The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities have administered the Excellence Initiative since 2005. The initiative provides funding for and promotes top level research at German universities and strengthens Germany as an internationally competitive research location.
The Excellence Initiative has three funding lines:
- Graduate schools are designed to train doctoral students while offering the best conditions within a research field, including excellent academic supervision.
- Clusters of Excellence support and promote scientific research in socially or economically relevant subjects. Several researchers work together on projects and exchange ideas on relevant topics.
- Institutional strategies guide the long-term development of the university. This includes the strategic expansion of top-level research in certain areas.
The Excellence Initiative at the University of Konstanz
The University of Konstanz was successful in the first year of the Excellence Initiative when its Cluster of Excellence "Cultural Foundations of Social Integration” was recognised in 2006. This was followed with the recognition of its institutional strategy "Model Konstanz - Towards a Culture of Creativity” as well as its Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology in 2007. In the second round of the Excellence Initiative in 2012, the university enhanced its standing with its Graduate School of Decision Sciences, the extension of the previously accepted programmes, and the repeated recognition of its institutional strategy.