This news release is available in German.
Commenting on the report of the International Expert Commission for the Evaluation of the Excellence Initiative (the "Imboden Commission") presented today, the President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider, said:
"As the largest research funding organisation and the central self-governing organisation of the research community in Germany, the DFG expressly welcomes this thorough report by the International Expert Commission for the Evaluation of the Excellence Initiative.
We share the Commission's positive summary of the progress and outcomes of the two phases of the Excellence Initiative so far and we are especially pleased at the assessment of the clusters of excellence, whose funding, like that of the graduate schools, is organised by the DFG. We also believe that the Commission's conclusions set the course for the imminent design of the new federal-state initiative.
The recommendations of the Imboden Commission are a clear call for the targeted funding of top-level research at universities. This is especially true of the proposed research field competition (cluster of excellence II). This includes some key elements of the DFG proposal for the establishment and funding of "centres of excellence". The DFG sees the Commission's proposal to make these formats more flexible in terms of structures, funding and funding duration as the right approach, and also shares its view that at the same time there is a need for targeted funding of institutional development.
We emphatically underline the Commission's clear vote that the selection of top-level research projects should be based "solely on their scientific excellence". The DFG is ready and willing to organise a programme that fulfils this mandate; it has the instruments, the experience and the necessary trust of politicians and the scientific community.
I am very confident that the new federal-state competition will soon take shape in a carefully devised form which takes the Excellence Initiative forward into the future and will further increase the international visibility of German research by effectively enhancing its capabilities."
Marco Finetti, Head of DFG Press and Public Relations, Tel. +49 228 885-2230, Marco.Finetti@dfg.de