Research in our Faculties
Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences combines theoretical groundwork with applied, practice-oriented research in order to deliver on its mission “Innovation for Society.” The Faculty currently has six key research profile areas: Design & Behaviour: Behavioural Economics; Behavioural Management Science; Digital Transformation; Demography and Social Inequality; Economic Policy; and Value and Risk. These areas are organized as interdisciplinary research units that combine individual excellence and collaborative research. Collaboration with non-university institutes and the service of faculty members on advisory boards of German federal ministries foster strong links between theory and practice.
Faculty of Law
One hallmark of the Faculty of Law is the high diversification of its institutes, allowing for modern and intensive research in nearly all legal fields. It has five focus areas in research that are connected by various overarching questions: International and European Law, International Private Law, and International Criminal Law; Economics, Labour, Health, Social Matters, and Taxes; Media, Communication, and Intellectual Property; Citizenship and Statehood; and the Foundations of Law. All of the Faculty’s research addresses not only aspects of national law, but also comparative and international questions. The Faculty conducts fundamental as well as practice-oriented research and fosters exchange with other academic disciplines and with different social actors. This allows it to recognize tendencies of great societal relevance which might lead to legal challenges in the future. The Faculty of Law thus fosters and supports the application and further development of law not only in legal practice, but also in policy-making and society as a whole.
Faculty of Medicine
The Faculty of Medicine has created three main research areas across its institutes and clinics:
- Tumor biology, infection and immunity;
- Homeostatic principles in metabolism and tissue regeneration;
The research focus area on “Tumor biology, infection and immunity” focuses on the molecular mechanisms of defence against tumors and microorganisms. Moreover, it addresses fundamen-tal questions of cancer biology such as the role of DNA damage response, cancer immunity, and the microenvironment.
The research focus area on “Homeostatic principles in metabolism and tissue regeneration” aims at unravelling the molecular principles that control metabolic signaling and cellular interactions in tissue maintenance, repair, and aging. It addresses central mechanisms that underlie metabolic disorders and altered cellular communication causal to tissue degeneration.
The research focus area on “Neuromodulation” investigates the function and dysfunction of synapses, neurons, and neuronal networks in order to develop a comprehensive understanding based on the molecular and systems level of the underpinnings of neurological and psychiatric disease. Ultimately, the focus lies on developing novel preventive and therapeutic strategies for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases.
The Faculty has particular strengths in translational research. The Cluster of Excellence Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD), which is supported by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, investigates the causes of aging and age-associated disorders. CECAD links basic research and the application of new findings, pioneering new approaches for clinical research. Further interdisciplinary research institutions at the Faculty of Medicine include the interdisciplinary Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), the Cologne Center for Genomics (CCG), and the Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO). As a core facility, the Clinical Trials Centre Cologne (CTCC) supports the translational research approach of the Faculty of Medicine.
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities offers an exceptionally broad range of disciplines. It has particular strengths in prehistory, classics, medieval studies, literary studies, linguistics, non-European languages, African studies and digital humanities. Individual and collaborative research is conducted within its institutes and interdisciplinary centers, bringing together scholars from different disciplines in a supportive research environment (e.g. Cologne-Bonn Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Cologne Center of Language Sciences). The Thomas Institute carries out long-term research projects and publishes critical editions in the fields of medieval philosophy and the history of science. The Husserl Archive is a unique institution in the field of phenomenology, facilitating long-term editorial projects and the ongoing publication of Edmund Husserl’s writings. The Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH) is a leading research center in the area of digital humanities. It conducts and coordinates a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary projects worldwide and serves as a central hub for applied computer sciences and the humanities. The Mercator Institute for Language Learning and German as a Second Language is funded through a 12m € grant from the Mercator Foundation and advises policy makers, administrators and educational practitioners on how to improve the quality of language learning and embed it into school curricula.
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences conducts research in biology, chemistry, geosciences, mathematics/computer sciences, physics, and the didactics of mathematics and the natural sciences. Close interaction between the individual subjects and other Faculties, particularly the Faculty of Medicine, have contributed to successful activities in the Excellence Initiative and the granting of new Collaborative Research Centres by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Embedded in the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne, the Clusters of Excellence in Aging Research (CECAD) and Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) as well as the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School for Physics and Astronomy (BCGS), the Key Profile Area ‘Quantum Matter and Materials’, and the Competence Areas ‘Quantitative Modeling of Complex Systems’ and ‘Cultures and Societies in Transition’ are funded. In the last years, research in the geosciences has also focused on environmental dynamics. Like other departments of the Faculty, the Department of Geosciences has developed top-notch collaborative research projects in this and other areas.
In cooperation with the University of Cologne’s Center for Teacher Education (ZfL), the Faculty actively develops and implements a structural and institutional framework for state-of-the-art teacher training, with a special focus on practical experience. With the ZfL, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strong partner, actively fostering international exchange on promising issues surrounding school and education.
Faculty of Human Sciences
The Faculty of Human Sciences is our youngest Faculty. Its research strengths lie in the field of intercultural education, early childhood education and social psychology. Its Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation is one of the largest centers of its kind in Europe. The Faculty’s Center for Diversity Studies (cedis) analyzes the causes and consequences of increasing diversity in contemporary societies, aiming to develop ways of productively dealing with diversity in organizations and in societies as a whole.