Excellence StrategyCommission for Research and Strategy

The Commission for Research and Strategy (FoSKom) supports and advises the Rectorate in implementing the research strategy of Heidelberg University, in particular the measures in connection with the Excellence Strategy. Besides three members of the Rectorate, it consists of two members each of the four Research Councils, the two directors of the Marsilius Kolleg, as well as the managing directors of the two other interdisciplinary incubators - the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) and the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR). There are also seats for two early-career researchers and two elected members of the Senate.

The Commission is chaired by two co-spokespersons. They are currently Prof. Dr Michael Boutros and Prof. Dr Friederike Nüssel. The spokespersons receive administrative support from the Excellence Strategy office.

Michael Boutros was appointed to a professorship at Ruperto Carola’s Medical Faculty Mannheim in 2008 and heads the division “Signalling and Functional Genomics” at the German Cancer Research Center. In his research he focuses on analysing genetic interaction in networks and finding ways to target interventions in the case of disease.

Portrait Michael Boutros

Friederike Nüssel has taught and done research since 2006 as Professor for Systematic Theology at Heidelberg University’s Ecumenical Institute, of which she is also the director. From 2009 to 2013 she served as Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Teaching at Ruperto Carola. Friederike Nüssel‘s main research areas include the comparative exposition of Christian faith in denominational cultures, the interpretation and role of values especially in social crises, and the relationship between theology and neurosciences.

Portrait Friederike Nüssel

The Commission’s tasks particularly include monitoring the success of measures taken in the context of University of Excellence funding, with a focus on the ongoing renewal of research initiatives in all areas of academic endeavour. Through regular exchange, the Commission can identify wrong developments early on and propose corrective action to the Rectorate.

At the same time, the Commission fosters intensive exchange between the institutions it represents, thereby creating a platform for recognising and activating new potential for interdisciplinary cooperation. The Rectorate has mandated the Commission for Research and Strategy to monitor intra-university processes for identifying and designing new Excellence Cluster initiatives.

The Commission reports to the Senate and is in regular contact with the Academic Advisory Council (AAC). The annual joint meeting of the Rectorate, the AAC and the Commission guarantees that the topics and results of the Excellence Strategy are continually assessed in the context of general university development.