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DFG Funding Atlas 2015: Freie Universität Berlin Continues to Rank among Top Universities

Leading Again in Humanities and Social Sciences

№ 259/2015 from Sep 03, 2015

In the seventh funding ranking of the German Research Foundation (DFG), Freie Universität Berlin has maintained its leading position among research universities in Germany. As announced on Thursday jointly by the DFG, the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors' Association for German Science) for the reporting period from 2011 to 2013, Freie Universität ranked in fifth place. The first four positions were taken by LMU Munich, the University of Heidelberg, RWTH Aachen, and TU Munich. The ranking analyzed the data of 210 universities. According to the ranking, the DFG granted researchers at Freie Universität 252.2 million euros in funding between 2011 and 2013. That is a slight increase over the 2008 to 2010 reporting period. If the grants from the German Excellence Initiative are not included, Freie Universität raised funds amounting to 189.7 million euros during the named period, making it one of the top three universities receiving funds granted by the DFG.

The excellence in research achievements during the 2011 to 2013 reporting period extends across a broad range of subjects. Among the humanities and social sciences, Freie Universität is the leader among all the German universities: In these fields, Freie Universität received 89.3 million euros in DFG funding for research projects. In the life sciences, Freie Universität was able to improve its position from rank 7 to rank 5 while raising 93.1 million euros.

The DFG Funding Ranking also considers the degree of internationalization and networking among German universities. Indicators of international appeal and visibility include the number of stays of visiting researchers that were sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DFG), and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. With both of these sources of funding, Freie Universität came in first place in grants extended in the humanities and social sciences, as well as for interdisciplinary projects.


Goran Krstin, Press Spokesman for the President of Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-73106, Email:

Link to the Funding Atlas