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International Network University in German Excellence Competition

Freie Universität Submits Follow-up and New Proposals

№ 273/2011 from Sep 01, 2011

Freie Universität Berlin has submitted 14 new and follow-up proposals for the second phase of the German government’s Excellence Initiative. The follow-up proposal for the third funding line is entitled "Veritas, Justitia, Libertas. The International Network University – Freie Universität Berlin." It lays out plans for the systematic continuation of the university’s future development strategy that was awarded excellence status in 2007.

Freie Universität partners with four Max Planck Institutes – Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, and Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology; the Helmholtz Centers in Wannsee and Teltow; and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. Together with its non-university partners, Freie Universität aims to provide excellent conditions for outstanding young researchers from home and abroad. To this end a career path model is being developed to provide longer-term possibilities for outstanding young researchers to work on the research campus in Dahlem.

The president of Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, emphasized that the development concept sets the course for the coming decades. "Together with strong partners, the university promotes the excellence of one of the world's preeminent research campuses in Berlin-Dahlem, ensuring that the best scientists and scholars in all subject areas will be able to work in this traditional and innovative location for the benefit of the city of Berlin and international research."

In addition to the follow-up proposal for the future development concept, Freie Universität submitted follow-up proposals for the nine research clusters and graduate schools approved in 2006 and 2007. The university also submitted proposals for a new cluster of excellence and three new graduate schools.

The final decision as to which proposals will be funded will be made on June 15, 2012. The funding period will begin on November 1, 2012.


Cluster of Excellence:

  • GenoRare Excellence Cluster – Medical Genomics of Rare Disease, a project of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the jointly operated medical school of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, aims to explore rare diseases.

Graduate Schools:

  • Graduate School of East Asian Studies, aims to investigate the profound change in the region,

  • BSIO Graduate School – Berlin School of Integrative Oncology, a project of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the jointly operated medical school of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, aims to conduct research on strategies against cancer,
  • Robert Koch Graduate School Berlin (RKGS), with Freie Universität Berlin as host university working jointly with researchers at the lead university, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, will focus on the areas of infection biology and immunology.


Clusters of Excellence:

  • Approved in 2007, Topoi Cluster of Excellence. The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations, a joint project of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, pursues the goal of researching systematically the interdependence of space and knowledge in the civilizations of the Ancient Near East, the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, and parts of the Eurasian steppe from the 6th millennium BC to around 500 AD.

  • Approved in 2007, Languages of Emotion Cluster of Excellence. Researchers from 20 different disciplines focus on the interdependencies between language and affect.

  • Approved in 2007, NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence – Towards a Better Outcome of Neurological Disorder at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Fundamental research in the neurosciences and clinical application are closely linked in order to make it possible to use research findings more quickly in the development of new therapies.

  • Approved in 2007, Unifying Concepts in Catalysis Cluster of Excellence. A project of Technische Universität Berlin that studies the field of catalysis, an area of widespread importance in all segments of the economy. Researchers at Freie Universität Berlin are also involved.

Graduate Schools:

  • Approved in 2007, Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies. Provides intensive, individualized training of highly qualified junior researchers applying comparative methods to literary studies. It is the only graduate school focusing solely on literary studies that was successful in the Excellence Initiative of the German government.

  • Approved in 2007, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. Graduate students are taught skills on how Islam shapes the culture, law, and politics of the societies designated as "Muslim" or "Islamic-influenced."

  • The Graduate School Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin offers outstanding interdisciplinary training and research opportunities in the field of regenerative medicine for doctoral researchers, specifically on ways to stimulate a controlled differentiation of cells with the aim of endogenous tissue regeneration for the treatment of acute and chronic diseases.

  • Approved in 2006, Graduate School of North American Studies. Graduate students conduct research on the social, economic, and cultural change in North American societies.

  • Approved in 2006, Berlin Mathematical School. A joint graduate school of the mathematics departments of the three major Berlin universities, Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, it offers highly qualified graduate students an opportunity to complete a doctorate in mathematics.

Further Information

Goran Krstin, Press Spokesman of the President of Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-73106, Email: goran.krstin@fu-berlin.de