The University of Bamberg
in the German Research Foundation’s 2015 Funding Atlas

The University's academic focus areas continue to pay off

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 clear academic profile:  as University President Prof. Godehard Ruppert puts it, "the more specialised the area of expertise, the better the chances of securing third-party funding." For years, the University of Bamberg has relied on an academic profile defined by four core research fields, of which the humanities and the social sciences form the foundational base.

The German Research Foundation’s (DFG) most recent funding atlas once again bears testament to this strategy’s success. The atlas, which is based on the years 2011 to 2013, provides information on the amount and distribution of public funding at German universities. And in order to aid in comparing the provided data, it also identifies the individual profiles of these institutions’ core funding areas. Based on this information, it is clear that on a national scale the University of Bamberg has found its place among the top performers in terms of research funding acquisition.

Frontrunners in education

The DFG has awarded the University of Bamberg grants totalling 11 million euros in the academic field of the humanities and social sciences. In this academic field, the University of Bamberg primarily acquired the largest amounts of funding in areas of social and behavioural science: among the Bavarian universities, a total of 8.3 million euros in funding from the DFG means that its acquisitions were second only the considerably larger Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich.
The majority of these grants can be traced back to the University of Bamberg’s research in educational science which, with its 4.7 million euros in funding from the DFG, was the frontrunner nationwide:

A three-year [nationwide] total of 42 million euros in DFG funding in the field of educational science represents a comparatively small amount of funds raised. Distribution is also quite broad and funds granted to any given institution generally amount to less than 2 million euros. One funding centre that does emerge however is the University of Bamberg (approximately 5 million euros), an institution that, due to its participation in the Germany-wide cooperative research programme focused on competency models for the assessment of individual educational achievement and the balancing of educational processes, and owing to its research group for educational processes, competence development and selection decisions in preschool- and school age (BiKS project), has been successful in acquiring larger-scale funding from the DFG.
(translated from DFG-Förderatlas, p. 125)

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."

The strong focus on the social sciences can also be seen in the federal government’s funding of research and development: a total of 55.6 million euros in funding was granted to the University of Bamberg for use in the field of innovation in education – by far the largest amount granted to a university within a single funding area.

Profile development made measurable

For the first time, the 2015 funding atlas addresses the development of universities’ DFG funding profiles over the last decade: using the Gini coefficient to statistically calculate uneven distribution, the evaluation is able to show whether a university has concentrated its focus on particular subjects or has tended more towards diversification. The process of research profile development is essentially made visible: unlike most universities, the University of Bamberg has been in the process of concentrating its focus on subjects in the social and behavioural sciences and in the humanities.

The upward trend is expected to continue in coming years: the 30.94 million euros in third-party funding of 2012 had risen to 32.31 million in 2014 – though one should bear in mind that the individual budget of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), which was established in 2014, was factored into this calculation. From the university president’s point of view, this performance remains remarkable, and Prof. Ruppert is clearly pleased when he points out that "The university and its affiliated institutes is responsible for bringing over 30 million euros in third-party funding to Upper Franconia!"

Further information

For more information (in German) on publicly funded research in Germany and on the 2015 funding atlas, please follow this link to the DFG website: