The concept "University of Konstanz – creative.together"

Our “creative.together” concept for the Universities of Excellence funding line of the Excellence Strategy builds on our previous strategy and further develops our culture of creativity in a systematic way. The resulting optimized conditions, close communication and strong sense of community enhance the creative potential of our university members at all levels. "creative.together" is based on our conviction that outstanding research and innovation can thrive where different people and ideas come together – in an environment that supports and promotes their potential. This is how we promote top-level research and teaching, further develop our academic support services and intensify our interaction with society, industry and politics.

Our overall strategy is based on five goals that address institutional as well as social challenges and mutually reinforce each other. Three key projects as well as several additional measures ensure the realization of these five goals.


1. Promote top-level research at the University of Konstanz

Promote top-level research by optimizing framework conditions and supporting collaboration across disciplines and generations.

How we promote collaborative top-level research: We support intensive collaboration between researchers from different disciplines and career levels through a conducive working environment as well as an optimal research infrastructure for collaborative use, for instance by further developing our successful programmes Research Initiatives, Freedoms for Creativity and Network Platforms. We not only support our early career researchers in the Zukunftskolleg, but also continue to expand other programmes. For example, we pool various funding programmes for postdoctoral researchers in the Young Scholar Fund, a new fund specifically for doctoral researchers, expand the service portfolio of the Academic Staff Development (ASD) and create new advisory services for careers outside academia. A new Ethics Committee provides expert consultations on matters involving research ethics.

2. Increase the reciprocal effect between research and teaching

Increase the reciprocal effect between research and teaching by integrating our students in research processes and using cutting-edge teaching methods.

Our e-science strategy considerably enhances research-oriented teaching at our university. One example includes our programme to promote the data and information literacy of students. We also have introduced new funding programmes for innovative teaching projects as well as training options for teaching staff and, in addition to this, provide students access to cutting-edge research infrastructure.

3. Increase the knowledge and technology transfer between science and society

The University of Konstanz promotes knowledge and technology transfer as a reciprocal process between science, industry, politics and society. In addition to the Forum Konstanz, our knowledge and technology transfer measures focus on three fields of action: communication, advice and application. This includes further developing our science communication, for instance by installing science writers and providing an editorial service for open access publications, by giving the Konstanz Science Forum an even more international profile and by improving our strategic relationship management activities.

Advisory services in the area of transfer will be pooled in a new service team for research and teaching-related transfer projects and a new entrepreneurship mentoring programme will be established. To promote practice-oriented transfer projects, our successful Transfer Platforms programme will be developed further.

4. Expand research collaboration worldwide and strengthen inclusive institutional structures to promote equal opportunities and the acceptance of diversity

We strengthen our position as an internationally competitive research university and intensify collaboration between Konstanz researchers and partners from all over the world. Our Outgoing Centre, which provides advice on all non-academic aspects of a stay abroad, the development of new virtual mobility and blended learning options for digital teaching as well as the establishment of intercultural seminars support this process. Equal opportunity as well as a working environment which embraces diversity and family-friendliness solidify our fair and gender-equitable structures and sensitize university members for all forms of explicit and implicit discrimination. We expand our structures for the promotion of women in research and science and have also formalized our institutional commitment to diversity in a Code of Practice on Diversity.

5. Support governance to remain capable of institutional renewal

To drive our continual further development, we strengthen our dynamic governance structures and adapt them to a changing – increasingly digital – environment by promoting institutional creativity as well as the capacity for innovation. Evidence-based and reliable governance as well as digitalization of administrative processes increase efficiency and the reliability of administration processes. One example is our new Freedoms for Governance programme, in which university members are encouraged to develop, test and implement creative ideas that promote our university’s overall progress as an institution of higher education.

Key projects

1.   Expansion of the Zukunftskolleg

Since it was founded in 2007, the Zukunftskolleg has been a pioneer in the successful promotion of early career researchers. Collaboration across departmental and national boundaries as well as among different career stages and status groups is at the core of the Zukunftskolleg. It also plays a central role in the Excellence Strategy and is continuously being developed further in terms of content and strategy, e.g. through the ZUKOnnect Fellowships which attract outstanding early career researchers from the Global South.

2.   Development of a comprehensive e-science strategy

Our e-science strategy takes the University of Konstanz’s working and learning environments to the next level. It ensures reliable data and information structures as well as optimized workflows across all levels. Open Science, research data management, online teaching and the digitalization of administrative processes as well as data and information literacy are the key components of the strategy.

3.   Forum Konstanz

The planned Forum Konstanz mirrors our overall strategy and connects society and cutting-edge research as well as excellent teaching. This new campus centre for research and society will connect people and ideas and create links between disciplines, between research and teaching, as well as between university and society.