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Clusters of Excellence (Excellence Strategy)


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Excellence Strategy: 88 Draft Proposals for Clusters of Excellence to Compete in Final Selection Round

Results of Committee of Experts Meeting on 27-28 September 2017

(29.09.17) Initial decisions have been made in Germany’s Excellence Strategy. The international Committee of Experts convened in Bonn on 27 and 28 September 2017 and selected 88 projects from 195 draft proposals for Clusters of Excellence to proceed to the full proposal stage. The list of successful applicant universities and their projects has now been published.

Clusters of Excellence support project-based funding in internationally competitive research fields at a university or university consortium.

This funding line, which was established under the Excellence Initiative (2005 – 2017), was further developed in the Excellence Strategy.

Clusters of Excellence are intended to form an important part of the strategic and thematic planning of the applicant university/universities, hone their profiles and promote prioritisation. They are also expected to create excellent training and career opportunities for early career researchers. Together with the Universities of Excellence, Clusters of Excellence serve to strengthen Germany's position as a research location in the long term and further improve its international competitiveness.

Additional information on Clusters of Excellence, including the programme objectives, eligibility requirements and proposal submission procedure, can be found in the call for proposals, which was agreed upon by the Committee of Experts at its inaugural meeting on 20/21 September 2016.

Proposals in the Clusters of Excellence funding line are reviewed and decided upon in an academically driven, two-stage competitive process (draft proposals and full proposals), which will be implemented by the DFG.

The DFG Head Office received a total of 195 draft proposals by the 3 April 2017 deadline.

On 28 September 2017, the Committee of Experts decided which draft proposals will be invited to submit full proposals. The deadline for submission of full proposals is noon on 21 February 2018. The Excellence Commission will make the final funding decision on the proposals for Clusters of Excellence on 27 September 2018.

Funding will begin on 1 January 2019.

Detailed information on proposal submission and the review and decision-making processes is available in the programme guidelines (DFG form ExStra 100).

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Information on the Excellence Strategy will be updated regularly on this site during the course of the programme. For direct access, use our quick link at

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