The University of Cologne’s six Faculties are the institutional framework for its research activities. The Faculties offer a total of 102 degree programmes and support 10 cross-Faculty research and teaching centres. Moreover, the UoC has several large, internationally competitive research areas: mechanisms of aging-associated diseases; plant breeding research; quantum matter and materials; social and economic behaviour; socio-economic, cultural, and political change in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
The University of Cologne closely cooperates with Cologne University Hospital as well as numerous renowned research institutions of the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association in the Cologne metropolitan area. Knowledge transfer and support for start-ups is particularly important to the university. The COPT Center for Organic Electronics supports the transfer of state-of-the-art research to the world of business. The incubator Gateway helps members of the university put their business ideas into practice. The high density of enterprises in the region creates the perfect environment for these efforts to succeed. Early-stage researchers find ideal conditions for their work in the university’s 45 graduate schools and programmes.
Collaborative Research Centres – SFBs
- SFB 670 - Cell-Autonomous Immunity
- SFB 680 - Molecular Bases of Evolutionary Innovations
- SFB 806 - Our Way to Europe: Culture-Environment Interaction and Human Mobility in the Late Quaternary
- SFB 829 - Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Skin Homeostatis
- SFB 956 - Conditions and Impact of Star Formation - Astrophysics, Instrumentation and Laboratory Research
- SFB 1211 - Earth - Evolution at the Dry Limit
- SFB 1218 - Mitochondrial Regulation of Cellular Function
- SFB 1238 - Control and Dynamics of Quantum Materials
- SFB 1252 - Prominence in Language
- http://sfb1252.uni-koeln.de/SFB Transregio 183 - Entangled States of Matter
- SFB Transregio 191 - Symplectic Structures in Geometry, Algebra, and Dynamics
Clusters of Excellence
Key Profile Areas
Emmy-Noether Research Groups
- Understanding and the Apriori (Dr. B. Jackson und Dr. M. Balcerak Jackson)
- Neuronal Control of 6-legged Locomotion (Dr. S. Gruhn)
- In vivo Charakterisierung der Protein Kinase MK2 als potenzielles Zielmolekül für eine neue Chemotherapie-sensitivierende Krebstherapie (Dr. C. Reinhardt)
- Dynamics of neuronal circuits (Dr. C. Wellmann/ Smarandache)
- Structural and functional studies of cytoskeleton regulation (Dr. M. Lammers)
- Comparative cellular and molecular approaches to epithelial morphogenesis in insects (Kristen Panfilio, Ph.D.)
- Quantenkritischer Transport in elektronischen Systemen und Spinflüssigkeiten (Dr. Lars Fritz)
- Noncoding RNA and Energy Homeostasis (CECAD / MPI, Dr. Jan Kornfeld)
- Dynamics of magnetization reversal and directional anisotropies in magnetic nanostructures (Dr. Sabrina Disch)
Further Research Groups
- Heisenberg-Professorship DFG (Prof. Florian Klein)
- Research Group NRW 2015-2021 (PTJ Jülich); Molekulare Mechanismen der Tumorangionese im Nichtkleinzelligen Brochialkarzinom: Entschlüsseung neuer zielgerichteter, anti-angiogener Therapieansätze (Dr. Ullrich)
- Research Group NRW 2015-2021 (PTJ Jülich); Funktioneller Einfluss und Interaktion der Tumormikroilieus in der antileukämischen Therapie (Dr. Pallasch)
- Research Group NRW 2015-2021 (PTJ Jülich); RNA – Effektor und Ziel regulatorischer Prozesse in der Alterung der Niere und beim Schutz vor Akutem Nierenversagen (Dr. Müller)
- Research Group „Kompetenznetzwerk Stammzellforschung“ (Dr. Kurian)
- Max-Eder-Research Group: Labor für lymphozytäres Signaling und Onkoproteom (Dr. M. Herling)
- Research Group CrC 670 „Molekulare Infektiologie“ (Dr. N. Papadopoulous)
- Research Group CRC 829 „Extracellular Matrix Mediated Regulation of Signaling“ (Dr. D. Sengle)
- Research Group Bazzi (aus SFB 829)
- Inflammation, cell death and phagosomal processing in the innate immune respons e against intracellular bacterial pathogens (Dr. Nirmal Robinson) aus PP CECAD
- Research Group CMMC - Mechanisms and regulation of centrosome assembly (Dr. Jay Gopalakrishnan)
- Research Group CMMC - Systems Biology of Chromatin (Dr. Argyris Papantonis)
- Research Group CMMC - Developmental genomics (Dr. Alvaro Rada-Iglesias)
- CECAD-Juniorgruppe (Dr. B. Schumacher)
- CECAD-Juniorgruppe (Dr. A. Trifunovic)
- CECAD-Juniorgruppe (Dr. M. Uhlirova)
- Liebig-Research Group "Organocatalysis" (Dr. Martin Breugst)
- Research Group: Dermatogenetics, at the Cologne Centre for Genomics (Dr. H.-C. Hennies)
- Research Group: Molecular Infectiology (Dr. N. Papadopoluou)
- Research Group:Extracellular Matrix Mediated Regulation of Signaling (Dr. G. Sengle)
- Research Group: Polarity in Skin Homeostasis and Disease (Dr. S. Iden)
- Research Group: Regulation of Lineage Commitment in Mammalian Skin (Dr. C. Niemann)
- Research Group: Molecular Pathogenesis of Selected Inherited Disorders (Dr. B. Wollnik)
- Research Group: Function and Regulation of PML Nuclear Bodies (Dr. G. Praefcke)
- Research Group in Musicology: The Karajan Discourse. On the Societal and Musical Staging of a Conductor’s Myth (Dr. Hartmut Hein)
- Mouse Genetics and Obesity-associated Cancer (Dr. Th. Wunderlich)
- Junior Research Group in Mathematical Physics (Dr. Th. Quella)
- Leibniz independent junior research (Dr. A. Alldridge)
