U Bremen Excellence Chairs

Since 2019 international experts conduct research and build up their own research groups as 'U Bremen Excellence Chairs' together with university colleagues within U Bremen Excellence Chairs program.

Seven Excellence Chairs started their research projects in January 2019, three of them at MARUM within the Cluster of Excellence „The Ocean Floor – Earth‘s Uncharted Interface”. Four more Excellence Chairs were assigned in January 2020 at the university.

The U Bremen Excellence Chairs program is funded with 1 mio euros annualy within the scope of the Excellence Strategy of Germany’s federal and state governments. The funds were granted to the university in addition to MARUM’s successfull cluster of excellence application.

The program underscores the strong international networking of existing research strengths and enhances their visibility. It promotes the University of Bremen’s internationalisation efforts on a high level. Excellence Chairs are primarily established in the University’s High-Profile Areas and further areas of high potential.

Chair-holders are outstanding experts in their disciplines and represent bridgeheads for collaboration with leading institutions worldwide. As ‘U Bremen Excellence Chairs‘ they are regularly present at the University of Bremen over a period of four years and establish their own working groups here. They are closely integrated in the University’s subject areas and are eligible to supervise doctoral candidates.

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Extension of Excellence Chairs

First selection round continues cooperation from 2023 onwards

The U Bremen Excellence Chairs at the MARUM – Dr. Jack Middelburg, Dr. Victoria Orphan and Dr. Eske Willerslev – and those at the other departments of the University of Bremen – Dr. Haizhou Li, Dr. Nicola Marzari, Dr. Petar Popovski and Dr. Shalini Randeria – will be extended until the end of 2025.

During the first funding period the term of an excellence chair is four years. As these seven internationally renowned scientists began their work as U Bremen Excellence Chairs in 2019, the University of Bremen carried out an evaluation procedure before the end of the funding in 2022. The university offered the top researchers the prospect of an extension if the outcome was positive. All seven U Bremen Excellence Chairs successfully passed the evaluation and will continue their research at the University of Bremen with their working groups, starting in January 2023.

The evaluation process for the four chairs who began their work in 2020 has begun.

Name (alphabet. order)

Home institution

Research at U Bremen

in collaboration with


Period of time

Maria Kanakidou

University of Crete

Impacts of emissions and feedbacks to the Earth system

Faculty 01 (Environmental Physics)

Mihalis Vrekoussis

2020 - 2023

Haizhou Li

National University Singapore

Selective Auditory Attention

Minds, Media, Machines

Tanja Schultz

2019 - 2022

Nicola Marzari

École Fédérale Polytechnique de Lausanne

New materials on demand


Lucio Colombi Ciacchi

2019 - 2022

Jack Middelburg

Utrecht University

Marine carbon cycle and carbon transport


Kai-Uwe Hinrichs

2019 - 2022

Victoria Orphan

California Institute of Technology

Microbial communities


Kai-Uwe Hinrichs

2019 - 2022

Petar Popovski

Aalborg University

Wireless space communication

Faculty 01 (Communications Engineering)

Armin Dekorsy

2019 - 2022

Shalini Randeria

Rector and President of the Central European University, Vienna

Soft Authoritarianisms


Michi Knecht, Ingo Warnke

2019 - 2022

Yvonne Rogers

University College London

Human-Computer-Interactions: AI in healthcare


Johannes Schöning

2020 - 2023

Thomas L. Schwarz

Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital

Mitochondrial dynamics

Faculty 02 (Molecular Genetics)

Rita Groß-Hardt

2020 - 2023

Mario L. Small

Columbia University

Study of Social Networks


Betina Hollstein

2020 - 2023

Eske Willerslev

University of Copenhagen/University of Cambridge

Fossile DNA


Michal Kucera

2019 - 2022