Creating the Research Campus
Goal – best framework conditions for research
Research at the RUB has always been impressive. After all, for many years it has been one of the leaders in Germany when it comes to the number of collaborative research centres. The aims during the first Excellence Initiative looked at developing an unmistakable profile corresponding to the university vision, on the basis of its prevailing strengths.
Strategy – flexible structures and processes
New flexible structures prepared the ground for this process. They created the best conditions for networking among researchers from different disciplines – always one of the RUB's strengths – and for implementing outstanding project ideas. Time and again, the community of researchers at RUB puts life into these structures. Competitive procedures with differing funding possibilities are available to every researcher, every working group and every alliance. The university's structures and processes thus provide research with optimum assistance, without any constraints.
Implementation – giving everyone a chance to be involved
The core of the RUB Research Campus, whose concept put the RUB in the final round of the first Excellence Initiative, consists of the research departments. As flexible, multidisciplinary bodies, they enable researchers from different faculties to work together on a certain topic for a specific period of time. Explicit encouragement is given to cooperating with each other, with researchers at home and abroad, with non-university research institutions and with business and industry. The research departments develop comprehensive research programmes with an international appeal. The quality of research has a directly positive impact on teaching. After all, researchers are always also teachers, and this whole concept gives students early contact with leading research, true to our principle of learning through research.
The Research Campus also offers ideal conditions for Early Career Researchers. The RUB founded its Research School in 2006 as an Excellence Initiative project. The RUB Research School offers structured doctorates in cutting edge research with an additional non-academic qualification programme. Postdocs are given early independence at the RUB, for example in leading their reseach group. The Mercator research groups are unique on a global scale, providing facilities for young researchers to work independently in their team with support from experienced mentors over a certain period of time.
The Rectorate has launched special funding programmes as "incubator" for new ideas, starting with Collaborative research or individual and junior projects.