Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Language Selection

Breadcrumb Navigation


Final in the Excellence Initiative

LMU Munich wins all round

Munich, 06/15/2012

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München has once again taken the top spot in the German Excellence Initiative: In the Second Phase of the competition all of the proposals submitted – for four new Graduate Schools, four Clusters and the Institutional Strategy – have been selected for funding, the German Research Foundation and the German Science Council announced today. LMU Munich will also play an important role in a Cluster of Excellence hosted by the Technical University of Munich.

 “The fact that we have succeeded in getting all our proposals through, in such a difficult and demanding competition, is nothing short of sensational,” said LMU President Professor Bernd Huber, in his first reaction to the news. “It is a tribute to LMU’s high level of performance and distinguished record in research. We owe this success to the superb work of our scholars and scientists, to their commitment and their creativity, and to the dedicated efforts of very many others at the University. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this very positive result,” Huber affirmed. He is particularly pleased that as of now, projects ranging from the Humanities to Natural Sciences and Medicine, will profit from the support provided by the Excellence Initiative.

The Graduate School of Neurosciences and three Clusters of Excellence in the areas of Nanoscience, Protein Research and Laser Physics, all of which were successfully launched in the first phase of the program, will receive continued funding until 2017. In addition, funding has been approved for the establishment of three more Graduate Schools in Systems Biology, Classical and Ancient Studies, and Eastern European Studies, and a new Cluster of Excellence in the field of Systems Neurology. In the coming five years, LMU will vigorously pursue the strategic objectives set out in LMUexcellent, and further encourage the formation of priority areas, to achieve a sustained enhancement of LMU’s academic profile.

“LMU’s success in the Excellence Initiative has, over the last six years, provided a huge boost for institutional development, and has markedly increased LMU’s visibility and reputation among its competitor universities both nationally and internationally,” says LMU President Bernd Huber. “Today’s result gives fresh impetus to our efforts, and we will take advantage of this stimulus to further strengthen LMU’s position as one of the leading research-intensive universities in Europa and narrow the gap that separates us from the most renowned universities in the world.”

Huber went on to stress the importance of the Excellence Initiative for research in the Munich area in general: “Our successful cooperative ventures with non-university research institutes and museums, and with partners in industry and elsewhere, but most especially our collaborations with the TU Munich, have played a major role in making this achievement possible. I thank all our partners most sincerely for their invaluable support.”


Graduate Schools

Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences
At the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences GSN-LMU, which has received funding since 2006, doctoral students in various areas of the neurosciences have been exploring issues related to one of the most fundamental problems in modern science: how does the brain work? As its name implies, GSN-LMU adopts a systemic and organismal perspective, and encompasses the entire spectrum of the neurosciences from molecular and cell biology through systems-based neurobiology and the theory of science to neuropsychology and neurophilosophy.

Prof. Dr. Benedikt Grothe
Coordinator of the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 2180-74302
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 2180-74304


Graduate School of Quantitative Biosciences Munich

The new Graduate School of Quantitative Biosciences Munich (QBM) provides interdisciplinary training at the interface of experiment and theoretical analysis for young life scientists. Drawing on a range of disciplines represented at LMU, including biochemistry, bioinformatics, structural biology, medicine, physics and mathematics, the School will equip students with the skills necessary for modern quantitative, systems-oriented bioscience. Thematically, the School focuses on the control of gene expression and the interplay between diverse control mechanisms within complex regulatory networks.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Gaul
Coordinator of the Graduate School of Quantitative Biosciences Munich
Phone: +49 (0)89 2180-76878
Fax: +49 (0)89 2180-76999


Distant Worlds: Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies

The Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies will investigate the fundamental principles that sustained and structured antique cultures. To analyze questions pertaining to the construction and organization of these cultures the School makes use of the specialist knowledge of ancient societies to be found at LMU, in the areas of Prehistory and Early Medieval History, Ancient History and Classical Philology, Indology and Sinology. Other Munich-based institutions in the field of prehistory and ancient history, such as the Bavarian State Collections, actively support the work of the School.

