The Excellence Initiative was a funding measure adopted by the German federal and state government in 2005 to strengthen Germany as a research location, improve its international competitiveness and enhance the visibility of top performance in the fields of higher education and science. For this purpose three funding lines were set up:
- Graduate Schools to support young researchers,
- Excellence Clusters to promote high level research, and
- Institutional Strategies to strengthen the overall strategic conceptc of universities.
In 2007, the University of Tübingen was able to recruit the Cluster of Excellence Werner Reichhardt Centre for Intergrative Neuroscience (CIN) as part of the first funding period. With the extension of the CIN for a second funding period and the successful application of the Graduate School Learning, Educational Achievement, and Life Course Development (LEAD) it laid the foundation for the recruitment of the Institutional Strategy "Research - Relevance - Responsibility" in 2012.
Institutional Strategies formed the third funding line within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments. The aim was to sustainably expand top-level university research, create a higher level of competitiveness in an international framework, and strengthen universities in the field of promoting young researchers in the long term.
The Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen was based on the motto Research - Relevance - Responsibility. Since 2012, the University's basic research has been specifically funded under this guiding principle and extended to include application-oriented and socially relevant topics. The improvement of the promotion of young researchers, internationalization and equal opportunity were further essential components of the Tübingen Institutional Strategy.
The University has used the opportunities offered by the Excellence Initiative to implement the measures envisaged in the institutional strategy. This has led to a redefinition of the emphasis of the University's profile and initiated structural changes, which also establish a long-term strategic structure at the University. The implementation of the different parts of the program is clearly visible:
Further information on the Excellence Initiative and Excellence Strategy can be found on the websites of