Participating Excellence Projects and Focus Areas

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Program co-funded by the European Union
Humanities and Social Sciences

The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) analyses Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as Muslim communities in Europe and North America.

For further details regarding the BGSMCS please contact or visit   

The Center for Area Studies (CAS) represents a unique feature of Freie Universitaet Berlin in that it concentrates regional expertise across the humanities and social sciences for North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, East Asia, and the Near East.

For further details regarding the Center for Area Studies please contact Gregor Walter-Drop at or visit 

The Dahlem Humanities Center (DHC) creates an overarching interdisciplinary research framework to study the outward manifestations, principles, and functions of cultural dynamics.

For further details regarding the Dahlem Humanities Center please contact Katja Heinrich at or visit

The Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS) carries outsystematic and comparative study of East Asia in its wider global context. 

Research fields: The interdisciplinary analysis of origins, effects or interdependence of institutions in East Asia from a social science perspective; Trans-regional phenomena, interregional comparisons, or regional case studies in China, Japan and Korea.

For further details regarding the GEAS please contact Katrin Gengenbach at or visit 

Topoi - The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations examines the interdependence of space and knowledge in civilizations of the Ancient Near East, the Mediterranean, and Black Sea region and parts of the Eurasian steppe from the 6th millennium BC to around AD 500

Key topics: Innovations in antiquity; Mapping in physical or mental diagrams, maps, and pictures; Ancient economy; Water management in antiquity; collective identities; and the transformation of antique phenomena.
Research fields:
The interaction between ancient human communities and the natural environment; The social control mechanisms through which ancient spaces have been constituted, defined, formed and regulated; The perception and representation of spaces in ancient cultures; Ancient theories of space and all forms of ancient science concerned with the concept of space.

For further questions regarding Topoi please contact Hauke Ziemssen, or visit

Natural and Life Sciences

The Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) develops mathematics for key technologies and supports partners in industry, economy and science.

Research fields: Differential and Discrete Geometry, Algebraic and Arithmetic Geometry, Algebraic Topology, Discrete Mathematics, Visualization, Numerical Mathematics, Scientific Computing, Geometric Analysis, Differential Equations.

For further details regarding the BMS please contact Alexander Schmitt, or visit

The Dahlem Centre for Plant Sciences (DCPS) aims for a comprehensive understanding of diverse aspects of plant life by integrating disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology, plant geography, and history of botany

Key topic 1: Plant mobile genetic elements: activities, functions, genome evolution
Key topic 2: Effect of plant diversity loss on above- and below-ground functions and stability of ecosystems
Key topic 3: Rhizosphere interactions and their impacts on ecosystem functions
Key topic 4: Investigation of interaction between saponins and ribosomal inactivating proteins

For further details regarding the Dahlem Centre for Plant Sciences please contact Diana Mutz at or visit

Disease in Human Aging (DynAge) investigates dynamics at the level of molecules, individuals and society.

Key topic: Disease in Human Aging: Tumors, Cardiovascular Disease, Musculoskeletal Diseases, and Cognitive Disorders/ Depression

For further details regarding the Focus Area Disease in Human Aging please contact Linda Parschau at or visit

NanoScale focuses on advanced interdisciplinary research on materials properties of nanoscale systems.

Key topic 1: Supramolecular Interactions
Key topic 2: Nanoscale Systems

For further details regarding NanoScale please contact Achim Wiedekind at  or visit

NeuroCure focuses on neurological disorders known to have overlapping pathophysiological cascades, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, focal epilepsies, and developmental disturbances.

For further questions regarding NeuroCure please contact Marian Brackmann at  or visit