In publica commoda

Research strategy


Research strategy


Our research strategy is consequently being updated in accordance with the University’s Mission Statement as part of a university-wide strategy process, so that the research achievements “for the good of all” – in publica commode – can continue to develop their full potential both nationally and internationally. Acting on its strengths, the University will face the existing challenges with sincerity, pragmatism and vigour. These challenges include the University's increasingly strained financial situation and the uncertain future prospects for researchers in early career phases the increasingly strained financial situation and what are sometimes perceived as uncertain future prospects for researchers at early career stages.

Professor Bernhard Brümmer
Vice President for Research and Sustainability

The University of Göttingen stands for excellent, internationally visible research and is ranked 12th in third-party funding among the universities in Germany (not counting the funds for future concepts in the Excellence Strategy, it is ranked 9th). In 2037, 300 years after its foundation, it will be in a leading international scientific position, make a sustainable contribution to overcoming scientific and social societal challenges and actively shape cutting-edge research at the highest international level. Researchers of the Göttingen Campus will be able to develop and work on brilliant ideas freely and can freely develop and cultivate brilliant ideas, supported by excellent services that lighten their loads. in a transparent, trusting, equal opportunity and diversity-sensitive manner. Transparent, reliable, equal-opportunity and diversity-sensitive interactions lie at the heart of this, as is expressed in a team and leadership culture in which all people involved in the research process can fully exploit their potential. And last but not least: Our University will attract exceptional talent.

Overarching research objectives of the university

Under three strategic research objectives, ground-breaking issues beyond existing disciplinary boundaries and well-trodden paths are being addressed:

Energy, information, and life are characterised by structures. These structures are determined by fluctuating transformation processes, networking and interaction between units on different scales in time and space. Research into the fundamentals, modelling of the transformation processes and understanding of these networks are the focus of this research objective, in which the natural sciences (including mathematics) and the life sciences are represented particularly strongly.

Society today is characterised by accelerating technological, biogeochemical, social, cultural and media change on both a local and global level. The scientific examination of these phenomena generally requires contributions from all scientific disciplines: the humanities and social, as well as natural and life sciences. The basis for creating new knowledge are the structures under which change occurs, and the role of actors who experience change through their actions, and also shape this change. In line with our mission statement, special emphasis is placed on responsible action in dealing with change. At the centre of this strategic objective are the standards that guide actions and discourses about them, as well as historically grounded and context-specific knowledge. They are the foundation for the development, critical reflection and testing of new theories. An important part of this strategic objective is the assessment of the results of actions through evaluation, contextualisation and reflection.

With the Anthropocene epoch, human activity has become the determining factor on a planetary scale. A high degree of interdisciplinarity and systematic reflection on the context in which knowledge is developed and passed on is a prerequisite for providing sustainable answers about how to deal with transformation processes towards a sustainable future. Understanding, evaluating and shaping the manifold, intended and unintended consequences of human activity is a mandatory prerequisite for achieving sustainability – in all its dimensions and across generations, and thus forms the core of this strategic objective.

Within these research objectives, the University has already identified six scientifically outstanding and internationally competitive core topics:

Molecular Foundations of Cellular Networks

Sustainable Land Use and Biodiversity

Foundations of Cognitive Processes

Fundamentals of Energetic Processes in Matter

Structures and Transformations of Texts and Objects

Global and Local Dynamics, Sustainable Development, and Responsibility

Fields of action

The University will facilitate and dynamise the organisational handling of current issues in interdisciplinary networks. The already well-established support structures will be made even more effective by further easing the burden of national and European project applications. In order to achieve this overarching goal, we will:
  1. Continuously develop the University's research profile and create meeting spaces
  2. Strengthen collaborations across co-operation on the Göttingen Campus
  3. Increase success in EU research funding
  4. Create the best framework conditions for researchers
  5. Provide more targeted support for researchers in an early career phase (interface to the sub-strategy Scientific Career Paths)
  6. Making students curious about research and enabling them to work scientifically (interface with the Student and Academic Services sub-strategy)

Further information (in German)

University members can find further information (in German) on the strategy process at Göttingen University and the current version of the research strategy as a PDF on the University intranet:

  Strategieprozess Forschung
  Forschungsstrategie als PDF-Download
  Maßnahmen in den Handlungsfeldern als PDF-Download