In order to further strengthen Germany’s position as an outstanding place for research in the long term and to further improve the country’s international competitiveness, the government designed a program to continue the development of German universities successfully begun with the Excellence Initiative (2005 to 2017).
The Excellence Strategy comprises two funding lines: Through Excellence Clusters, internationally competitive research fields will be funded with up to 10 million euros annually. Universities that win funding for several clusters can also receive additional funding enabling them to continue to develop their Excellence position. For the first time universities can apply together in the Universities of Excellence funding line.
Altogether 533 million euros are available annually in the two funding lines. The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities are conducting the review and selection process.
A total of five cluster initiatives, in which Freie Universität is the host or co-host university, have submitted a full proposal in the nationwide competition. The funding decisions will be announced in September 2018.
In the Universities of Excellence funding line, Freie Universität Berlin will apply together with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin – including Charité, their jointly run medical school – and Technische Universität Berlin as a university alliance.