Excellence Initiative: Ruhr-Universität Bochum on the finish line

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No. 262 - Bochum, 01.09.2011

Excellence Initiative: Ruhr-Universität Bochum on the finish line

Enhancing existing international networks: the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV, RUB Research School plus and the overall Institutional Strategy Research Campus RUB

Ruhr-Universität Bochum submits full proposals for all three funding lines

As one of seven new competitors, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) is on the home stretch to reach its goal – to become one of the German universities funded by the Excellence Initiative. Today, 1st September 2011, RUB submitted full proposals in all three funding lines of the Excellence Initiative of the federal and state governments to promote science and research. These are the Cluster of Excellence EXC 1069 RESOLV, the Graduate School GSC 98 RUB Research Schoolplus and the overall Institutional Strategy Research Campus RUB (RCR). Our proposals fit seamlessly together and embody the exact same mission and principles: all measures of all three proposals are geared to continue to develop the RCR further in order to compete more successfully than ever with leading research universities worldwide, attract the most talented students and top faculty, and increasingly gain international reputation for excellence. “We derive our strength and enthusiasm for this path from our mission statement which is based on the principle of universitas: a community of the teaching and the learning”, explains Rektor Elmar Weiler. “It puts the focus on people, and stands for enhanced international collaboration on all levels. The early independence of researchers is of particular importance to us, and we aim to promote individual research as well as research consortia in equal measure.” RUB’s success in the Excellence Initiative would also drive structural changes in the Ruhr area further.

Research Campus RUB: an interdisciplinary, cosmopolitan space for teaching and research

While RUB was the shooting star in the first Excellence Initiative in 2007, it now presents its RCR Institutional Strategy, which was developed further – not least by involving a large number of individuals and groups from the university in this process.
With its Institutional Strategy, RUB highlights its leading position among Germany’s top research universities. “Six established Research Departments - two more have been proposed as part of the RCR concept – demonstrate that RUB conducts globally competitive, interdisciplinary collaborative research in all major areas of science”, emphasised the Vice Rector for Research Ulf Eysel. In addition, RUB also particularly aims to strengthen individual research. “It is the foundation without which collaborative research would be entirely unable to develop”, he adds. The major new measure of RUB’s Institutional Strategy is the International Faculty (IF). It is designed to build a community of globally active researchers at all stages of their careers and to promote interdisciplinary, research-oriented teaching. It will comprise eminent researchers from RUB and their international partners. The IF is set to play a decisive role in shaping the face of RUB. It will thrive on research projects with a distinctive international focus and bring excellent researchers from all over the world to the RUB. In this way, it will not only strengthen research and teaching, but also enhance the public appeal for our campus.

RUB Research Schoolplus – for excellent doctoral researchers

In 2006, as part of the first round of the Excellence Initiative, RUB has been success¬ful and was awarded funding for its university-wide interdisciplinary Graduate School RUB Research School (RUB-RS). Since this time, RUB-RS has developed into a platform for all doctoral researchers at RUB and enables them to pursue “doctoral studies with added value”. Starting in January 2012, the RUB-RS will continue to serve as an institution supported by all 20 Fakultäten (RUB’s disciplinary institutional units). “In recent years RUB-RS has developed to be synonymous with outstanding doctoral theses with excellent super¬vision”, says Nils Metzler-Nolte, Vice Rector for Young Scientists and International Matters. “The RUB-RS has been very successful: this fact is documented for example by way over a thousand scientific publications, which have been written by our doctoral researchers since 2007”, the Vice Rector emphasised. As part of the current Excellence Initiative, RUB-RS is developed even further: with the RUB Research Schoolplus (RUB-RSplus) project, which is based on the achievements of the RUB-RS, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum now aims to launch a programme to fund outstanding doctoral researchers: The RUB-RSplus will support the most creative doctoral researchers especially - for example - by making funds available for project-related research stays abroad, for attending international conferences or by supporting parents (and parents to be) who work on their doctoral thesis.

Forging careers: RUB-Research Schoolplus and International Faculty

At RUB, careers paths in research and teaching are integrated into a comprehensive approach – this is demonstrated in all three proposals. RUB Research Schoolplus and the International Faculty will work hand in hand through their coordinated programmes. The activities of the RUB-RSplus for doctoral researchers are in line with the activities of the IF for early career and established researchers: enhancing internationalization through meetings, conferences, or research stays abroad as well as inviting international fellows to RUB. In this way, RUB will be further advanced as a cosmopolitan teaching and research site, making the university even more attractive for foreign students and researchers as well as offering the best opportunities for its own scientists to gain international experience.

Cluster of Excellence EXC 1069„RESOLV“: Solvents as active units

With 18 active collaborations with international universities, the Cluster Excellence of RESOLV (Ruhr Explores Solvation, Speaker: Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen) is a very good example what the overall RCR strategy wants to achieve, demonstrating the link between the International Faculty and the RUB-Research School. To gain deeper insights into this research area is long overdue. However, it was only possible over the past decade to develop methods and technologies to investigate chemical reactions, industrial processes or biological processes in the liquid phase (in solution). A profound understanding of solvation processes grounded on fundamental research in chemical, physical and engineering sciences however is the prerequisite to develop vital key technologies for preventing environmental pollution, for improving energy efficiency and for understanding corrosion processes and for explaining biological functions. The aim of this Cluster of Excellence proposal is to develop “Solvation Science” on the basis of a molecular and rational approach. The researchers in this project view solvent molecules as functional units that play an active role in solvent-mediated and controlled reactions, and not just as passive onlookers.

Editorial journalist

Dr. Barbara Kruse
Press Office Ruhr University Bochum

Further information

Prof. Dr. Elmar W. Weiler (Institutional Strategy: Research Campus RUB, funding line 3), tel. +49 234 32 22926, rektor@rub.de Prof. Dr. Ulf Eysel (Research), tel. +49 234 32 27045, prorektor-forschung@rub.de Prof. Dr. Nils Metzler-Nolte (Graduate School GSC 98 RUB Research Schoolplus), tel. +49 234 32 24779, prorektor-internationales@rub.de Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen (Cluster of Excellence EXC 1069 RESOLV), tel. +49 234 32 24249, pc2office@rub.de

 

Rektor Prof. Elmar Weiler signs RUB’s proposals for the Excellence Initiative

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Busy: The completed applications have to be packed ...

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