Heidelberg University’s Institutional Strategy Successful

Press Release No. 146/2012
15 June 2012
Funding from Excellence Initiative also approved for two clusters of excellence and three graduate schools

Pictures: Vögele

With all six proposals, Heidelberg University has been successful in the second funding phase of the Excellence Initiative: its institutional strategy, two clusters of excellence and three graduate schools. This was announced today (15 June 2012) by the Excellence Initiative Grants Committee, which is made up of a Joint Commission established by the German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities plus the federal and state ministers responsible for higher education and research. The Rector of Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, referred to the success as “a magnificent outcome that we can all be proud of”. He went on to say that „the preparations for participation in this contest of the best universities had shown how consummately Heidelberg University could rely on the team spirit existing between its members, its scholars and scientists, its young researchers, its students and its technical and administrative staff, in cooperation with its non-university research partners“.

After the first funding phase, the institutional strategy “Heidelberg: Realising the Potential of a Comprehensive University”, to be continued with refined objectives, will be modelled on the idea of dialogue across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Newly developed forms of interdisciplinary cooperation are to be upheld and extended. At the heart of the university’s strategy are four major interactive research fields encompassing the “molecular and cellular basis of life”, “structure and pattern formation in the material world”, “cultural dynamics in globalised worlds” and “self-regulation and regulation: individuals and organisations”. Among other instruments, the Marsilius Kolleg, Heidelberg University’s interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Study, will continue to play a leading role in encouraging research-related exchange between the humanities, law and the social sciences on the one hand and the natural sciences and life sciences on the other.

Resources from the Excellence Initiative will also enable the two existing clusters of excellence “Cellular Networks” and “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” to carry on with their work for the next five years. In addition, the three graduate schools that benefited from funding during the first funding phase will be receiving continued support in the second phase of the Excellence Initiative. These are the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics (HGSFP), the Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (HBIGS) and the Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences (HGS MathComp).

For more information on the institutional strategy, the clusters of excellence and the graduate schools, go to

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