Organization and Structure
You can use the ZEDAT portal to find contact information for people or offices. Clicking "Services" will take you to the Freie Universität phone list. The data held in the list can be accessed either via the intranet or via the contacts address book in your Outlook account.
Freie Universität Berlin consists of many parts, including the Executive Board, Board of Trustees, Academic Senate, other governing boards, representatives, strategic centers, the libraries and digital services, 11 departments, 4 central institutes, 6 central facilities, 178 degree programs plus 52 doctoral programs, 7 divisions within the Central University Administration, and numerous other units – each of which has its own abbreviation!
It is very common at Freie Universität Berlin to “speak in abbreviations” and in some cases the abbreviations also serve as your administrative reference code for your position. Thus, you will come across them from your very first day. We have compiled a list with common abbreviations and hope this will be helpful while settling in.
The Campus of Freien Universität Berlin is actually spread across four campuses:
Mensas and Cafeterias
The student cafeterias, called “Mensa” (pl. Mensen), and coffee bars run by studierendenWERK BERLIN offer a variety of food and snacks on campus.
In the cafeterias and coffee bars operated by studierendenWERK BERLIN, you can only pay with a MensaCard. You can obtain a MensaCard from one of the cafeteria cashiers for a deposit of 1.55 euros plus however much money you want to load onto the card initially. Please have your student registration card or confirmation of your employee status available to show the cashier.
As an employee, you will need your ID card to prove that you are a member of the university. This is important, for example, when applying for a job ticket, using central university facilities, or registering for courses with the university sports. The ID cards can most commonly be obtained at the administrative offices of your department/division.
The University Library, the departmental libraries, the University Archive, and the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) together comprise Freie Universität’s libraries. They work together to create spaces of knowledge at Freie Universität Berlin, enabling outstanding research and excellent teaching, and offering a supportive environment for students.
The libraries offer analogue and digital means of communicating and meeting with others and provide reliable and safe access to data, information, and knowledge. Facilities offered by Freie Universität’s libraries include:
access to 7 million printed materials and half a million electronic media (eBooks, journals, databases, videos etc.)
2,400 individual and group work spaces on campus
comprehensive support for those wishing to use digital media and technologies in teaching and research
the provision of central systems such as the Content Management System (CMS), the learning platform Blackboard, Freie Universität blogs and wikis, the institutional repository, and software solutions for independent open access publications
an extensive archive repository giving access to the history of Freie Universität as documented in sources held at the University Archive.
Garystr.39 (main entrance)
Ihnestr.28 (side entrance)
Email: email@example.com (Information Center), firstname.lastname@example.org (Circulation)
Phone: (030) 838 – 511 11 (Information Center), - 522 65 (Circulation)
- University Library
- Guide to the Freie Universität Berlin Libraries
- Library Portal Primo for Freie Universität Berlin
- Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS)
- University Archive
The organizational chart provides an overview of structures, decisions/information paths and election processes at Freie Universität Berlin.
The Executive Board (Präsidium) is in charge of managing Freie Universität Berlin. Among its other responsibilities, the Executive Board approves the draft budget, publishes guidelines for budgetary and economic administration, and makes suggestions as to the establishment, modification, and elimination of organizational units, as well as proposing structural and development plans for Freie Universität Berlin and implementing the resolutions of the Academic Senate (Akademischer Senat) as to the establishment and elimination of courses of study.
The Executive Board is comprised of:
- the President of the university
- the Executive Vice President, who also serves as the Permanent Deputy of the President
- currently two other Vice Presidents (VP2, VP3), each of whom is responsible for specific areas
- the Provost
Learn more about the work of the executive board here.
The Academic Senate of Freie Universität Berlin comprises 25 members, who are elected for two-year terms: 13 professors and four representatives each from the student body, the academic staff, and other staff. The President of the University leads the Academic Senate. Every four years, the 61 members of the extended Academic Senate elect the president and vice presidents of the university. As a rule, the meetings of the Academic Senate are held in the Assembly Hall of the Henry Ford Building.
Find more information about the Academic Senate here.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees (Kuratorium) of Freie Universität is a central institution that acts as the interface between the university, government, and society at large. Its responsibilities include determining the university’s budget, establishing, restructuring, and discontinuing organizational units, and handling fundamentally and/or particularly important public affairs that have been assigned to Freie Universität Berlin.
Learn more about the Board of Trustees here.
The dean’s office is the head of the department. The dean, who acts as chairperson, is supported by a maximum of two vice deans and a head of administration. The dean and at least one vice dean must be university professors.
