Third Place for Humanities in German Research Foundation Ranking
Excellence at Münster
University: In the new funding rankings published today (10 September 2009) by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), Humanities and the Social Sciences have made third place. Only two Berlin
universities - the Freie Universität
and Humboldt Universität - obtained more third-party funding. In the field of theological research WWU actually reached first place. Overall, WWU reached 15th position in the rankings of third-party funding for the period 2005 to 2007.
"We are proud of how well we did in the latest DFG rankings," commented University Rector Prof. Ursula Nelles. "This proves that WWU is among the leading universities in Germany. I am especially pleased that the traditional strength of our University in the Humanities and the Social Sciences has now been reflected in a top placing." At around 41.7 million euros, around 35 percent of the funding granted to Münster University has gone to the Humanities and Social Sciences. This has been due in particular to the "Religion and Politics" Excellence Cluster which was approved in 2007 and meant that WWU leaped from 15th to third place.
The spokesman for the "Religion and Politics" Excellence Cluster, historian Prof. Gerd Althoff, was delighted at the results of the 2009 funding rankings. "This is a positive signal for the Humanities. They are among the top receivers of third-party funding at WWU. Naturally, we at the Excellence Cluster are proud and delighted that we have made a substantial contribution to this." Third-party funding which went beyond basic state funding was, said Althoff, urgently needed in order to attain academic excellence. Competition led to more quality in research, as the WWU's "Religion and Politics" Excellence Cluster was already demonstrating. Fruitful collaboration between academics from 18 different subjects has developed - from theology, history and politology to law, Jewish studies, Islam studies and ethnology.
In Natural Sciences WWU reached 10th place, in Life Sciences 19th place. From 2005 to 2007 a total of 5.8 billion euros was approved for Germany universities. Of this, 119.9 million euros went to WWU. The University has been able to improve continuously since the funding rankings for the year 2000. "In my view," says Prof. Nelles, "the DFG rankings confirm that WWU is on the right track in its efforts to strengthen research markedly. Nevertheless, we have no time to rest on our laurels. After all, the next round of the Excellence Initiative is just around the corner - and the clear aim we have is to once again do noticeably better than in the previous round."
- http://www.uni-muenster.de/en/research/ Research at the WWU Münster