Exceptional research with an excellent profile

The University of Konstanz carries out research at the highest international level. Since our university’s founding in 1966, one of our major strengths has continued to be our ability to unlock potential by bringing researchers with mutual interests and research agendas together, irrespective of their disciplinary backgrounds.

The University of Konstanzs is successful in both funding lines of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments. It has received funding in all three funding lines of the precursor programme, the Excellence Initiative, since 2007. The overall aim of both Excellence programmes is to promote top-level research and to strengthen Germany as a research location in a sustainable way. Only six universities nationwide have been consistently recognized as Universities of Excellence since 2007. 

University of Konstanz
Research priorities
In a nutshell
We focus on
Facts and figures

Research in this area focuses on pressing social, political and cultural challenges of our times. The Cluster of Excellence “Cultural Foundations of Social Integration” (EXC 16, 2006-2019) has significantly contributed to advancing research in this field.

  • social cohesion
  • social integration and disintegration
  • migration
  • mobility
  • Humanities and social sciences in the DFG Funding Atlas 2018: 1st place, per-capita funding in relation to all academic staff, as well as to professors
  • 9 structured doctoral programmes
  • > 100 visiting scholars from more than twelve countries at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz

Our researchers investigate the social and cognitive aspects of human actions as well as the general decision-making processes in politics and society. The Graduate School of Decision Sciences, financed through Excellence Initiative funding, has significantly contributed to this research priority since 2012, and will be continued in the context of the new Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Policies” (EXC 2035).

  • Political Dimensions of Inequality
  • decision-making processes
  • political mobilization and participation
  • Humanities and social sciences in the DFG Funding Atlas 2018: 1st place, per-capita funding in relation to all academic staff, as well as to professors
  • Urs Fischbacher – Highly Cited Researcher 2018, Clarivate Analytics
  • 6 structured doctoral programmes

Our researchers make use of interdisciplinary synergies to study animal (and human) decision-making processes and the environmental factors they are influenced by. The Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” (EXC 2117) is set to become an internationally leading top-level research facility for the study of basic principles of collective behaviour.

  • basic principles of collective behaviour displayed by different organisms
  • monitoring animal migration from space with ultra-modern tracking technology (ICARUS project)
  • propagation of invasive plant species (plant ecology)
  • inland waters as ecosystems
  • Iain Couzin – Highly Cited Researcher 2018, Clarivate Analytics
  • Movebank: 117 kuratierte, öffentlich archivierte Datensätze mit über 56 Millionen Standorten, in denen die Bewegung von 5.119 Tieren und 106 Arten beschrieben wird
  • Research facility: Centre for Visual Computing of Collectives (VCC)
  • 5 structured doctoral programmes

Our researchers investigate how physiological processes can be steered at the molecular and atomic level. The research priority has strong links to the Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB, GSC 218), which has received Excellence Initiative funding from 2007 to 2019, as well as to the CRC 969 “Chemical and Biological Principles of Cellular Proteostasis”, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

  • biological system adaptations to changing conditions
  • biological system reactions to natural and synthetic modules
  • development of hybrid systems with tailor-made properties
  • Life sciences in the DFG Funding Atlas 2018: 1st place, per-capita funding in relation to all academic staff, 2nd place in relation to professors
  • 1 Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)
  • Five ERC Grants were awarded to participating researchers
  • Research facility: Centre for Chemical Biology (CCB)
  • 4 structured doctoral programmes

Challenges in the area of condensed matter and materials lie at the heart of the nano and material sciences. Research in this field is particularly shaped by our researchers from the Collaborative Research Centres CRC 767 “Controlled Nanosystems: Interaction and Interfacing to the Macroscale” and CRC 1214 “Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures”, in collaboration with our Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP).

  • properties of quantum matter
  • development of new materials with tailored mechanical, optical, electronic or magnetic properties
  • Helmut Cölfen: Top 100 Chemists 2000-2010 (Thomson Reuters)
  • 2 Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs)
  • 6 structured doctoral programmes
  • 9 core facilities
Emerging fields of research
In a nutshell
We focus on
Facts and figures

The Health Sciences focus on challenges and strains caused by ageing, toxic substances, risky behaviour, physical inactivity or stress. The Human Performance Research Centre (HPRC), which opened its doors in 2018, provides cutting-edge technologies for broad-based health studies. The centre also includes four sport science laboratories.

  • health challenges and strains
  • eating habits
  • movement research (using mobile technologies)
  • physical performance and strain
  • Close collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Schmieder Clinic, Lurija Institute and the Centre for Psychiatry Reichenau
  • “Konstanz life survey” with around 1,000 participants per round
  • 2 structured doctoral programmes

Development of methods and systems for the visualization, analysis, accessing and processing of large data quantities that are generated in the natural and social sciences as well as in the humanities. The CRC/TRR 161 “Quantitative Methods for Visual Computing” has played a crucial role in developing conceptual metrics and quantification models as well as new methods and algorithms in the field of visual computing since 2015.

  • visual abstraction
  • data mining/big data
  • interactive systems
  • Training programmes for teachers: adult education study programme in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics (IMP)
  • 1 Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)
  • Study programme Social and Economic Data Science

Research priorities and emerging fields of research

The University of Konstanz has five research priorities. These profile areas share an interdisciplinary research orientation and are continuously developed through close research collaboration at departmental interfaces within and beyond single faculties. They bring excellent researchers together and allow them to pool their shared research interests, thereby generating new ideas and innovative approaches to solving global challenges in science and society.

Similar to research priorities, our emerging fields of research consist of current research topics that are advanced by a shared and strong research focus in our departments. Participating researchers pool their interdisciplinary expertise and develop strong synergies. Emerging fields of research contribute to the University of Konstanz’s dynamic profile-building process.