The University of Freiburg concentrates its research efforts into nationally and internationally visible research foci. The main aim is to develop the university’s research strength in specific areas, particularly by means of externally funded and competitive collaborative research projects. The interdepartmental cooperation enables more intensive interdisciplinary research, making it possible to identify important new research questions early on.
Since the task of building up a distinct research profile is always a dynamic process, the University of Freiburg subjects its research foci to regular evaluation and develops them further. One of the main criteria for identifying a research focus is proven success in attracting external funding in the face of national and international competition. Strong research programs like collaborative research centers or clusters have great influence on the university’s research profile due to the duration and extent of their funding, their requirements with regard to the establishment of long-term research infrastructure, and the professorial appointments associated with them.
The University of Freiburg has identified seven strong research foci in the course of its structural and development planning (2014–2018):
- Experimental particle physics
- Computer science and robotics
- Materials research
- Microsystems engineering
- Systems biology and biological signaling studies
- Humanities (cultural studies, literature, linguistics, history, philosophy, and Asian studies)
In addition, the University of Freiburg has singled out five areas with clear potential to develop into additional research foci in the future:
- Life sciences and epigenetics
- Sustainability sciences
- Security and society
- Migration and mobility