ResearchFields of Focus
Interdisciplinary dialogue is of particular importance in the institutional strategy of Heidelberg University.
In the first funding phase of the Excellence Initiative, four main areas of research, the Fields of Focus, have emerged on which interdisciplinary research cooperation would concentrate. These four interactive fields have been advanced even further during the second funding period as the core of Heidelberg’s research strategy.
Through the Fields of Focus, a major part of the university’s research and teaching endeavours can be united around a topic and individually supported. The successful two new Clusters of Excellence as part of the Excellence Strategy as well as the university’s graduate schools are also integrated into these main areas of research. In so doing, the continuing institutional strategy gives the Fields of Focus the necessary infrastructure for effective advancement and ensuring profitable connections with the rich institutional research environment around Heidelberg University. The Fields of Focus have thus become strategic instruments for the further development of Heidelberg as a comprehensive university.
Each Field of Focus is assigned a Research Council. This body coordinates the research activities of the respective Field of Focus by identifying new research questions, bringing together complementary expertise and promoting innovative projects through start-up funding. The Research Council also advises on the integration of new instruments for networking interdisciplinary research as well as for the support of young researchers.
Molecular Foundations of Life, Health, and Disease
The molecular life sciences in Heidelberg represent a research focus of the university that enjoys particularly high national and international visibility. In order to understand the molecular mechanisms of physiological and pathological functions within cells and organisms, the researchers are closely networked with their local extra-university partners.
Patterns and Structures in Mathematics, Data, and the Material World
This Field of Focus links synthetic chemistry with the physics of complex systems, pure mathematics with theoretical physics, and numerical mathematics with chemistry and physics. It aims at understanding common structures on all scales in the material world.
Cultural Dynamics in Globalised Worlds
Field of Focus 3 „Cultural Dynamics in Globalised Worlds“ addresses the complexity and challenges of an increasingly dynamic world in three main fields of research: transcultural studies, area studies, and cultural heritage studies. It fosters collaborative research activities within the humanities at Heidelberg University, organised in three faculties.
Self-Regulation and Regulation: Individuals and Societies
The central concern of Field of Focus 4 is to better understand human (self-) regulation processes at the level of individuals and organisations in interdisciplinary dialogue. The main participants in this study are from the subject areas represented by the Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Law.