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Objective 1 – Strengthening interdisciplinary profiles

The challenge

Complex solutions and innovations call for collaboration across boundaries between subject areas. This gives rise to large interdisciplinary research clusters. Today, these interdisciplinary profiles of universities are becoming increasingly important: they build national and international visibility, attract the best minds, and inspire top-level research. Interdisciplinary research is both challenging and rewarding. Success depends on excellent fundamental research and strong individual disciplines that communicate beyond their subject perspectives. At the same time, the concepts, techniques and tools established in other fields can also help a discipline gain new insights into its own research topics. The prerequisite for an institutional culture of interdisciplinary research is that universities afford students and up-and-coming academics the scope to develop an interdisciplinary perspective already at an early stage of their career.

Our approach

Teaching and research activities at the University of Bremen encompass a broad spectrum of subjects. In the natural and engineering sciences as well as in the social sciences, the humanities and teacher education, our University has a long tradition of cooperation among the disciplines – both in its study programmes as well as in collaborative research.


The University of Bremen began early on to bundle interdisciplinary collaborative research within what we call ‘high-profile areas’. These play a major role in shaping our University‘s international research profile. The reputation boost deriving from these especially strong areas and their impressive record of success in competitive calls carries over to all areas of the University. High-profile areas are based on a broad spectrum of related subjects. We purposely preserve this breadth of scope in order to ensure the continual emergence of new linkages, novel lines of research, and innovative programme content. The University will continue its policy of building thematic profiles, promoting the emergence, growth and innovation of high-profile areas.

Our goals

  • To promote high-profile areas that are especially strong in the field of fundamental research and actively support them when participating in competitive calls such as the German Excellence Strategy. To promote the international exchange of researchers and to offer internationally attractive Ph. D. programmes and coordinated master’s programmes in these areas.
  • To support the more application-oriented high-profile areas of the University so as to enable them to develop the full potential of their research strength on appropriate cooperation platforms and with regional, national and international partners.
  • To offer incentives for other disciplines and academics to become involved in the high-profile areas.