Excellence Initiative / Excellent Research Centres

In 2012, Goethe University defended its good position as one of the strongest research universities in Germany. The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) renewed its support for the three Clusters of Excellence. This means that, following the more than 100 million euros already raised by Goethe University in the first two rounds of funding, a further 75 million euros will have been invested in cutting-edge university research by 2017. The Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation aims to promote cutting-edge research.

The international appeal of the Cluster “Macromolecular Complexes” in life and natural sciences is reflected in part in the appointment of established scientists from both Germany and abroad. The Cluster has had its own building since 2011, named after the Frankfurt entrepreneur, Josef Buchmann, who is supporting the scientists with a generous donation. The close collaboration of chemists, biochemists, biologists, physicians, and physicists from the university and the neighbouring Max Planck Institute is resulting in a leap forward in quality at the Riedberg campus.

The scientists in the Cluster “Cardiopulmonary System” in medical science are researching the underlying mechanisms of disease in heart and lung tissue and in the blood vessels. The understanding of the causes of disease gained at a molecular level is enabling them to clinically test new substances under strict conditions, as in the use of stem cells in a heart attack, for example. The collaboration of heart specialists at Goethe University and lung specialists at the University of Giessen and the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim is attracting interest across Europe in cardiopulmonary medicine.

The Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, in which Goethe University is collaborating with partners in the Rhine- Main region, is now considered a world leader in research into global processes of change in society. Ten new professorships have been established in the last few years. The Cluster is the platform for intense international debate on current research issues. There is also a special focus on dialogue with the general public, as in the “City Conversations” and the very successful exhibition project “Demonstrations”.

As the application for funding in 2012 for a further graduate school was unsuccessful, Goethe University was unable to compete for the title of University of Excellence, despite submitting a future concept for the whole university that also scored highly with the assessors. The Excellence Initiative will probably end in 2017, after three rounds of applications for funding.