Sixteen members of a Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) at the elite University of Göttingen, funded by Germany's major national research agency, the DFG, are being investigated for scientific misconduct.

SFBs are highly prized and generously funded awards that continue for up to 12 years. In a statement on 4 May, the university said that an internal preliminary investigation had found that the scientists listed non-existent papers in their routine milestone report for continuation of funding. The researchers have apologized to the DFG for providing false information.

The interdisciplinary project, studying the stability of the Indonesian rainforest, had been approved €16.6 million (US$22.3 million) from 2000 to June this year. A request for a further €8.6 million has been withdrawn. The DFG is looking into the case and investigating whether financial irregularities occurred.