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Research Funding Up by Almost One-Third

Press Release No. 1/2009
28 07 2009
71 million euros external funding expenditure (without medicine) in 2008
Heidelberg University has registered a substantial increase in research funding. In 2008 the external funding expenditure of the ten Faculties at the University (not counting the medical Faculties in Heidelberg and Mannheim) totalled some 71 million euros. This represents an increase of about 28 percent over the year before. The highly gratifying development is not attributable to the Excellence Initiative alone. Subtraction of these additional resources still leaves an increase in external funding expenditure of just under 11 percent.

External funding expenditure by Heidelberg University including the two medical Faculties was close to 153 million euros last year, over and against 139 million in 2007. “For a research-intensive university like Heidelberg,” says Prof. Dr. Kurt Roth, Vice-Rector for Research and Structure, “external funding from competitions, research commissions, awards, grants and allowances is tremendously important if it wants to maintain and enhance its position among the top universities.” A further increase in external funding expenditure is to be expected for 2009. At the national level the main source of funding is still the German Research Foundation (DFG), which provided just under 38 million euros for all 12 Faculties last year.

At an international level Heidelberg University has also done extremely well in the contest for external funding. For example, in the competition organised by the European Research Council it was awarded four Starting Grants for excellent young academics, including a grant for a young scholar in the humanities, and two Advanced Grants for front-line researchers. “This success is unique in Germany,” emphasises Dr. Sigurd Weinreich, head of University’s Department of Research and Project Management. Last year the Heidelberg Research Service was set up with resources from the Excellence Initiative to enhance and intensify the University’s counselling activities in connection with applications for external funding.

In terms of financial support from the Federal Government, external funding expenditure has also increased significantly. Last year, the Federal Ministries supported the research activities of the ten Heidelberg Faculties (without medicine) to the tune of some 12.5 million euros, approx. 19 percent more than in 2007. In the “Spitzencluster” competition run by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, two proposals involving Heidelberg University were successful in 2008. Work began on the corresponding projects at the beginning of this year. Funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for international staff and student contacts rose by 26 percent.

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Irene Thewalt
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