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Presseinformation: Research without borders between theory and experiment

Nr. 73 - 09.05.2023

DFG extends funding for chemistry Research Training Group at Göttingen University


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has extended its funding for the Research Training Group (RTG) “Benchmark Experiments for Numerical Quantum Chemistry” (BENCh) at the University of Göttingen for another four and a half years. The RTG was launched in January 2019 and has now been awarded an extension worth around 4.5 million euros. The programme follows an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on combining experimental and theoretical methods. The focus is on the development of new experiments that challenge established theoretical models and thus form the basis for future developments in quantum chemistry. In addition, the programme contributes to the creation of datasets relevant to the ever-growing demand in the field of data-driven models in chemistry. 


"Computer simulations are now capable of describing and predicting chemical processes even at the scale of an atom," explains the RTG's Spokesperson, Professor Ricardo Mata from the Göttingen University’s Institute of Physical Chemistry. "However, to verify the underlying models, scientists need to test them in customised experiments that push the limits of spectroscopy and synthesis. We have outstanding expertise at the faculty to make that possible. Reliable computer simulations are not only a means to save costs, but also open up access to completely new approaches in chemistry."


The RTG promotes the international exchange of students and researchers both within and outside Europe through workshops, seminars and short stays in collaborating working groups. "During the first phase, we have already had the opportunity to conduct joint research with over 20 theory groups from all over the world, from New Zealand to the USA," says Mata. "We hope to expand our reach even further in the coming years." This will be done not only through the regular work of research and peer-reviewed publications, but also through “blind challenges” (challenges that are put out to the community, where no-one knows the correct answer beforehand) , open publication of datasets and other innovative tools to promote open access.




Professor Ricardo Mata

University of Göttingen

Faculty of Chemistry – Institute of Physical Chemistry

Tammannstraße 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany

Tel: +49 (0)551 39-23149