Excellence Strategy

With its strategy “The Comprehensive Research University – Heidelberg: The Future since 1386” along with two Clusters of Excellence, Heidelberg University was successful in both funding lines of the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments. Accordingly, since 2019 it has been funded as part of a group of ten Universities of Excellence and one Excellence Alliance.

Building on its success in all three funding lines of the first and second rounds of the Excellence Initiative, Heidelberg University will exploit its special strengths in order to drive forward innovation in research, teaching and transfer, and contribute to finding solutions for complex societal challenges. Applicants for the Universities of Excellence funding line needed to submit two successful cluster initiatives – three in the case of university consortia. At Heidelberg University, work has started in the two Clusters of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order – jointly with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – and STRUCTURES.

University of Excellence

In the Excellence Strategy, Heidelberg University is committed to its strategy as a comprehensive research university. On the one hand, the university promotes its individual disciplines and, on the other, it makes a great effort to bring together skills from various disciplines and to create new structures and research foci. In order to cross-link its four profile-forming Fields of Focus (FoFs) in the life sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and social and behavioural sciences, Heidelberg University is building new bridges across disciplinary borders in the Excellence Strategy with two flagship initiatives. Engineering Molecular Systems (FI EMS) will act as a pioneer for nanoscale engineering. Transforming Cultural Heritage (FI TCH) will redefine cultural heritage as a result of dynamically changing social and political negotiations. Furthermore, three interdisciplinary institutions – Marsilius Kolleg, the Heidelberg Center for the Environment and the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing – connect all areas of the university and serve as incubators for new research initiatives. Beside trans- and interdisciplinary cooperation in the framework of the Excellence Strategy, Heidelberg University is particularly intensifying the transfer of research results and scientific findings into society.

The aim is to recruit eminent academics and excellent early-career researchers from Germany and abroad and to retain them at the university. It also wants to create an attractive research environment with an outstanding infrastructure and to allocate resources consistently on the basis of performance. The university attaches great importance to the principle of equal opportunity and to supporting female scientists. As a major societal stakeholder, which is promoting responsible knowledge transfer in cooperation with its strong local, regional and international partners, Heidelberg University is actively helping to shape the future.