Prof. Dr. Martin Hose
Coordinator of the Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies
Phone: +49 (0)89 2180-3558
Fax: +49 (0)89 2180-2355


Graduate School for East and South East European Studies (in cooperation with the University of Regensburg)

The Graduate School will explore the political, cultural and historical dimensions of change in East and Southeast Europe. Particular attention will be given to the interplay between East and Southeast Europe and other regions of the world. In addition to the core subjects of history and Slavic studies, several other disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies will contribute to the School. Coordinated jointly by LMU Munich and the University of Regensburg, the Graduate School also draws on the combined expertise of several independent research institutions in Munich and Regensburg.

Prof. Dr. Martin Schulze Wessel
Coordinator of the Graduate School for Eastern and South East European Studies
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 5480
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 5656


Clusters of Excellence

Nanosystems Initiative Munich

The Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) has established itself internationally as one of the foremost research centers in its field since its inception in 2006. The design and the control of artificial and multifunctional nanosystems define the basis of NIM’s scientific mission, which brings together specialists in nanophysics, chemistry and the life sciences. Within the second phase of the Excellence Initiative, the research program has been extended in order to investigate the functionality of such synthetic nanosystems in complex surroundings and under realistic conditions. Artificial nanosystems have a wide range of possible applications in areas such as information technology and biotechnology, and in living cells.

Prof. Dr. Jochen Feldmann
Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence NIM
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180-3359
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180-3441


Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich

The Munich Center for Integrated Protein Science (CIPSM) has become the premier facility for protein research in Germany. Set up in 2006 and now assured of continued funding, the major goal of the Cluster is to build up a comprehensive picture of protein functions – as isolated molecules, multisubunit complexes and molecular machines that mediate cell processes. So far, work at CIPSM has focused on the molecular properties of specific proteins. In future, more emphasis will be placed on understanding their function in cellular networks and on the chemical manipulation of proteins for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. The Cluster employs a wide range of modern chemical, biochemical, genetic and biophysical methods. In this area the Cluster not only uses and further develops existing methods but has set as a major goal the invention of completely new technologies.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Carell
Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence CIPSM
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180-77750
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180-77756


Munich Center for Advanced Photonics

At the Munich Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP) physicists, chemists, biologists and medical experts are developing groundbreaking light- and laser-based particle sources. Since its foundation in 2006, the Cluster has been regarded as one of the leaders in laser science. All parameters of light – from its rate of propagation to its spectral composition – can now be precisely controlled. Light is extremely versatile. MAP scientists are using their new light sources to obtain detailed insights into the microcosmos of living and non-living matter, and unveiling the secrets of the quantum world. In combination with innovative imaging techniques, the new light sources promise to improve the diagnosis and therapy of life-threatening illnesses. Novel laser-powered particle sources also have the potential to greatly enhance the success rates of treatments for many types of cancer.

Prof. Dr. Ferenc Krausz
Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence MAP
Phone: +49 (0) 89 32905 602
Fax: +49 (0) 89 32905 649


Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

Neurodegenerative, inflammatory and vascular disorders have traditionally been studied in isolation from each other. The Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy) has chosen to take an integrative approach with a view to breaking down such artificial boundaries and unravel the interactions between the different underlying pathologies that contribute to the development of neurological disease. Thus, the researchers involved in the Cluster will study how inflammation reactions influence neurodegenerative processes, how microvascular and degenerative mechanisms combine to cause tissue damage, and how immune cells interact with the blood-brain barrier. To tackle these issues, the SyNergy Cluster, which will now be established as part of the Excellence Initiative, will create a network of highly qualified specialists, which brings basic and clinical researchers together with experts in systems analysis.

Prof. Dr. Christian Haass
Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence SyNergy
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 75 – 471
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 75 – 415

LMU also contributes to the Cluster of Excellence on Origins and Structure of the Universe hosted by TU Munich.


The Institutional Strategy: LMUexcellent

In the second phase of its implementation, the central objective of LMUexcellent will remain the same – to make LMU even more attractive for the very best talents so as to further strengthen the quality of its research. LMU will vigorously pursue this goal by continuing to focus support on cutting-edge research and actively encouraging formation of priority areas, thus further enhancing its research profile. Programs for the promotion of early-career researchers will be restructured to increase their effectiveness. Recruitment policies designed to facilitate the appointment of outstanding scholars and scientists will be further developed. Finally, LMU‘s governance structures will continue to be professionalized. Within the context of LMUexcellent, an innovative concept for research-oriented teaching will be developed, and specific measures in the areas of equality and diversity will be put into effect.


For further information on the Excellence Initiative at LMU, see:


Responsible for content: Communications & Media Relations