Press release: Early departure from the Excellence Strategy competition
No. 13 - 02.02.2024
Göttingen University's draft proposals not approved – only MBExC can submit a full proposal
It is an early departure from the Excellence Strategy for the University of Göttingen and its partners at the Göttingen Campus: in the "Clusters of Excellence" competition, the expert panel of the German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) did not invite any of Göttingen University's five draft proposals for new clusters of excellence to submit a full proposal. The committee had to make decisions on a total of 143 draft proposals, only 41 of which made it to the next round. This means that only the Göttingen Cluster of Excellence "Multiscale Bioimaging", which already has funding, can now submit a full proposal for a second period of funding. The prerequisite for participation in the "Universities of Excellence" competition would have been a second funded Cluster of Excellence. The deadline for full proposals is 22 August 2024 and the final funding decisions on the clusters will be made in May 2025.
"We are deeply disappointed that we were unable to win over the panel of experts with our draft proposals," says University President Professor Metin Tolan. "We had complete confidence in our five draft applications, as they have been continuously improved over the past two years by numerous external reviews and retreats. They have been approved internally and have therefore already gone through several quality control processes. We also believe that the long-term strategy of the University together with the Göttingen Campus puts us in a good position, but it is of course with a heavy heart that we have to recognise that this was still not enough.
“We will now wait for the expert panel's reasons and, after a brief period of disappointment, consider which elements of our draft proposals can be realized in a different form. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the process with such great commitment, whether as scientists, reviewers or 'critical friends', as support staff, or simply by keeping their fingers crossed."
Since 2019, the Cluster „Multiscale Bioimaging: from Molecular Machines to Networks of Excitable Cells“ (MBExC) has been developing and combining innovative methods to investigate the structural and functional basis of the cardiovascular and the nervous system across scales of multiple length and time. The aim is to understand how "molecular machines" work together and control the activity of electrically excitable cells and their networks as well as to decipher mechanisms of disease. This is the basis for the development of new strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the heart, the brain or both, up to clinical trials. Current spokespersons of the cluster are the neuroscientist Professor Tobias Moser, University Medical Center Göttingen, the chemist Professor Claudia Steinem, Faculty of Chemistry, and the chemist Professor Christian Griesinger, Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences.