Excellence delivered by the JMU

Following the successful assessment by international panels of reviewers, JMU and the two Munich universities will submit the following full proposal for a new Cluster of Excellence for the 2026 – 2032 funding period:

NUCLEATE: Nucleic Acid Research and Technologies

NUCLEATE is dedicated to the revolutionary field of nucleic acid research and technologies. The mission of the research network is to harness the potential of nucleic acids towards a new understanding of their role in biology and to pave the way into the field of nucleic acid medicine. NUCLEATE thus pursues a nucleic acid-centred approach with a highly interdisciplinary team. NUCLEATE is a joint cluster proposal together with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

In addition, the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat plans to submit a renewal application for the current funding period:

Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat

The future of high tech hinges on groundbreaking materials! The Würzburg-Dresden Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter – is home to nearly 400 scientists from over 30 countries.

These dedicated researchers discover and develop innovative topological quantum materials and explore their practical applications in everyday settings. At ct.qmat, we foster a global network of scientific talent and champion a comprehensive societal grasp of quantum technology.

JMU has been successful in all funding rounds of the German Excellence Competitions from the beginning in 2006:

Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS)

The University of Würzburg Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) is one of the most successful graduate schools in the Excellence Initiative. In the 2006-2019 funding periods, it received around €18 million in funding. Currently, it is being funded by the Free State of Bavaria and the JMU. Currently home to more than 600 doctoral researchers in the natural sciences (more than 40% of whom are from abroad) and around 200 in medicine, the GSLS takes a highly personalised approach to training its doctoral researchers, giving them the opportunity to prepare for their chosen career paths in an autonomous manner and to gain the qualifications required to work in highly skilled leadership roles both in and outside academia. The GSLS provides doctoral training in the natural sciences and in medicine and offers the FOKUS Master Life Sciences Master’s programme as well as a ‘Postdoc Plus’ programme.

Rudolf Virchow Center

As one of only three research centres, the Rudolf Virchow Center (RVZ) for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging was selected in 2001 from among 80 applicants for a total of up to 12 years of funding.

Its excellence in research and its innovative structural approaches, including the interdisciplinary degree programme in Biomedicine and the ‘Virchow Graduate Programme’ for doctoral researchers, have made the Rudolf Virchow Center a model for the Clusters of Excellence in the Excellence Initiative. The maximum funding period for the RVZ ended in 2013. Since then, it has been funded by the Free State of Bavaria as a central research institution of the university.

The two funding lines of the Excellence Strategy explained:

Clusters of Excellence Funding Line

In autumn 2023, the draft proposals were reviewed by international panels of experts. On February 2, 2024, the German Research Foundation (DFG) announced that one of the draft proposals submitted by JMU on the topic of nucleic acid research and technologies had made it to the final round of the competition – along with 40 other new proposals from other universities. JMU will prepare and submit a full proposal by mid-August 2024 and submit a continuation proposal for the existing Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat. An international panel of experts will then review the full proposals by mid-February 2025. The final funding decision will be made in May 2025.

Universities of Excellence Funding Line

If JMU succeeds in acquiring two Clusters of Excellence, the university will also apply for funding as a University of Excellence. Within this framework, overall institutional strategies are promoted that improve the scientific performance of universities and create outstanding framework conditions for excellent research.