Following a successful first funding period, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), set up as a DFG Research Centre in 2012, is to receive funding for another four years. This was decided by the Joint Committee of the DFG, Germany's largest research funding organisation and the central self-governing organisation of the German research community, at its summer session during the DFG's annual meeting in Mainz. From October 2016, the three applicant institutions - the University of Leipzig, Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg - will receive around €36.5 million plus a 22% programme allowance for indirect project costs. The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, three Leibniz Institutes in Braunschweig, Halle and Gatersleben and two Max Planck Institutes in Jena also play an important role in the network as non-university partners.
The aim of the German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) is to study biological diversity in all its complexity and make available related scientific data. The researchers also aim to develop strategies, solutions and use concepts to prevent further loss of biodiversity. Their integrative and interdisciplinary approach to biodiversity patterns, processes and functions and "biodiversity and society" enables further synthesis and theory-forming within this field of research. iDiv, the network's synthesis centre, brings together researchers from a range of projects and disciplines from Germany and abroad to examine current issues and combine research results.
iDiv is one of four institutions funded through the research centres programme, which was initiated by the DFG in 2000 as a particularly strategic funding instrument. Other research centres include "The Ocean in the Earth System" (University of Bremen), "Molecular Physiology of the Brain" (University of Göttingen) and the "Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD)" (Technical University of Dresden). Research centres can be funded for a maximum of 12 years.
With their combined scientific competencies and the cooperation that takes place between university and non-university research institutions, the research centres have also become a model for clusters of excellence in the Excellence Initiative, with three of the four centres also receiving funding as clusters of excellence. Unlike clusters of excellence, however, the DFG announces specific topics for research centres. They are intended to create internationally visible research institutions, hone the profiles of participating universities and provide excellent training and career opportunities for early career researchers.
Detailed information about research centres:
DFG programme contact:
Scientific questions relating to biodiversity research:
Dr. Meike Teschke, Life Sciences 1, Tel. +49 228 885-2336, Meike.Teschke@dfg.de
Dr. Thomas Münker, Research Centres, Tel. +49 228 885-2307, Thomas.Muenker@dfg.de
Further information is also available from the spokesperson for this research centre:
Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology, Institute of Biology I, Tel. +49 341 97-38591, firstname.lastname@example.org