Kiel University is applying to become a University of Excellence

Written, bound, delivered: Kiel University’s (CAU) application for the title of University of Excellence is a good 175 pages long. Schleswig-Holstein’s state university officially submitted its concept “Kiel University Interfaces” to the Wissenschaftsrat (Council of Science and Humanities) in Cologne today (Monday 10 December). The concept describes how the CAU aims to design inter- and transdisciplinary research, teaching and transfer in the future, based on projects, initiatives and models. If it is successful, around €100 million will be made available for implementing the concept, initially for seven years. Continued funding after that would also be possible. The decision as to which eleven of the 19 universities who are still in the running will receive the title of University of Excellence, and thus be able to implement their concepts, will be made on 19 July 2019.

After the application had been submitted, CAU President Professor Lutz Kipp thanked all the many involved in producing the application over the past few months, both inside and outside of the university: “This concept demanded a lot of energy and creativity from us all. I am very pleased with the result. ‘Kiel University Interfaces’ is an impressive description of our previous path of profiling in the field of inter- and transdisciplinary cutting-edge research. We want to continue developing this successful method into a systematic model for the entire university. The fact that we purposefully focused on broad participation and critical supervision when searching for ideas and creating the concept, both inside and outside the university, has paid off in the end. On behalf of the entire University Board, I would like to thank everyone who was involved very much for their dedication and support, and I am really looking forward to jointly defending our application in the coming spring.” On 1 and 2 April 2019, an international examination committee will be assessing the application from Kiel. Over 100 members of the university from all status groups and areas will answer the jury’s questions in Kiel. 

Kiel University Interfaces

Kiel University is preparing to become a whole new type of University of Excellence, with the “Kiel University Interfaces” concept. The key component is to profitably interlock interdisciplinary research projects while simultaneously establishing structures which support science. In parallel to this, dynamic, science-driven governance will be developed. The focal points here are on gaining and training early career researchers as future minds, on equality and on promoting individual talents who should shape the cultural transition towards inter- and transdisciplinary science. In order to advance the careers of these individuals and to explore new scientific fields with them, the CAU will create physical, virtual and suitable ‘enabling spaces’, which accelerate cross-faculty research cultures. These spaces enable strong disciplinary scientific cultures to meet and exchange views, and promote their common research activities. The CAU plays the role of innovative engine for the region in this respect, and underlines this with numerous initiatives which drive cooperation with society. The CAU will thus shape Kiel’s cityscape with an interlaced campus-city-building development (Kiel.Science.City) and place the focus on scientific exchange at every level, from the spatial encounter to the intellectual discourse and new opportunities for participation.

About the “Universities of Excellence” competition:

With the German Excellence Strategy, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Wissenschaftsrat (Council of Science and Humanities) are building on the Excellence Initiative started in 2005. The fundamental objective of the Strategy is sustainable strengthening of Germany as a science location, and improving its international competitiveness. Two funding lines were set up for this: Clusters of Excellence for funding internationally competitive research fields at universities or university groups in the form of projects, and Universities of Excellence for the continuous strengthening of universities and the expansion of their top international position in research based on successful Clusters of Excellence. The prerequisite for applying to become a University of Excellence is the approval of at least two Clusters of Excellence. Kiel University met this requirement with the two Clusters which were approved in September 2018: "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation" (PMI) and "ROOTS - Societal, Environmental and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies".

Group picture
© Claudia Eulitz, Uni Kiel

On Monday, December 10, the State University of Schleswig-Holstein has submitted its proposal for an excellence university. From now on, the University board and the project team keep fingers crossed.

© Claudia Eulitz, Uni Kiel

Written, bound, delivered: Kiel University’s (CAU) application for the title of University of Excellence is a good 175 pages long.

You can find more information about the Excellence Strategy here: [German]



Pascal Sadaune
Managing Director of the Strategy and Planning Department                      
Kiel University
+49 (0)431/880-7150


Press contact:

Dr. Boris Pawlowski