Press releases – April 2024

Whether it is new and groundbreaking research results, university topics or events – in our press releases you can find everything you need to know about the happenings at Goethe University. To subscribe, just send an email to

Goethe University PR & Communication Department 

Theodor-W.-Adorno Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt


Apr 25 2024

Goethe University and ISSB want to work together intensively in future.

Sustainability standards on a scientific basis

Internationally comparable standards for corporate sustainability reporting are an important prerequisite for achieving climate and other sustainability goals worldwide. The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which has been based in Frankfurt am Main as one of its key locations since 2022, is to receive stronger academic support from the Rhine-Main region in future. Goethe University and ISSB have set out the cornerstones of future cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding.  

FRANKFURT. One or two conferences a year, networking with the relevant research institutions in the Rhine-Main region, training and further education with regard to the development and application of sustainability reporting standards - coordinated by the House of Finance (HoF) at Goethe University: these are the main objectives that Goethe University and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) agreed on today in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The document was signed on behalf of Goethe University by its President Prof. Enrico Schleiff, while Dr Erhard Schipporeit signed on behalf of the IFRS Foundation (ISSB) Frankfurt. 

In particular, the House of Finance, the Sustainability & Biodiversity profile area and the Departments of Economics and Biosciences will be closely involved in the development of generally applicable ISSB standards. The Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research, the Institute for Socio-Ecological Research (ISOE), the German Accounting Standards Committee (DRSC) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research are named as associated partners. The aim of the participating institutions is to form an academic network centred around the ISSB, in which the threads for Europe, the Middle East and Africa come together. The House of Finance will assume the role of coordinator.

The conference, which takes place at least once a year at the Westend Campus of the Goethe University, is also directed at non-academic audiences, politicians, regulators, practitioners and media representatives. The aim is to discuss sustainable standards based on scientific evidence. The next conference will be held on 10 June. There will also be workshops in cooperation with the scientific community, for example involving partners from African countries.

"As a comprehensive university and with its claim to develop knowledge for development, sustainability and justice in the 21st century, Frankfurt's Goethe University offers the ideal conditions for looking at the topic of sustainability from a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective. The MoU with the ISSB demonstrates the great attractiveness of this interdisciplinary approach, especially for research. It is therefore a contribution to the current process of developing our sustainability strategy based on our understanding of sustainability and thus part of our contribution to Frankfurt and the State of Hesse in developing knowledge and solutions for a society worth living in," says University President Prof Enrico Schleiff. 

"The cooperation with the ISSB in Frankfurt regulated in the MoU emphasises the outstanding importance that the House of Finance at Goethe University has in the academic research networks on topics of finance and monetary policy, and which can now be further expanded in the area of “sustainable finance" with numerous partners from academia. We are delighted to be making a further contribution to strengthening Frankfurt/Rhine Main as a financial centre," emphasised Prof. Rainer Klump, Managing Director of the House of Finance. 

"The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding marks another important milestone and fulfils a key action point of the German Consortium, our funding partner. Today's event demonstrates the importance of the ISSB's presence in Frankfurt, also in the field of academic work. The IFRS Foundation (ISSB) Frankfurt sincerely thanks the House of Finance for facilitating this Memorandum of Understanding. We are looking forward to working together to create a scientific hub and an academic platform," emphasised Erhard Schipporeit, Member of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation.

"The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), through its Frankfurt Office, will engage in an ongoing dialogue with the Goethe University and its partners to discuss current research on sustainability standards and future research and implementation issues. The ISSB is committed in supporting the House of Finance in building up its academic network, not only in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region, but also across the EMEA region. At its April meeting, the ISSB decided to launch new research projects on risks and opportunities associated with nature and human capital. Moving forward, the ISSB strongly welcomes stakeholders' input, including through Goethe University into its research projects," stressed Richard Barker, Member of the International Sustainability Standards Board.

The State of Hesse already emphasised the financial expertise in Frankfurt when it applied for the ISSB's headquarters in Frankfurt. The state government therefore welcomes the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding between the ISSB and Goethe University: "Today's agreement is the written basis for the targeted strengthening of cooperation between the ISSB and the academic centre of Frankfurt. This networking does not stop at Goethe University. It is important to the state government that the agreement establishes a network between scientists and institutions in the entire region and that experts for the ISSB standards are trained directly at the Frankfurt location," explained the Hessian Minister of Finance, Prof. R. Alexander Lorz.

"Goethe University with the House of Finance conducts research on issues relevant to the capital markets and is an enrichment for Frankfurt as a financial centre. The new collaboration with the ISSB and associated institutions creates great opportunities for an intensive exchange between science, business, media, and society and looks at financial sustainability reporting from a research perspective - an important component in the future of sustainable finance," said Hessian Minister of Science Timon Gremmels.

As part of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the Board of Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation announced the establishment of the ISSB, which began its work in Frankfurt am Main in 2022.

Images for download:

(1) Erhard Schipporeit (left), member of the IFRS Board of Trustees, and Prof. Rainer Klump, Managing Director of the House of Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt, sign the MoU. Hessian Finance Minister Prof. R. Alexander Lorz (in the background) is pleased about the increased networking between academia and the ISSB in Frankfurt.  (Photo: Uwe Dettmar)
(2) The Memorandum of Understanding links many people and institutions in the Rhine-Main region with the International Sustainability Standards Board. (Photo: Uwe Dettmar)

Further information
Prof. Dr. Rainer Klump
Managing Director 
House of Finance
Goethe University Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 (0)69 798-34009

Editor: Dr. Anke Sauter, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Tel: +49 (0)69 798-13066, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531, 


Apr 22 2024

Photo book "Moin und Salam" depicts the diversity of Muslim life in Germany  

Against the clichés 

Headscarves and minarets or bearded men praying: Islam's image in Germany and its media is often characterize ed by clichés. In a joint publication, photographer Julius Matuschik and religious scholar and political scientist Dr. Raida Chbib showcase images that transcend the usual stereotypes. The bilingual illustrated book "Moin und Salam", by Goethe University Frankfurt's Academy for Islam in Research and Society, has now been published by Kerber Publishing House. 

FRANKFURT. Using historical images, snapshots of everyday life, multimedia links and explanatory texts, photographer Julius Matuschik and researcher Dr. Raida Chbib trace the history of Islam in Germany from the past to the present, exploring the question: Do Muslims and their religion belong to Germany? The illustrated book "Moin und Salam" shows that rather than being a question of "if", the answer should instead focus on "since when". Using select historical documents, Matuschik and Chbib show that Islam did not just arrive in Germany with the guest workers. Traces of Muslim life date back much further.

The five chapters of the book shine a spotlight on topics such as identity, affiliation, religious practices and holidays, Muslim youth subcultures as well as the first mosques and community foundations. The pictures are accompanied by short introductions of dedicated personalities or initiatives from Muslim communities that showcase the voluntary work that has been ongoing for years to promote coexistence in a pluralistic society. On more than 200 pages, the illustrated book not only reveals the diversity of Muslim life in Germany – whose multitude is probably unknown to many. The photographs also offer insights into the everyday lives of Muslims.

"German media often use imagery that portray Muslims and Islam in a one-sided and stereotypical manner. These recurring images create a framing effect that makes the Muslim presence appear foreign, dangerous or exotic. This imagery does not reflect our immigration society, in which religious freedom prevails and of which Muslims have long been a natural part," says the photographer. 

Julius Matuschik and Dr. Raida Chbib already collaborated on the homonymous multimedia "Moin und Salam" blog, which – together with the image archive – is based on Matuschik's practical project, funded by Stiftung Mercator and carried out at the Academy for Islam in Research and Society (AIWG). 

"One of our objectives in this project has been to create a knowledge transfer between science and practice that takes place at eye level, which is also one of the AIWG's main goals. The photographic research and audiovisual material constitute the framework for examining the history, backgrounds and contexts, and thus also for the accompanying texts. This approach brought to light exciting facts and questions, including how the act of making the history of minority groups more visible can contribute to a more pluralistic German culture of remembrance ," says Dr. Raida Chbib. 

Chbib and Matuschik's joint illustrated book is designed with a broad, international audience in mind.

Publication: Moin und Salam. Muslimisches Leben in Deutschland – Muslim life in Germany. Eine Reportage. Edited by Julius Matuschik and Raida Chbib. Kerber: Berlin, Bielefeld, 2024 (208 p., hardcover German/English, ISBN 978-3-7356-0952-6). Publisher's website

Save the date
A discussion with authors Julius Matuschik and Dr. Raida Chbib will take place on June 8, 2024. Further information will be available on the AIWG homepage soon. 

Julius Matuschik works as a photojournalist for various online and offline media. He is active in Cameo Kollektiv e.V., where he works together with others to realize socio-cultural projects and implement measures promoting cultural and political education. He first began photographically documenting Islam in Germany in 2013.

Dr. Raida Chbib is managing director of the Academy for Islam in Research and Society at Goethe University Frankfurt. Her research focuses on migration and religion, religious diversity, the organizational processes of Islam, as well as relations between the state and Islam in both Germany and Europe. She studied political science, international law and Islamic studies at the University of Bonn and received her doctorate in religious studies at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB).

About the AIWG
The Academy for Islam in Research and Society (AIWG) at Goethe University Frankfurt conducts interdisciplinary research and transfer activities with a focus on Islamic Theological Studies and Muslim life in Germany. It connects all faculties for Islamic Theological Studies or Islamic religious pedagogy found at universities in Germany. The academy addresses issues of social participation by including perspectives related to religion. The AIWG is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 

Further links: 

The photos taken by Julius Matuschik are available for download at

(1) Medical student Säli enjoying her hobby: longboarding. 
(2) The Omar Ibn Al Khattab Mosque in Berlin. 
(3) Interior of the central mosque in Cologne.
(4) Children's sports coach Leona Osmanaj in Hanover. 
(5) Prayer pulpit in the Fatih Camii in Berlin Kreuzberg. 
(6) Soccer tournament "Imams against priests" in Berlin. 

The copyright of all images lies with Julius Matuschik. The images offered for download on our website may be used in the context of reporting on the illustrated book.

Further information and press contact (for interview requests)
Stefanie Golla-Dehmamy
Coordinator Science Communication and PR 
Academy for Islam in Research and Society 
Goethe University Frankfurt 
Phone: +49 (0)69 798-22459

If you would like to order a review copy, please contact the publisher directly:
Anne Levke Vorbeck, Email:

About the AIWG
The Academy for Islam in Research and Society (AIWG) at Goethe University Frankfurt conducts interdisciplinary research and transfer activities with a focus on Islamic Theological Studies and Muslim life in Germany. It connects all faculties for Islamic Theological Studies or Islamic religious pedagogy found at universities in Germany. The academy addresses issues of social participation by including perspectives related to religion. The AIWG is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 

Editor: Dr. Anke Sauter, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Tel: +49 (0)69 798-13066, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531, 


Apr 17 2024

Prestigious Global Professorship goes to Goethe University linguist Saloumeh Gholami 

British Academy Award for innovative Zoroastrian language research

The British Academy's Global Professorships are designed to strengthen the UK's research capacity by further enhancing collaborations with internationally renowned scholars. Linguist Prof. Dr. Saloumeh Gholami was recently awarded a Global Professorship at the renowned University of Cambridge.

FRANKFURT. The Global Professorships give internationally recognized academics the opportunity to undertake high-risk, curiosity-driven research in the humanities and social sciences at a UK research institution. Recipients are chosen by the highly respected British Academy and UK universities have the right to nominate one researcher per year. Having been nominated by the University of Cambridge, Prof. Dr. habil. Saloumeh Gholami and her research project Persisting Through Change: A Study of Oral Literature and Cultural Interaction in the Zoroastrian Community were ultimately selected by the British Academy for one of a total of eight Global Professorships awarded in 2023. The linguist is a professor of minority languages in the Middle East at Goethe University Frankfurt's Institute for Empirical Linguistics. Endowed with around €1 million (~ £900,000), her Global Professorship in Cambridge will begin on September 1, 2024. 

Saloumeh Gholami will be researching the oral traditions of the Zoroastrians, which have survived in the now endangered Zoroastrian Dari (Behdini) language. Zoroastrianism is considered to be one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions, with an estimated 150,000 members, the largest communities of which, in addition to Iran, can be found in India, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, the USA and the UK. Gholami analyzes how oral literature developed in the Zoroastrian community and how – under the influence of the Islamic majority culture – it was handed down. Her multidisciplinary approach sets out to uncover the cultural dynamics between a minority's language, literature and society in the context of the majority culture. Gholami has served as board member of the Goethe University-led LOEWE research cluster "Minority Studies: Language and Identity" since 2020. Known by its German acronym, LOEWE is the German federal state of Hesse's program for the development and promotion of scientific and economic excellence.

In 2022, the president of Goethe University Frankfurt nominated the linguist as a Goethe Fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften – Institute for Advanced Studies. The same year, she was awarded the prestigious fellowship of Oxford University and its Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages (OSRJL), where she researches Gorani manuscripts in Hebrew script. In 2023, the German Research Foundation (DFG) recognized Saloumeh Gholami's project, which is funded with around half a million euros, and her commitment to researching Judeo-Iranian languages.

Image for download: 

Linguist Saloumeh Gholami is a member of the board of directors of the LOEWE research cluster "Minority Studies: Language and Identity" at Goethe University Frankfurt (Photo: @2014 gholami)

Further information
Prof. Dr. habil. Saloumeh Gholami
Professor of Minority Languages in the Middle East 
LOEWE-Research Cluster: Minority Studies, Language and Identity 
Institute for Empirical Linguistics 
Faculty of Linguistics, Cultures and Arts 
Goethe University Frankfurt
Phone: +49 (0)69- 798 24690

Editor: Pia Barth, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt, Tel. +49 (0)69 798-12481, Fax +49 (0)69 798-763-12531, 


Apr 15 2024

International comparison featuring Goethe University Frankfurt shows: German funding opportunities are exemplary, but weaknesses exist

How the live performing arts survived the pandemic

An international study involving Goethe University Frankfurt has investigated the impact state and non-state funding have had on the live performing arts during the pandemic. The investigation shows that while the situation of artists in Germany was overall more positive than elsewhere, certain areas merit some catching up

FRANKFURT. The British Academy-funded research project "Pandemic Preparedness in the Live Performing Arts: Lessons to learn from Covid-19 across the G7" ran from April 2023 to January 2024. Its aim: To compare how government and non-government funding has affected the work of institutions, organizations, performing artists and freelancers in the G7 countries during the pandemic, focusing in particular on a comparison between the USA, Canada, the UK and Germany. The co-investigator of the project's German team was Prof. Heidi Liedke from Goethe University's Institute of English and American Studies (IEAS), with Ronja Koch acting as its research associate. One of Liedke's research areas is digital forms of contemporary theater and the pandemic's impact on theater in the UK and Germany. 

As part of the project, the research teams conducted extensive literature syntheses of publications from 2020-2023, looking at both academic and journalistic publications as well as policy papers relating to theater, opera and dance. Liedke also spoke with representatives of several state theaters, the German federal government's department of theater, dance and performance, as well as Deutscher Bühnenverein [German Stage Association], among others. 

The €2 billion "Neustart Kultur" funding program is the first of its kind providing an unprecedented amount of funding to culture in Germany – at a scale that is also unique by international standards. The program provided many people with financial security, albeit not to the same extent: while permanent employees of municipal and state theaters received short-time work benefits, independent and self-employed artists struggled with numerous applications for financial support. That being said, project funding was available at the federal and, above all, the state level, and could be obtained both quickly and unbureaucratically. It was particularly important that performances involving a physical gathering of people no longer constituted a prerequisite for funding – offering freedom and space to further develop one's own art. Many artists were appreciative of the fact that politicians spoke of the importance of culture and its promotion to Germany; they felt seen. 

The pandemic and the associated social distancing regulations led to a lot of experimentation with digital formats. However, many institutions lacked a comprehensive digital strategy – both in terms of artistic practice as well as with regard to their internal structures. This is particularly true of rural areas, where internet access remains a problem. There did, however exist a certain funding focus on rural areas, allowing new performative formats to emerge while at the same time promoting digitalization. Generally speaking, public spaces were increasingly included, with theaters such as Frankfurt's Mousonturm artists' house, for instance, building a special open-air stage. 

"Artists and theaters in Germany and Canada received significantly more support than those in other countries," Prof. Liedke says. The state of Hesse's “Masterplan Kultur" [master plan for culture] and the resilience managers employed by some state theaters (e.g. in Hanover or Darmstadt) constituted best practice examples at a joint conference, attended by a politician from the House of Lords, amongst others. The debate on whether to include arts funding in the German constitution also met with great interest. "This is precisely what artists in the UK themselves are discussing and want to take to the political arena," she adds. 

All of this notwithstanding, Liedke points out that the German system also has its weaknesses: compared to other countries, German theaters still need to become considerably more accessible – both for employees as well as for audiences. In addition, minorities need to be given greater consideration. Beyond that, there is also room for improvement in terms of funding strategy and co-determination. Bureaucratic hurdles and the lack of coordination between the various funding offers have made it particularly difficult for freelancers to access funds. It would make sense for various cultural and political actors to be involved in the development process, as was the case with Hesse's "Masterplan Kultur", for example. The five recommendations for action for political decision-makers in the UK are available on the project's homepage. 

