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Research Profile: Top-Level Research

The University of Bonn has stood for top-level research for over 200 years. The founding professors already saw Bonn as a research university aimed at answering scientific, social and technological questions. Researchers, teachers and early-career researchers all benefit from this today, taking advantage of established German and global networks and strong scientific and social partnerships—with measurable effect.

Postdoc
© Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn

Transdisciplinary Research

The six Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) at the University of Bonn create spaces for innovation in research and teaching.

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© Volker Lannert/HCM

Excellence in Research and Teaching

“We invest in people. We foster networks. We create impact.” We follow this strategy to create the ideal environment for creative scientific work by outstanding researchers that extends beyond our six Clusters of Excellence and to promote talented researchers at all career levels.

The Best Minds

The outstanding research performed by our researchers is shown by the many awards that have been received.

Cooperative Research Culture

Innovative top-level research in many national and international partnerships and collaborative projects sets us apart.

Diverse Appointments

The diversity of our externally funded professorships is a sign of our close cooperation with economy and society. 

What sets our research profile apart?

01.

Excellence

The University of Bonn is one of eleven German Universities of Excellence and the only university with six Clusters of Excellence. Recent decades have seen us produce more Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners than any other German university.

02.

Networked

Embedded in the UN city of Bonn and a region of cutting-edge research, the University of Bonn is one of the leading research-oriented universities in Germany.

03.

Transdisciplinary

Our seven faculties cover a broad range of disciplines. This strong range of disciplines is supplemented by six cross-faculty, interdisciplinary “Transdisciplinary Research Areas” (TRAs) that create areas for exploration and innovation to facilitate academic exchange.

04.

Comprehensive Support

Our goal is to create the ideal conditions for internationally networked research to attract and develop the best researchers. Our Argelander Program for Early-Career Researchers offers comprehensive support to promote early independent research.

Transdisciplinary Research Areas

Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) focus our research on key scientific, technological and social issues of the future and create areas for exploration and innovation.

Mathematics, Modelling and Simulation of Complex Systems

How do complex systems actually work?  Interaction of mathematical modelling, classical observational methods, data simulation and creative spirit.

Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions

How do the building blocks of matter interact? How do complex structures emerge at the different length scales of nature? Find out more about our research.

Life and Health

Understanding the complexity of life - developing new strategies for health.
Read more about TRA Life and Health. 

Individuals, Institutions and Societies

Complex relationships between the individual, institutions and societies – developing new views of micro- and macrophenomena.

Past Worlds and Modern Questions. Cultures Across Time and Space

We foster and network research on the preconditions and conditions of the emergence of modern societies as well as on negotiation processes of heritage.

Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures

The TRA Sustainable Futures researches institutional, science- and technology-based innovations in the field of sustainability.

Latest Research and Teaching News
Perturbations simplify the study of “super photons”

Thousands of particles of light can merge into a type of “super photon” under suitable conditions. Physicists call such a state a photon Bose-Einstein condensate. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now shown that this exotic quantum state obeys a fundamental theorem of physics. This finding now allows one to measure properties of photon Bose-Einstein condensates which are usually difficult to access. The study has been published in the journal “Nature Communications.”

International Conference on “Commodore 64”

The 8-bit Commodore 64 home computer—affectionately known by its fans as the “bread box” because of its shape—came out in 1982 and is one of the best-selling computing platforms in IT history. The Commodore’s impact on pop culture, technological development and computer science education lives on in the present day. The University of Bonn’s Media Studies section will be hosting an international conference to discuss the past, present and future of the Commodore 64, on Friday and Saturday, July 5–6. Professor Jens Schröter, University of Bonn Chair of Media Theory, and his colleague Professor Stefan Höltgen of SRH University Heidelberg, have invited experts from media studies, computer science, museology, musicology and cultural studies to speak, as well as historical computer collectors and hackers to the conference in Bonn. The event will be held in English.

Euclid delivers first scientific results

Today, the Euclid Consortium publishes the first scientific publications on observations with the Euclid space telescope. In a first early observation phase, some scientifically spectacular results have already been achieved. These give a glimpse of the unprecedented capabilities of the telescope, which is expected to produce over the next few years one of the most accurate maps of the evolution of our Universe. All fifteen publications will be available on the arXiv preprint server from tomorrow on. Once the peer review process is complete, they will also appear in a special issue of the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics.”

Roots are a key to drought-tolerant maize

Maize can grow successfully in very different local conditions. An international study headed by the University of Bonn has now demonstrated the important role of the plant root system. The researchers analyzed more than 9,000 varieties in the study and were able to show that their roots varied considerably – depending on how dry the location is where each variety was cultivated. They were also able to identify an important gene that plays a role in the plant’s ability to adapt. This gene could be the key to developing varieties of maize that cope better with climate change. The results were recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics.

Restrict Use of “Tipp-Ex Proteins”

Plants have special corrective molecules at their disposal that can make retrospective modifications to copies of genes. However, it would appear that these “Tipp-Ex proteins” do not have permission to work in all areas of the cell, only being used in chloroplasts and mitochondria. A study by the University of Bonn has now explained why this is the case. It suggests that the correction mechanism would otherwise modify copies that have nothing wrong with them, with fatal consequences for the cell. The findings have now been published in “The Plant Journal.”

Healthy Diets for People and the Planet

Our diet puts a strain on planetary resources. Shifting to a sustainable diet that benefits both our health and that of the planet is therefore assuming increasing importance. Researchers at the University of Bonn have analyzed the diets of children and adolescents in terms of their contribution to the ecological sustainability indicators of greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use. The study shows that there is both the potential and a need to make the diet of younger generations more sustainable. The study will be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; it is already available online.

International research team cracks a hard physics problem

Strongly interacting systems play an important role in quantum physics and quantum chemistry. Stochastic methods such as Monte Carlo simulations are a proven method for investigating such systems. However, these methods reach their limits when so-called sign oscillations occur. This problem has now been solved by an international team of researchers from Germany, Turkey, the USA, China, South Korea and France using the new method of wavefunction matching. As an example, the masses and radii of all nuclei up to mass number 50 were calculated using this method. The results agree with the measurements, the researchers now report in the journal “Nature”.

Organic farming leads to adaptations in the genetic material in plants

Plants adapt genetically over time to the special conditions of organic farming. This has been demonstrated in a long-term study conducted at the University of Bonn. The researchers planted barley plants on two neighboring fields and used conventional farming methods on one and organic methods on the other. Over the course of more than 20 years, the organic barley was enriched with specific genetic material that differed from the comparative culture. Among other things, the results demonstrate how important it is to cultivate varieties especially for organic farming. The results have now been published in the journal “Agronomy for Sustainable Development.”

We think without borders

With our magazine, we give you an insight into the research and teaching being done at our University. We focus on our transdisciplinary research and the work that we are undertaking in our six Clusters of Excellence. By virtue of their reputation and sheer number, they are without parallel in the entire German university sector.

Find out more about us in the reports on the University, on our research and on some of our favorite places in Bonn—an extremely likeable city that is home to numerous international organizations.

Contact

Research and Innovation Services

+49 228 / 73-60915
GZDez7@verwaltung.uni-bonn.de

The research division manages the entire research process - from initial information on funding​, handling third-party funded projects and the exploitation of results.

Also see

Transdisciplinary Research Areas

The six Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) at the University of Bonn create spaces for innovation in research and teaching.

Clusters of Excellence

The University of Bonn has six Clusters of Excellence, more than any other university in Germany.

NeurotechEU

NeurotechEU is an alliance that have set themself the mission of building an innovative, trans-European network of excellence for brain research and technologies. 

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