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DFG Funding Ranking: Freie Universität Berlin among the Top Five

Leader in the Fields of Humanities and Social Sciences

№ 233/2009 from Sep 10, 2009

The fifth Funding Ranking of the German Research Foundation (DFG) shows that Freie Universität Berlin has strengthened its already leading position among the strongest research universities in Germany. According to this ranking, researchers at Freie Universität received over 194 million euros in DFG funding from 2005 to 2007. In comparison with the period covered by the last report (2002 to 2004), Freie Universität has moved up from tenth place to fifth. For the period of 1999 to 2001, Freie Universität was in 13th place.

Freie Universität Berlin is one of three universities – the others being LMU Munich and Heidelberg University– that placed among the ten best universities in the categories of humanities and social sciences, life sciences, and natural sciences. The excellence of its research achievements thus extends across a considerable span of subjects. Freie Universität was also the only university in Berlin that was able to improve its rank in the overall standings since the last ranking covering 2005 to 2007.

In the humanities and social sciences, Freie Universität is the leader among German universities. In these research areas, Freie Universität received 67.6 million euros in DFG funds. In the life sciences there was also a significant improvement. Based on the number of professors in these disciplines, during the reporting period each professor acquired an average of about 340,000 euros in funding.

For the first time the latest DFG ranking registered the percentage of women among the successful applicants. Again, Freie Universität is a leader: No other German university has as many women researchers who have received DFG funding for a research project.

The DFG Funding Ranking also assesses the degree of networking and internationalization of German universities. The relevant indicator of international appeal and visibility is the number of visiting fellows supported through the German Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In the humanities and social sciences Freie Universität is in first place in both categories. When all subjects are included, Freie Universität Berlin is in second place.

The outstanding ranking results confirm the course toward the International Network University that Freie Universität has pursued in the Excellence Initiative. The president of Freie Universität, Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen, emphasizes that this ranking confirms that the efforts to promote excellent research have been highly successful. "The encouraging results of the DFG Funding Rankings are our motivation and commitment to continue these efforts."

Further Information

Goran Krstin, Spokesperson for the President of Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-73106, Fax: +49 (0)30 / 838-4 73106, Email: