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Freie Universität Berlin Successful in DAAD Competition

Interdisciplinary Center of Excellence for Science to Be Established in St. Petersburg

№ 189/2009 from Jul 10, 2009

Freie Universität Berlin and the State University of St. Petersburg are establishing the first interdisciplinary center of excellence for research and teaching in Russia. Both institutions emerged successfully in a competition of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The aim of these centers of excellence is to highlight the special strengths of German science and to expedite international networking, in particular for junior researchers. The new center is to be funded with ca. 1.25 million euros over the next five years. The funds are provided by the German Foreign Office.

The interdisciplinary center of excellence, German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center (G-RISC), builds on a long tradition of scientific cooperation between German and Russian scientists. Freie Universität Berlin has been working closely with the University of St. Petersburg for over 40 years. In recent years, under the leadership of Freie Universität Berlin the Russian-German laboratory at the electron-storage ring facility BESSY-II in Berlin-Adlershof was built up, and numerous exchange programs with the University of St. Petersburg were initiated. This well-established collaboration of leading research groups is the basis for the G-RISC excellence center.

The establishment of G-RISC opens up a new dimension of cooperation in scientific research and teaching. Scientists from the disciplines of physics, geophysics, physical chemistry, and mathematics will collaborate across disciplinary boundaries. Altogether, scientists from more than 30 institutions and more than 100 research groups from Russia and Germany will be teaching and perfoming research at the interdisciplinary center. This is expected to open up new opportunities for the interdisciplinary training of young scientists. It is the basis for an internationally visible and long-term collaboration of leading scientists from Russia and Germany, who contribute to the current research on nanoscopic materials, intermolecular interactions, and ultra-fast processes.

For further information and interview requests:

Prof. Dr. Eckart Rühl, Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy, Freie Universität Berlin,
Tel.: +49 (0)30 /838-52396 and +49 (0)30 /838-52096, Email: ruehl@chemie.fu-berlin.de