Freie Universität is one of the eleven universities to have been successful in all three lines of funding in the German government's Excellence Initiative in 2012. The future development concept of Freie Universität is based on three key strategic centers: the Center for Research Strategy, which focuses on research planning; the Center for International Cooperation; and the Dahlem Research School, which supports next-generation academic talent.
The main features of Freie Universität’s research activities include the broad variety of global academic and scientific cooperation arrangements in place as part of alliance projects and networks with other entities active in research, alongside the university’s innovative support concepts for junior scholars and scientists and the scope of the external funding the university raises.
The various areas of focus in the research conducted at Freie Universität are organized into various structures, including interdisciplinary focus areas, excellence clusters, collaborative research centers, and research centers.
Freie Universität is a full-spectrum university, comprising twelve departments and three Central Institutes that together offer more than 150 different academic programs in a broad range of disciplines. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is the joint medical school of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Dahlem Research School (DRS) at Freie Universität Berlin offers the framework encompassing a range of outstanding structured doctoral programs. By establishing the DRS, Freie Universität Berlin broke new ground in the field of graduate education in Germany, all with the aim of offering junior scholars and scientists the best possible conditions for their academic development. At the DRS, strategies to support doctoral candidates and postdoctoral students at Freie Universität are developed, research within interdisciplinary and international alliances is fostered, and established graduate schools and research training groups receive support alongside new initiatives.
Freie Universität owes its founding, in 1948, to international support, and international impulses have shaped the university’s research activities and student life ever since. As an International Network University, Freie Universität thrives on its many contacts with higher education institutions and organizations in Germany and abroad, which provide critical impetus for the university’s research and teaching activities.
Today, Freie Universität maintains roughly 100 partnerships at the university-wide level, along with about 330 university partnerships within the Erasmus academic exchange network and ca. 45 institute partnerships, forming a wide-ranging and tight-knit global network.
Each year, about 600 international scholars and scientists contribute to the variety of teaching and research activities pursued at Freie Universität. One groundbreaking development that demonstrates the way the university takes international cooperation to the next level is the seven international liaison offices of Freie Universität that were founded beginning in 2007 – in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, and São Paulo. Another is the establishment of special arrangements with selected universities in the form of strategic partnerships.