The Excellence Initiative and the Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen 2012-2019
The Excellence Initiative
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.
The Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen
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.
- Four research platforms of excellence have been established, which, by closely linking basic research and application-related topics, open up new and forward-looking fields of research. At the same time, these platforms serve as networking hubs within the university and with external research institutions.
- Also the three established Core Facilities QBiC, e-Science Center und LISA+ serve internal networking and provide scientists with an excellent infrastructure.
- In addition to networking with external research institutions, cooperation with business enterprises and industry is also an area of interest for the University. For this purpose, two Industry on Campus professorships were set up, which together with scientists from the University investigate fundamental questions prior to industrial application.
- The new administrative unit Industry Liaison Office, which was established at the beginning of the funding period, is responsible for contacts with commercial enterprises and industry. It coordinates the contact between scientists and companies and vice versa, and accompanies cooperation projects during all their phases.
- Numerous professorships, junior professorships and junior research groups have been set up to raise the profile of the University. In some cases, they reinforce existing core research areas - in others, they provide suggestions for the development of new profile areas.
- A diverse range of intramural funding schemes enable young researchers to strengthen their skills and learn autonomy in research at various levels. Doctoral candidates and postdocs are supported by the Graduate Academy with its large variety of interdisciplinary qualification opportunities and advisory programs.
- Another funding scheme that is explicitly aimed at female junior researchers is the Athene Program. It supports promising female researchers by combining research funding and individual advice in career planning. Other measures concerning equal opportunities include the appointment of female professors in research areas in which women are under-represented and the establishment of dual-career positions.
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Andergassen (Fachbereich Physik)
- Prof. Dr Heike Brötz-Oesterhelt (Interfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsmedizin)
- Prof. Dr. Sarah Dessi Schmid (Philologie)
- Prof. Dr. Christian la Fougère (Fakultät für Medizin)
- Prof. Dr. Kurt Franz (Asien Orient Institut)
- Prof. Dr. Carolin Huhn (Fachbereich Chemie)
- Prof. Dr. Barbara Jäger (Fachbereich Physik)
- Prof. Dr. Monika Schrimpf (Asien Orient Institut)
- Prof. Dr. Julia Skokova (Fakultät für Medizin)
- Prof. Jennifer Svaldi (Fakultät für Medizin)
- Prof. Dr. Ghazaleh Tabatabai (Fakultät für Medizin)
- Prof. Dr. Marja Timmermans (Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen)
- Prof. Dr Ulrike von Luxburg (Fachbereich Informatik)
- Prof. Dr. Carla Cederbaum (Fachbereich Mathematik)
- Prof. Dr. Erin Chernick (Institut für Organische Chemie)
- Prof. Dr. Marie Duboc (Institut für Politikwissenschaft)
- Prof. Dr. Jennifer Ewald (Interfakultäres Institut für Zellbiologie)
- Prof. Dr. Ivana Fleischer (Institut für Organische Chemie)
- Prof. Dr. Monika Fleischer (Institut für Angewandte Physik)
- Prof. Dr. Fei Huang (Abteilung für Sinologie und Koreanistik)
- Prof. Dr. Mandy Hütter (Institut für Sozial- und Wirtschaftspsychologie)
- Prof. Dr. Markus Janczyk (Fachbereich Psychologie)
- Prof. Dr. Johannes Lipps (Institut für Klassische Archäologie)
- Prof. Dr. Anna Pawlak (Kunsthistorisches Institut)
- Prof. Dr Cynthianne Debono Spiteri (Fachbereich Geowissenschaften)
- Prof. Dr. Beate Stelzer (Fachbereich Physik)
- Prof. Dr. Christiane Zarfl (Angewandte Geowissenschaften)
Junior Research Groups
- Dr. Stephan Hailfinger (Interfakultäres Institut für Biochemie): Molekulare Mechanismen der NF-kB Aktivierung in Lymphozyten und Lymphomen
- Dr. Jessica Heesen (Internationales Zentrum für Ethik in den Wissenschaften): Medienethik in interdisziplinärer Perspektive – Werte und sozialer Zusammenhalt in neuen öffentlichen Räumen
- Dr. Virginia Herrmann (Kulturen Alter Orient): The Iron Age
- Dr. Simon Meisch (Internationales Zentrum für Ethik in der Wissenschaften): Wissenschaftsethik der Forschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung: Zweckorientierung – Engagement – Umgang mit Ungewissheit – Kommunikation
- Dr. Sandra Schwarz (Interfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsmedizin): Pathogenese der Infektion
- Dr. Nicole Tieben (LEAD): Bildung, Lebensverlauf und soziale Ungleichheit
- Dr. Magdalena Wolska (LEAD): Sprache und Lernen: An der Schnittstelle von Bildungsforschung, linguistischer und kognitiver Modellierung
In the field of international affairs, there is a large number of funding programs which intensify the exchange between the University of Tübingen and its strategically important partners. In order to increase international visibility, the University has started its so-called Research World Tour in 2015. In order to coordinate the activities within the framework of the University's internationalization strategy, a new staff unit "International Research Cooperation" was set up. Among other things, it is responsible for the supervision of the 2015 founded Tübingen Research Campus, a merger of the University with external research institutions based in Tübingen, as well as the establishment of a researcher alumni program.
All these measures are supported by the further development of effective governance processes: commitment discussions between the President´s office and the Faculties are used, for example, to integrate the development and networking potential of the Faculties into the strategic further development and profiling of the University.
Further information on the Excellence Initiative and Excellence Strategy can be found on following websites:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF)
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg (MWK)
German Research Foundation (Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat, WR)