Field of Focus IProjects

The Research Council aims at enabling interdisciplinary, cross-institutional collaborations. It provides funds to support emerging topics, the development of new technologies, and to strengthen the research infrastructure to make important contributions to modern biology and molecular medicine. Several Field of Focus 1 projects receive financial support in the framework of the Excellence Strategy. Calls for proposals are published annually and applications undergo a peer review and evaluation process.

Thematic Research Networks

Thematic Research Networks (TRNs) foster inter- and transdisciplinary communication. Their primary goals are to harness Heidelberg´s broad synergy potential as a research location, to allow the identification of new interdisciplinary research schemes and to enable collaborations with Fields of Focus 2–4.


The projects „The synthetic embryo“ and „ Development of a scalable platform to resolve asymmetric cell division across biological levels“ have been receiving support since 2020. Both projects are based on new collaborations with EMBL researchers. The projects are interdisciplinary and build bridges to Field of Focus 2.

Core Facilities

The Field of Focus 1 Research Council supports the development of technological facilities (Core Facilities) through financing and advisory service. The following Facilities currently receive support for equipment, personnel, or consumables:

  • Advanced Biological Screening Facility (ABSF)
  • Core Facility for Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics (CFMP)
  • Deep-Sequencing Core Facility
  • Deep Sequencing Core Facility DKFZ (Genomics & Protein Core Facility DKFZ; GPCF)
  • Deep Sequencing Core Facility EMBL (GeneCore)
  • Electron Microscopy Core Facility (EMCF)
  • Electron Microscopy Core Facility EMBL (EMCF EMBL)
  • C-FACS flow cytometry service IZN
  • Flow Cytometry & FACS Core Facility (FFCF)
  • Flow Cytometry Core Facility EMBL (FCCF)
  • Infectious Diseases Imaging Platform (IDIP)
  • Interdisciplinary Neurobehavioral Core (INBC)
  • Lipidomics Core Facility
  • Metabolomics Core Technology Platform (MCTP)
  • Metabolomics Core Facility EMBL (MCF)
  • nCounter Core Facility
  • Nikon Imaging Center (NIC)
  • Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility EMBL (PEPCF)
  • Protein Crystallization Platform

The project „START-HD: Spatially resolved transcriptomics in Heidelberg“ has been receiving support since 2020. Researchers of EMBL, DKFZ and Heidelberg University are jointly establishing a new method in Heidelberg.

In the framework of the Excellence Initiative (November 2012 – October 2019), collaborations and the strategic development of the Heidelberg Life Science Campus and its infrastructure were supported.