The dean’s office works to ensure that members of the department are able to fulfill their professional duties, especially those related to teaching and examinations. It carries out personnel and administrative tasks for the department and plans its budget.
The department councils and councils of the central institutes are specifically responsible for bringing statutes and structural changes within their respective department or central institute into effect. They also approve budgets, approve proposals for appointing candidates to professorships in the department, and make decisions regarding postdoctoral university instruction qualifications (Habilitation). The members of the department and institute councils are appointed for a term of two years by the members of the respective departments or central institutes who are eligible to vote. These boards usually consist of 13 members (or 19 if the department or institute encompasses a wider variety of subjects), including seven (or ten) university professors, two (or three) research associates, two (or three) students, and two (or three) non-academic staff members.
Division VI, the research division at Freie Universität Berlin, advises and supports in all matters related to research grants, applying for and managing externally funded projects, and any relevant legal concerns.
From the Application to Approval
The research funding service team within Division VI: Research supports researchers and academics at Freie Universität Berlin in all questions they may have regarding research grants and applying for externally funded projects, from filling out the application to getting final approval.
The team offers services in the following areas:
providing targeted and specific information about current funding calls from third-party sources
counseling on funding programs tailored to specific needs, including the European Research Council (ERC), collaborative research, individual research projects, commercial activities, and academic events
reviewing drafts of project proposals and full proposals in terms of formal, structural, and content requirements, appraising the accuracy of the proposed budget (such as calculations of personnel costs), assessing the suitability of the project for the funding call
preparing letters of intent and letters of endorsement with co-financing commitments for the university management
hosting informational events and workshops
Developing the Project Idea and Providing Information
assistance in searching for suitable funding opportunities
counseling on funding opportunities and current calls for application/funding programs as well as the funding guidelines of individual third-party sources (donors)
counseling on the applicability of specific project ideas to published funding calls, comparison and alignment with past financed projects
- support in the search for research and cooperative partners (using electronic search services/databases)
Notice of Third-Party Projects and the Application Process
Once a project has been approved, all relevant documents are handed over to the External Funding Administration within Division VI: Research.
External Funding Administration
The external funding team supports you in financial and funder-specific questions across all project phases:
examining and evaluating the contractual clauses of authorization documents in the case of project approval
budget monitoring, preparation, and implementation of funding requests in the case of project implementation as well as management and cost calculations for personnel using third-party funds
- creation and verification of expenditure reports upon project completion
You can find extensive information on specific assistance schemes, current calls for funding, FAQs on externally funded projects, important forms, documents, and information on projects and matters related to externally financed personnel on Division VI’s homepage.
Mail is sent between departments and facilities at Freie Universität Berlin via an internal mail system. If you want to send mail internally, please use the university’s reusable manila envelopes or mark your communication “per Fachpost” (internal mail). Make sure you state the department/division and name/job title of the recipient so that the mailroom knows it is to be delivered via internal mail.
Usually, only the intended recipient will open an internal communication. However, if your communication is confidential, please make sure you state this clearly on the envelope with the words “vertraulich” (confidential) or “persönlich” (personal). Please note: Freie Universität’s mailing department is required to send external mail (i.e., mail for persons or institutions that are not part of Freie Universität) at the lowest price possible to meet the required delivery time. If your communication is urgent, please make this clear on the envelope/package you wish to send. If you have a bulky package or are sending out a large mailing to multiple recipients, please notify the mailroom of this one or two days in advance. The mailroom staff are happy to help members of the university identify the most cost-effective and suitable way of sending their mail.
Please note that packages weighing more than 20 kg cannot be sent via the Freie Universität mailrooms but must be paid for privately. The sender is responsible for organizing shipping as well as costs. The mailrooms are not permitted to process private communications. Use of the Freie Universität Berlin letterhead for private communications is also not permitted.
You can get a transponder from the person responsible for keys at your office. You will need to provide the following information:
First and last name
Contract (permanent or fixed-term)
Contract start date
Contract end date (if applicable)
Building(s) and room number(s) to which you need access
After receiving your transponder, you must activate it yourself at one of the central activation points (“readers”). These are located in all Freie Universität buildings near the entrance or in the foyer. Hold your transponder to the reader until the reader flashes green to show that your transponder is activated. For security reasons, access permissions are only stored temporarily on transponders. This means you will need to reactivate your transponder regularly (usually every 7 days) in order to re-confirm your access permissions.