated data for data maintenance. With the consent of the members, a change of personal data in the database internet portal can be made by an employee of the office.

f) Mitgliedschaftsstatus

In principle, each member is requested to inform the office of any changes to contact details or requirements for membership. If the office becomes aware that essential requirements of a member for membership within the zoonoses platform are no longer met, the office is entitled to change the membership status to guest status. If a member can no longer be reached by the zoonoses platform due to outdated contact data, the office shall also be entitled to transfer the membership to guest status after a reasonable period of time (usually 2 years after the last contact). The evaluation takes place after dutiful discretion.


§5 Guest status

(a) conditions for guest status on the zoonoses platform

A guest status can in principle be granted to all interested persons. Scientists who work at predominantly commercially oriented research institutions and are therefore excluded from membership can also apply for such a guest status.

b) Application for and approval of guest status

The application for guest status shall be addressed to the office of the zoonoses platform. The application shall be examined by the office and shall be decided on a case-by-case basis and at its discretion.

c) Participation rights and duties of the guests

Guests have no active or passive voting rights within the zoonoses platform. Guests do not have the right to apply for pilot and cross-sectional projects or interdisciplinary doctoral projects. Guests may, however, participate in such projects as cooperation partners. Guests receive read access to the internal web area of the zoonoses platform and are included in the e-mail distribution list of the zoonoses platform and thus informed about its activities. No further rights or obligations arise for guests.

§6 Entry into force, amendments to the Articles of Association

These Statutes shall enter into force with immediate effect upon their adoption by the Internal Advisory Board. It may be amended at any time by resolution of the Internal Advisory Board. Changes must be announced to the plenum promptly.


§7 Severability clause

Should parts of these Articles of Association become invalid by resolution or in fact, the remaining provisions of these Articles of Association shall continue to apply. The rights and obligations resulting from the funding decision and the BMBF's ancillary provisions for funding recipients within the framework of the "Zoonoses Platform" funding project remain unaffected by the provisions of these statutes.