Research Profile Pays Off

The University of Bamberg in the German Research Foundation’s 2018 Funding Atlas

The figures are in, and according to the current data on the distribution of public research funding, the University of Bamberg’s academic focus areas continue to pay off: humanities and social science programmes have secured funding at the highest levels.

The University of Bamberg’s professed goal is the cultivation of a distinctive academic profile.  As University President Prof. Godehard Ruppert puts it, “A clear and distinctive research profile considerably increases the chances of securing third-party funding.” For years, the University of Bamberg has relied on an academic profile build on a foundation formed by the humanities and social sciences.  The German Research Foundation’s (DFG) 2018 funding atlas once again bears testament to this strategy’s success.

The current atlas, which looks at the years 2014 to 2016, provides information on the amount and distribution of public funding at German universities. In order to aid in comparing different universities using the provided data, it also identifies the individual and subject-specific profiles of these institutions’ core funding areas. This edition shows that on a national scale the University of Bamberg is once again among the top performers in terms of research funding acquisition.

Frontrunners in education

The DFG awarded the University of Bamberg grants totalling 12.2 million euros in the academic field of the humanities and social sciences. In total, the University of Bamberg received 13.2 million euros in funding. The university acquired the largest amounts of funding for the social and behavioural sciences, which comprise research fields in education and educational research, psychology, social sciences, economics and law. Among Bavarian universities, a total of 9.6 million euros in funding from the DFG means that the University of Bamberg’s acquisitions were second only the considerably larger Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich.

The majority of these grants – a total of 5.9 million euros – were awarded to research projects in the social sciences, directly followed by education and educational research. With acquisitions in the latter field totalling 2.1 million euros, the university was even the frontrunner nationwide. Activities in both fields of research are closely linked in Bamberg. One example is the research being conducted on “Education and Work in the Life Course”. Former University Vice-president Prof. Maike Andresen emphasises these results saying, “For a university characterised mainly by the humanities and social sciences, research funding in these areas is of truly vital importance.” This distinction is also reflected in the regional distribution of DFG grants according to field:

“In the western region of Upper Franconia where the University of Bamberg is located, over 86 per cent of the DFG third-party funding is allotted to projects in the humanities and the social sciences – a particularly prominent example being the ‘Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences’ which has been a recipient of funding from the German federal and state governments’ Excellence Initiative since 2012.”

From the university president’s point of view, the university-wide third-party balance is also remarkable, and Prof. Ruppert is clearly pleased when he points out that “The university and its affiliated institutes have brought over 35 million euros in third-party funding to Upper Franconia over the last two years!”

Further information

For more information (in German) on publicly funded research in Germany and on the 2018 funding atlas, please visit the DFG website.