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Press release: Excellence Initiative: Graduate School and Excellence Cluster Funded


Nr. 109/2012 - 15.06.2012


No funding for Institutional Strategy – successful proposals in the natural and life sciences

(pug) In the second programme phase of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, the University of Göttingen has been successful with a Graduate School and an Excellence Cluster. Support for the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences and the Cluster of Excellence “Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain” will be continued. The University’s Institutional Strategy has not been selected for funding. This decision was announced today, Friday, June 15, 2012, by the Joint Commission of the German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities. “We are pleased that the Graduate School and the Cluster are being promoted. This will enable us to continue and extend our successful cooperation with our partners on the Göttingen Research Campus”, says University President Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisiegel.

“At the same time, we are naturally very disappointed that we were unable to convince the review panel sufficiently with our further developed Institutional Strategy. We will nevertheless continue the successfully established measures to move ahead with our University’s positive developments in research and teaching. Among the ongoing measures are the Courant Research Centres, the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, and the University’s internationalisation strategy.”

“Together with the city of Göttingen and regional partners, we will in any case realise the newly planned House of Knowledge, in which we intend to present our outstanding academic collections. In addition, the Land of Lower Saxony will contribute to the sustainability of the successful measures and has pledged funding amounting to twelve million Euro for this purpose”, says the University President.

The successful work of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB) in the context of the Excellence Initiative will continue. More than 430 doctoral candidates currently belong to the GGNB, the operation of which is carried out by four Faculties of the University, three Göttingen Max Planck Institutes, and the German Primate Centre. The GGNB comprises twelve structured doctoral programmes, including three International Max Planck Research Schools. In this newly approved second funding period, the pioneering strategy of the GGNB, which plays a leading role nationwide, will be further developed. New measures will include refining the multi-stage admission procedure and extending the range of scientific methods and qualification courses. In addition, new opportunities will be created for post-docs, and international cooperations will be expanded.

The University of Göttingen has also been successful with its renewal proposal for the Cluster of Excellence “Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CNMPB)”. In this Cluster, new optics technologies are being developed and applied to the basic neuroscience and neurological research being carried out on the Göttingen Research Campus. The focus will be the ongoing improvement of novel high resolution microscopy techniques, by way of which minute structures and processes in living nerve cells can be analysed using new marker molecules. The aim is to gain insights that may allow new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to be developed for diseases such as Parkinson’s and schizophrenia. The interdisciplinary research spectrum of the CNMPB will be extended via new research groups and professorships, integrating students, doctoral candidates and young researchers directly into research activities.

Funding in the second programme phase of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, which runs for a period of five years, begins on November 1, 2012. Further information on the Göttingen projects in the first and second programme phase is available online at www.uni-goettingen.de/exzellenz.