Areas of Research

The broadest spectrum of research in the humanities in Germany is to be found at Freie Universität Berlin. Dahlem Humanities Center (DHC) provides an overarching framework for the numerous disciplines and activities in the humanities at Freie Universität.

The Center for Area Studies clusters the regional studies research on North and Latin America, Eastern Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and individual European countries. Governance research is one highlight of the Otto-Suhr-Institut, one of the most renowned political science institutes in Europe.

In the natural sciences, major focus is placed on the life sciences and Earth sciences, as well as physics and computer science. Mathematics at Freie Universität is extremely highly regarded around the world. The broad spectrum also includes the Department of Veterinary Medicine as well as the Institute of Pharmacy, which has the most extensive pharmaceutical educational programs in Germany. Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a joint corporation of Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität, is the largest medical school in Europe.

Focus Areas: Current Emphases in Research

The core idea behind the university’s research planning is to encourage scholars and scientists from different disciplines and departments to work together on studying topics of particular social relevance. A series of focus areas form the working platform for these areas of emphasis in the research conducted at Freie Universität.

The structure and form of this type of interdisciplinary research alliance ranges from loosely organized platforms that offer opportunities to share ideas to tightly-knit alliances working on proposals. The success of the focus area approach is measured according to parameters such as support for junior scholars and scientists, publications, events, international visibility, and funds raised from external sources. Its life cycle depends on the scope of the issues being explored and the cooperative arrangements put in place to study them.

Current focus areas at Freie Universität Berlin:

Award-winning Research under the Excellence Initiative

Several clusters of excellence and graduate schools at the university received distinction all at once in 2007, as part of the Excellence Competition jointly sponsored by the German federal government and the governments of the individual states. They included the Languages of Emotion cluster of excellence and the Topoi cluster of excellence, which also involves the participation of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Several graduate schools at Freie Universität that offer doctoral programs also receive funding under the initiative, including the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School, the Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies, and the Graduate School of North American Studies.

Matheon Research Center for Applied Mathematics

The Matheon research center for applied mathematics is an alliance of scholars at Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, and the Zuse Institute Berlin. Matheon has received funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2002. About 200 scholars participate in the research center’s approximately 70 projects.

The goal of Matheon is to develop mathematical principles and methods for modern technologies. The center is recognized all over the world for its academic excellence.