Project homepage: 

Images for download: 

Caption: The British Academy-funded research project "Pandemic Preparedness in the Live Performing Arts: Lessons to learn from Covid-19 across the G7", of which Goethe University Frankfurt was a participant, has presented its results. (Copyright: University of Exeter) 

Further information
Prof. Dr. Heidi Lucja Liedke
Professor of English Literature
Institute of English and American Studies
Goethe University Frankfurt
@heidilulie (X)

Editor: Dr. Anke Sauter, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Tel: +49 (0)69 798-13066, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531,


Apr 15 2024

Biochemist Robert Tampé of Goethe University Frankfurt receives €2.5 million in funding from the European Research Council

ERC Advanced Grant for cutting-edge research on the cell’s immune response 

When the human immune system recognizes and attacks infected or abnormal cells, it does so in highly complex, multi-stage processes. Biochemist and structural biologist Robert Tampé from Goethe University Frankfurt's Institute of Biochemistry has already uncovered parts and sequences of these mechanisms. The €2.5 million ERC Advanced Grant enables him to build on his successful research into the molecular architecture and mechanisms of the cellular immune response. With this distinction, Tampé is one of 255 Excellence Grant recipients selected by the European Research Council (ERC) from 1,829 applications submitted. 

FRANKFURT. The cell's outer shell determines whether the human adaptive immune system identifies pathogens or not. Figuratively speaking, the cell membrane is the arena where two key players meet: On the one hand, there are receptors, of T cells for example, which are specialized in reacting to signs, known as antigens, for a cell that is degenerated or infected by a virus. On the other hand, it is the infected or abnormal cell itself that produces these antigens in the form of small peptides in its interior, then transports them to its surface. If a T cell receptor on the membrane recognizes an antigen that matches it, it binds to it, which in turn triggers an intricate mechanism at the end of which the abnormal cell is eliminated. This property of T cells is the reason for their increased use as a customized tool in immunotherapy. 

Biochemist and structural biologist Robert Tampé, a specialist in the structural analysis of membrane protein complexes of the adaptive immune system, has now been awarded a five-year, €2.5 million European Research Council Advanced Grant for his project Unraveling the Supramolecular Architecture of Molecular Machineries in Adaptive Immunity ("ImmunoMachines"). ERC Advanced Grants support groundbreaking research projects by outstanding scientists. 

Robert Tampé's research project aims to decipher the spatial and temporal structure of as yet unexplained processes in the cell's immune response. His research team draws on and combines several scientific disciplines and methods, including cryogenic electron microscopy, the control of cellular processes by light, chemical and synthetic biology, in-situ structural biology, and others. Tampé is certain that "there is a lot to discover at the interfaces of biology, chemistry, physics and medicine" and that such underlying research findings will lead to tangible benefits in therapeutic approaches. "It is the dream of every researcher in this field to understand how the T-cell receptor works, which would pave the way to ultimately producing customized T-cell receptors that can treat infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and cancer." 

This is Tampé's second ERC Advanced Grant – he received his first in 2017. A year later, he was awarded a Reinhart Koselleck Project by the German Research Foundation. Since 2022, he has headed the Collaborative Research Center 1507 on “Protein Assemblies, Machineries, and Supercomplexes in Cell Membranes". In 2023, he received the Schaefer Research Award from Columbia University, New York. 

The European Research Council (ERC) selected 255 projects by leading researchers from the 1,829 submissions across 19 member states and associated countries it had received, meaning that just under fourteen percent of the proposals were successful. The winners include 50 German, 31 French, 28 British, 22 Italian and a further 28 researchers from other countries. 

Set up by the European Union in 2007, the ERC is the premier European funding organization for excellent frontier research, offering financing to creative researchers of any nationality and age to run projects based across Europe. It is led by the Scientific Council, an independent governing body composed of eminent international scientists and scholars, which is responsible for its strategic direction. 

Image for download: 

Caption: This is structural biologist and biochemist Robert Tampé's second ERC Advanced Grant (Photo: Uwe Dettmar) 

Further information
Robert Tampé, PhD
Professor / Director
Institute of Biochemistry
Goethe University Frankfurt
Tel: +49 (069) 798 29475

Editor: Pia Barth, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt, Tel. +49 (0)69 798-12481, Fax +49 (0)69 798-763-12531,