Tübingen successful in the Excellence Strategy
University now has continued Excellence status and funding to 2026
The University of Tübingen has retained its excellent status. On Friday, a panel of academics and representatives of Germany’s federal and state governments decided that Tübingen would be granted the status of a university of excellence for a further seven years and would receive the corresponding financial support. “This hard-won success lays the foundations for Tübingen to become permanently established in the small group of the world's best universities,” stated the University’s president, Professor Bernd Engler. The financial support provided by the German government will allow us to further develop the University not only in individual research areas, but also structurally and across a broad range of fields.
“The world is changing rapidly and the world of knowledge and research is no exception,” remarked Professor Engler. “Genome editing, personalized medicine, digitalization and artificial intelligence are just some of the developments which will change society as a whole in the long term. In view of this situation, the University must be able to respond more quickly than before to the challenges it faces.” Engler added that the University will therefore use the funds from the Excellence Strategy to introduce new, promising research fields and to react flexibly to challenges. “To this end, we will set up more independent junior research groups and tenure-track professorships and continue to offer Exploration Funds, which have proved their effectiveness in recent years. This will help the University to attract young, high-potential researchers, and to retain those it already has,” he explained.
Many of the projects and initiatives launched with Excellence Initiative funding have proved valuable and would therefore be continued, Professor Engler declared. These include the Athene Program for women researchers, Innovation Grants for young postdocs, and Exploration Funds for researchers in the humanities and social sciences. The research platforms, and core facilities such as QBiC, LISA+ and the eScience Center, have become an integral part of the University and will remain in place, the President confirmed.
The University will also use the latest Excellence funding to launch a number of new projects. These include:
- Tübingen Structural Microscopy (TSM) This will be a core facility pooling the University of Tübingen’s capacities in electron and ion microscopy. One focus of this work will be to use state-of-the-art experimentation methods at the micro- and nano-levels.
- As a new core facility in the economics and social sciences, the Center for Methods in Empirical Research will advance basic research in the field of quantitative and qualitative methods. The Center will research interdisciplinary methods and new data analysis techniques and develop solutions for different models in social and economic sciences and psychology, not least using machine learning technologies.
- The University of Tübingen will establish a College of Fellows for international researchers and thus promote internationalization in research and teaching. The College is aimed at international postdoctoral students in particular; they will be given the opportunity to spend up to two years researching a project in Tübingen and to conduct interdisciplinary work. During their stay, the Fellows will be integrated into the academic life of their host department and will also gain teaching experience.
- In recent years, the University has expanded its activities in the areas of innovation and knowledge transfer. One example of this is the Cyber Valley Initiative, a cooperation between universities, research institutions and companies in the field of artificial intelligence. Building on this experience, we will establish a University Innovation Center in the next funding phase in which all start-up activities will be pooled. This will provide infrastructure for researchers who seek to further develop their findings into new services and products.
- The University’s Global Encounters research platform will also increasingly focus on global activities in the humanities and social sciences. Building on existing research collaboration, the platform will bring researchers together to investigate the social and cultural effects of globalization, mobility and systemic change in economics and policymaking.
- A Global Awareness Education Program will encourage students to explore the global horizons of their studies and their future working environment and to develop stronger intercultural skills. To this end, the University will significantly increase the number of programs taught in English and increasingly focus on global topics. We will expand our range of courses on intercultural competence and ecological sustainability and open them up to employees as well as students.
The President stressed that the decision would have a positive impact on the entire region. "Universities are the engines of economic development in the 21st century,” he noted.
Engler thanked all those who have contributed to the successful effort over the past three years, saying that the academic and administrative staff alike had given outstanding service.
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Public Relations Department
Dr. Karl Guido Rijkhoek
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