With its future concept of the “International Network University,” Freie Universitaet Berlin was one of nine German universities selected in 2007 to receive funding in the Excellence Initiative jointly sponsored by the German federal government and the governments of the German states.
The follow-up proposal “Veritas – Justitia – Libertas. International Network University” was approved in the Excellence Initiative in 2012 and will be funded for another five years until 2017 together with five other German universities.
The goal of the initiative is to further develop top university research, identify new, forward-looking fields of research, and ensure that research at German institutions is on a firmly competitive footing at the international level.
Since as far back as 2003, Freie Universität Berlin has maintained an interdisciplinary network of socially and academically important, new and forward-looking fields of research. With this restructured research concept as a basis, the excellence clusters supported by the Excellence Initiative pool outstanding scientific and academic expertise and are home to interdisciplinary areas of research focus that serve to establish the university’s profile.
Since 2012 the Freie Universitaet Berlin hosts two clusters and participates in three clusters of excellence. This university hosts four graduate schools of excellence and participates in five graduate schools.
Within the Focus Areas, the research performed at Freie Universität Berlin is not divided into fixed institutional units, but rather is brought together in an interdisciplinary structure with a specific focus, with the aim of creating working areas to generate overarching topics having to do with global future developments and for various areas of social, economic, or political importance. Within the Focus Areas, a network of partner institutions both within and outside of academia and in Germany and abroad is created, even as junior scholars and scientists receive extensive support.