Success in all funding lines of the German Excellence Strategy competition: after the positive funding decision for two Clusters of Excellence in September 2018, the University of Konstanz has now once again been selected as one of eleven universities or university consortia that will receive funding as Universities of Excellence in Germany. The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR) announced today that the Excellence Commission comprised of members from academia and politics selected the proposal from the University of Konstanz for funding. The university’s concept “University of Konstanz – creative.together” will therefore receive funding in the context of the Universities of Excellence funding line of the German Excellence Strategy over the next seven years. Nationwide, only six universities have been continuously funded as a University of Excellence since 2007. The selected universities will receive further information about the exact funding amounts in the coming weeks. The University of Konstanz applied for EUR 15 million per year.
“This is a historic day for the University of Konstanz. We are ecstatic and very proud that our institutional strategy and our achievements were recognized again”, says Professor Kerstin Krieglstein, Rector of the University of Konstanz. “We are celebrating an achievement today that was made possible by our culture of creativity and our constructive collaboration at the university. To be selected as a University of Excellence for a third time after 2007 and 2012 speaks to the exceptional performance record and high international standards our university has achieved at such a young age”, continues Krieglstein.
The University of Konstanz has received funding for its Zukunftskonzept (institutional strategy to promote top-level research during the German Excellence Initiative) since 2007. The new concept “creative.together” builds on the previous university strategy and further develops its “culture of creativity” in a systematic way. The university has positioned itself as a young campus and reform university, while building its reputation as both a place for encounters and exchange as well as a Denkwerkstatt where new ideas are developed and put into practice. By actively fostering constructive communication and lively interaction between university members and with society, it unlocks creative potential and utilizes it to the advantage of the entire university: for advancing top-level research and teaching, for further developing its highly professional academic support services, and for intensifying the interaction and exchange with society, industry and politics. The University of Konstanz is focusing on three priority projects in its strategy:
1. As a pioneer in the promotion of early career researchers, the university’s Zukunftskolleg facilitates independent research in an international, intergenerational and interdisciplinary community. This model institution at the University of Konstanz for researchers between the doctoral phase and their first professorship will be further developed within the framework of the Excellence Strategy. A new Synergy Fellowship Programme will allow two Fellows from different fields of research to carry out interdisciplinary research together. In the context of the Zukunftskolleg professorship, researchers with ERC Starting Grants will receive a Research Fellowship in combination with a temporary professorship. The Zukunftskolleg will also provide more fellowships to excellent early career researchers from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
2. With its e-science strategy, the university will embed outstanding data and information infrastructure, modern working and learning environments as well as optimized workflows within the University of Excellence in Konstanz. This includes, among other measures: expanding research data management and Open Science, expanding digital teaching and learning environments, and introducing the new Advanced Data and Information Literacy Track to promote data and information literacy among students in all disciplines.
3. The university’s Forum Konstanz represents the physical realization of its overall strategy "creative.together". It will bring people and ideas together and create interfaces, for example, between disciplines, between research and teaching, and between university and society. The University of Konstanz’s concept behind the Forum envisions space for interdisciplinary research and core facilities as well as room for transfer activities advanced through its wide understanding of transfer (communication, advice, application): space for events and other science communication formats, a Fab Lab, the University of Konstanz Innovation Centre and space for spin-offs.
The Excellence Initiative and Excellence Strategy at the University of Konstanz
From 2007 to 2019, the University of Konstanz has been successful in all three funding lines of the German Excellence Initiative. Its two new Clusters of Excellence are being funded in the context of the Excellence Strategy follow-up competition since 1 January 2019: the “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” and “The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Policies”. Its two successful Clusters of Excellence were the pre-requisite for submitting a full proposal in December 2018 for funding as a University of Excellence, which has now been officially approved.
The German Excellence Strategy
The Excellence Strategy is a national competition for the promotion of international top-level research and supports internationally competitive German universities. It is the follow-up programme to the German Excellence Initiative and is coordinated by both the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR). The aim of the Excellence Strategy is to continue to develop and enhance Germany as an international research location and to strengthen its international competitiveness. The Excellence Strategy is comprised of two funding lines: the Clusters of Excellence funding line to fund and promote research projects in internationally competitive research fields, and the Universities of Excellence funding line to strengthen the universities in a sustainable way as they continue to develop and advance top-level international research. The pre-requisite for being awarded University of Excellence status is at least two Clusters of Excellence.
- University of Konstanz will receive funding as a University of Excellence in the context of the German Excellence Strategy
- Nationwide, only six universities have been continuously funded as a University of Excellence since 2007.
- Funding period: 1 November 2019 until 31 October 2026. Funding amount: up to EUR 15 million per year (the actual amount will be officially announced in the coming weeks)
- Strategy: “University of Konstanz – creative.together” with three priority projects:
- Zukunftskolleg: further development of this internationally renowned model institution for the promotion of researchers between the doctoral phase and their first professorship
- e-science strategy: comprehensive digital transformation of research, teaching and governance
- Forum Konstanz: the physical realization of its overall strategy "creative.together" in the form of a building that will provide space for both interdisciplinary research and core facilities while advancing the university’s wide understanding of transfer
- Overview of the overall strategy and further information at: uni.kn/excellence-strategy