- Analysis of Nod like receptor (NLR) mediated innate immunity in mammalian cells (Priv.-Doz. Dr. Thomas Kufer)
- Inflammation, cell death and phagosomal processing in the innate immune response against intracellular bacterial pathogens (Dr. Nirmal Robinson)
- Mechanisms and regulation of centrosome assembly (Dr. Jay Gopalakrishnan)
- Systems Biology of Chromatin (Dr. Argyris Papantonis)
- Developmental genomics (Dr. Alvaro Rada-Iglesias)
- Population Genetics of Social Insects (Dr. Martin Hasselmann)
- Molecular and Nanoscale Catalysts for Hydrogen Storage - MaNCatal-H2 (Dr. M. Prechtl)
- Organic Semiconductors (Dr. Selina Olthof)
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; Markets and Governments; 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 research profile of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is very broad, ranging from African studies, pre- and early history to visual arts. With almost 15,000 students, it is the largest Faculty of the University of Cologne. Early on, students and early-stage researchers become acquainted with state-of-the-art research and interdisciplinary approaches. The a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne, which is funded by the European Union, facilitates their entry into an academic career.
Researchers at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have won important research prizes as well as extensive funding, demonstrating that the Faculty is among the top institutions in the arts and humanities in the country. In 2016, Professor Anne Storch (African studies) was awarded the Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most important research prize; Sven Bernecker (philosophy) was appointed Humboldt Professor, and a new Collaborative Research Center, ‘Prominence in Language’ (linguistics), has been established and is being funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The North-Rhine Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts is moreover supporting a long-term project in medieval philosophy on the Arabic philosopher Averroes (Ibn Rushd). Behind these recent successes are established, internationally renowned research institutes such as the Thomas Institute in medieval philosophy, which is unique in and well-known across Europe, the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Husserl Archive, the Documentation and Research Centre of the Theatre Collection at Wahn Castle, or the Ethics Forum. With the Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH) and the Data Center for the Humanities (DCH), the digital humanities have moreover emerged as a major component of the Faculty’s research profile.
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 was founded in 2007, comprising the two subject groups Education and Social Sciences and Art and Music, as well as the two departments Special Education and Rehabilitation and Psychology.
The Faculty’s Research Profile comprises:
- Social Cognition und Cognitive Sciences
Research in this area addresses the foundations of human thinking and learning as well as the circumstances and forms of social information processing. A deeper understanding of these fundamentals is an important precondition for understanding teaching and learning processes in educational contexts. This research hence relates closely to educational psychology as well as to the educational and rehabilitation sciences.
- Lifelong Development and Learning
This research area explores the conditions of human development across the entire lifespan. It focuses on the foundations of development, upbringing, and education as well as prevention, rehabilitation, intervention and care. Besides basic questions regarding theories of education and learning, the research area also deals with the relevant institutional frameworks (family, preschool, school).
- Diversity Studies
Diversity studies research addresses societal challenges resulting from increasing globalization and mobility: (trans)national migration, the shift of communication paths and media technologies to global contexts, new forms of gender relations, perceptions of disability, and new perspectives on coexistence and societal participation.
- Media Research
Media research at the Faculty of Human Sciences deals with the use and impact of means of mass communication, particularly new media, with regard to issues such as information management, communication, cooperation, as well as teaching and learning. It includes aspects such as technological impact assessment and an analysis of the transformation of emotional and cognitive processes through media. The research area is interdisciplinary, incorporating psychology and educational science. Its aim is to use the results of fundamental research for the concrete design of medial teaching–learning processes and communication platforms. In the area of assistive technologies, it is also closely connected to the rehabilitation sciences.
- Education and Teaching Research
The founding of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Empirical Teacher and Education Research (IZeF) in 2013 created a platform for systematic exchange between the Faculty of Human Sciences and the departments and institutes concerned with teaching methods at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The professorships concerned with school and teaching at the Faculty of Human Sciences focus more strongly on empirical educational research in the broadest sense.