Federal and state funding

In October, the UDE was one of five research institutions in the “Research Infrastructures NRW” competition to be awarded funding for the establishment of a centre of excellence with particularly large innovation potential. The further development of 6G terahertz communications is to be promoted in a “Terahertz Integration Centre” (THzIZ), which will be unique in Germany. To this end, over 6.5 million euros from the NRW.Forschungsinfrastrukturen (NRW Research Infrastructures) programme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) are available for new production plants and equipment. THzIZ is coordinated by the professors Dr. Nils Weimann, Dr. Andreas Stöhr, Dr. Daniel Erni and Dr. Thomas Kaiser.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is also funding a new laboratory at the UDE, which topic-wise is moving in a similar direction: The UDE professors Dr. Nils Weimann, Dr. Andreas Stöhr and Dr. Thomas Kaiser are conducting research on innovative transistors and infrared components. Their new laboratory, “ForLab SmartBeam”, is located at the Centre for Semiconductor Technology and Optoelectronics (ZHO). The BMBF funds will be used to purchase two high-quality systems and instruments for high-frequency measurements up to 1.5 terahertz.

The focus of the successful NRW Future Water research centre is sustainable water management. Last year it entered its second funding phase. The NRW Ministry of Science is providing a further 2.2 million euros for the next three and a half years. In the Future Water research centre, scientific and engineering aspects are combined with economic and social aspects. The centre spokesperson is Prof. Dr. Torsten C. Schmidt (Faculty of Chemistry). The Centre for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU) at the UDE will once again be responsible for coordinating the network.

Two female physicists from the UDE and their teams will each receive BMBF funding of 1.4 million euros for three years. They will develop new instruments for particle-accelerator experiments. The project under the direction of Dr. Katharina Ollefs is concerned with new, energy-efficient cooling using magnetic materials. Together with colleagues from the Technical University of Darmstadt, her team is investigating elemental and magnetic properties under precisely identical conditions. At the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, the research team headed by Prof. Dr. Marika Schleberger is using ion beams on the CRYRING, an ion storage ring, to study solids.


The Hans Böckler Foundation’s doctoral programme “The Political Economy of Inequality” was approved. Prof. Dr. Till van Treeck from the Faculty of Social Sciences is its spokesperson. The doctoral programme is examining the extent, causes and consequences of rising socio-economic inequality. The focus is on material differences, and these are always correlated with political, social and ecological aspects.

A team of biologists and chemists from the UDE, whose research is being funded by the Volkswagen Foundation to the tune of 1.5 million euros, is working on fundamental questions of evolutionary biology. The application for the funding line “Life? – A new view of the natural sciences on the fundamental principles of life” was successful. Dr. Sven Meckelmann, Prof. Dr. Bettina Siebers, Dr. Christopher Bräsen, Prof. Dr. Markus Kaiser and Prof. Dr. Thijs Ettema raised the funds for their “Lipid Divide” project.

In December 2019, the Academy in Exile (AiE), founded in 2017 by the Institute for Turkish Studies (Prof. Dr. Kader Konuk), the Institute for Cultural Studies (KWI) and the Forum for Transregional Studies Berlin and initially supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, was granted a further 1.5 million US dollars by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to finance the academic programme for the years 2020 to 2023.

In March 2019, the medical faculties of the RUB and the UDE established the RIMUR doctoral programme. The programme’s focus is on the investigation of regulatory immune mech­anisms. What is special about RIMUR is that the doctoral candidates are supervised by one basic researcher and one clinical mentor from Bochum and Essen respectively. The so-called clinician doctorands benefit from both sites and are prepared for careers as clinical doctors and scientists. The Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) is funding the programme for the scientific qualification of clinical doctors over three years with around half a million euros.

The social psychologist Prof. Dr. Nicole Krämer and her partners from the fields of computer science, ethics and law have been granted 1.5 million euros to investigate how artificial intelligence contributes to changing or shaping technologies and our society. This follows their success in the “Artificial Intelligence” funding line of the Volkswagen Foundation.

The Mercator Graduate Programme Open-Mindedness, Tolerance and Public Engagement has been approved. It is located within the Prorectorate for Social Responsibility, Diversity and Internationality section. The spokesperson is the socio-economist Prof. Dr. Jakob Kapeller (Faculty of Social Sciences). With funding of approximately 1.98 million euros, the programme aims to analytically record and shed interdisciplinary light on the various historical and contemporary aspects and varieties of open-mindedness, tolerance and public engagement in a pluralistic and democratic society.