13. November 2023

First Bonn-St Andrews Joint Appointments start work First Bonn-St Andrews Joint Appointments start work

The two strategic partner universities take their cooperation to a new level

With the establishment of a new Bonn-St Andrews Joint Appointment scheme the strategic partnership between the Universities of Bonn and St Andrews has reached a new level of cooperation. Through joint appointments, the two internationally renowned universities create added value for both institutions that is greater than the sum of its parts. The first four researchers in the scheme have now started into their three-year positions. The next round of joint appointments is imminent.

University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews - St Salvators Quadrangle ("The Quad") from Butts Wynd gate © Photo: Gayle McIntyre
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St Andrews has had a strategic partnership with the University of Bonn since 2018; the two institutions have been linked as “Sister Universities” since 1911.

The programme supports colleagues at both institutions to commit an additional 20% of their work time to conducting research and teaching at the other university. This will facilitate more joint research and high- quality funding applications. Each university has committed to running the scheme for three rounds initially, with up to four Joint Appointments in each round.

In August 2023, the first four researchers selected for this programme began their three-year positions as Joint Appointments. They are:
• Professor Seán Allan, School of Modern Languages (University of St Andrews)
• Professor Peter Wahl, School of Physics & Astronomy (University of St Andrews)
• Professor Dr Christian Moser, Department of German and Comparative Literature and Culture (University of Bonn)
• Professor Johann Kroha, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (University of Bonn)

The four Professors intend to use their joint appointments to strengthen the research and teaching links between their disciplines. The next round of the Joint Appointment applications will be launched in the coming weeks, and the universities are in discussions about other opportunities to create different models of joint appointments.
Professor Dr Birgit Ulrike Münch, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at the University of Bonn, explains: "This novel approach to research and teaching is a key instrument for enhancing overall internationalization. This structured programme is unique in Germany and could only be realised thanks to the particularly close cooperation with St Andrews as our strategic partner."

Professor Ineke De Moortel, Master of the United College at St Andrews, a role which oversees the strategic planning of Schools in relation to academic appointments, notes: “We are delighted to have launched the Joint Appointment scheme with Bonn, which is a significant step in the development of our strategic partnership and one which will underpin research and teaching collaborations across our universities. We look forward to working with Bonn colleagues to develop other opportunities and models of joint appointments which we hope will serve to deepen the connections between staff at all levels and across all of our faculties.”

Statements of the newly appointed researchers:

Professor Allan: “I am thrilled at the prospect of taking up a Joint Research Professorship at the University of Bonn. It will provide me with a unique opportunity to work on new and existing research projects with colleagues across German, Comparative Literature, and Bonn’s Centre Ernst Robert Curtius (CERC). It’s a very exciting landmark in the development of the strategic partnership between our two universities – and I am sure that this round of joint appointments will be just the first of many in the years ahead.”

Professor Wahl: “Having graduated from Bonn and found my academic home in St Andrews I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to build bridges between the two institutions. My research links with Bonn build on a long-standing collaboration with Prof Kroha, which I hope can form the seed for new activities linking world-leading research between St Andrews and Bonn.”

Professor Kroha: “I feel enthusiastic and honoured for having been selected as one of the exchange professors to strengthen the partnership between the Universities of St. Andrews and Bonn. This will, in particular, reinforce my long-standing scientific collaboration with Prof. Wahl and will establish new opportunities for exchange between both universities in regard to research as well as teaching.”

Professor Moser: "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take the cooperation between our universities to a new level through the Joint Research Professorship. I am particularly looking forward to collaborating with Seán Allan and other colleagues from the School of Modern Languages on our research project “Re-Imagining the Public Sphere, 1715-1815”, which will shed new light on a current problem (the fragmentation of the public sphere) from a historical perspective. This will certainly also benefit the students in our joint Masters program as well as the PhD students we supervise under the co-tutelle agreement between the two universities."

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