Cluster of Excellence Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-associated Diseases (CECAD)
The Cluster of Excellence CECAD is one of the world’s leading centers for research into age-associated diseases. It conducts basic research to gain a better understanding of the central mechanisms of ageing processes and to develop new therapies and preventive measures.
While neurologists have so far focused on dementia, cardiologists on heart disease, and oncologists on tumors, CECAD scientists are looking for common causes of age-associated diseases. To this end, CECAD’s six interdisciplinary research areas maintain national and international networks with excellent research groups: more than 500 international scientists from the University, Cologne University Hospital, the two Max Planck Institutes for Metabolism Research and Biology of Aging as well as the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) are involved in this research.
CECAD is one of five Centers of Excellence at the University of Cologne. It is supported by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, and has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 1 November 2007 as part of the Excellence Initiative of the Federal Government and the Laender. Since 2012 it has been in its second funding period. The Key Profile Area “Aging-associated Diseases” is complemented by the Competence Area “Aging and Demographic Change.”
Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS)
The Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) is Germany’s only Excellence Cluster in plant research. The aim of the Cluster is to identify and explore the molecular and genetic basis of new plant traits that influence the growth, yield, and use of natural resources. This creates a basis for the development of sustainable and resource-efficient food, fodder, and energy crops (“SMART plants”).
CEPLAS investigates how plants adapt to changing environmental conditions and how these findings can be of benefit to agriculture. In order to better understand how adaptation processes can be controlled, CEPLAS focuses on four research areas: Annual and Perennial Life Histories, C4 Photosynthesis, Plant–Microbe Interactions, and Metabolic Interactions.
At present, around 100 scientists from the Universities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research and the Forschungszentrum Jülich are cooperating in CEPLAS. CEPLAS is one of five Centers of Excellence at the University of Cologne. It has been funded since 2012 in the second funding period of the Excellence Initiative. Research on plant science is also one of the UoC’s five Key Profile Areas. With the establishment of the Competence Area “Food Security,” the Key Profile Area “Plant Science” has established an interdisciplinary network both within the University and with international partners.
Center of Excellence Quantum Matter and Materials (QM2)
At the Center of Excellence Quantum Matter and Materials (QM2), scientists from the fields of mathematics, theoretical and experimental physics, inorganic and physical chemistry, and crystallography have been investigating new materials and the fascinating quantum properties of matter since 2013.
The Center conducts basic research, but also pursues application-oriented questions. One of the research priorities is, for example, the investigation of “topological matter.” The properties of these materials can best be described with concepts from the mathematical field of topology. Scientists at the Center are developing new materials and investigating whether and how they can be used in future quantum computers. Other research questions that QM2 deals with are nanostructured materials, the development of organic electronics, and the dynamics and deliberate manipulation of complex systems.
QM2 is supported by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Cologne and cooperates with the Center for Organic Production Technologies (COPT.NRW), the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School for Physics and Astronomy (BCGS), and Forschungszentrum Jülich. It is one of five Centers of Excellence at the University of Cologne. QM2 is part of the Key Profile Area “Quantum Matter and Materials” and the Competence Area “Quantitative Modelling of Complex Systems.”
Global South Studies Center (GSSC)
The Global South Studies Center (GSSC) investigates the causes and consequences of the rapid social, economic, cultural, and political changes that are shaping the Global South. It was founded in 2014 as part of the Excellence Initiative and combines research expertise from disciplines such as geography, social anthropology, history, and various area studies.
The research agenda of the GSSC covers four interconnected, interdisciplinary research fields that deal with different themes of the Global South: The two research areas Citizenship and Migration and Migration and Labour deal with the dynamics of migration and the attendant effects on citizenship issues as well as often precarious working conditions. The research area Natural Commodities and Changing Markets in the Global South examines the effects of global commodity flows on societies, ecology, and power relations. The research area Communicative Repertoires in the Transforming Global South explores the multifaceted role of communication in global transformation processes.
The GSSC is one of five Centers of Excellence at the University of Cologne. It maintains a broad international cooperation network and serves as an incubator for innovative research collaborations. It is part of the Key Profile Area “Socio-economic, Cultural and Political Change in the Global South” and closely linked to the Competence Area “Cultures and Societies in Transition.” The GSSC brings together scholars and scientists from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB)
Founded in 2015, C-SEB examines the basic principles of human behavior in social and economic contexts. Economists and psychologists work together to achieve a better and more comprehensive understanding of social action by combining theoretical and empirical approaches.
The focus is on three different but closely related research areas: economic engineering, social and economic cognition research, and a behavioral approach to management. The research of the Center aims to develop an empirically founded theory that explains the effects of economic incentive systems and human information processing in social and economic decision-making situations. This way, C-SEB wants to make behavioral research more applicable to practical situations, for example in promoting cooperation and trust in climate negotiations. To achieve this, the Center brings together internationally renowned researchers from Europe and the USA for joint research projects.
C-SEB currently has 120 members and is one of five Centers of Excellence at the University of Cologne. It is part of the Key Profile Area “Behavioral Economic Engineering and Social Cognition” and is supported by the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences as well as the Faculty of Human Sciences. The Center is also part of the UoC Competence Area “Social and Economic Behavior,” which integrates thematically related research projects.
The Center of Excellence for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB) brings together leading researchers from economics, management science, and psychology to investigate the mechanisms that affect social and economic behavior. Its aim is to develop an empirically based theory of the institutions that define economic incentives and of the conditions that influence information processing in social and economic contexts. Using behavioral economics and a social cognition approach, the center examines how these mechanisms can be designed and influenced. C-SEB seeks to build a bridge between laboratory research and real-world contexts in order to contribute to solutions to contemporary challenges in the economy.
Cologne Center for Genomics (CCG)
The Cologne Center for Genomics (CCG) is a technology center for the comprehensive analysis of the genetic material and gene activities of all types of organisms. The CCG was founded in 2005. It operates a large number of state-of-the-art equipment for sequencing DNA and RNA at high throughput rates. The sequencing methods are supplemented by microarray analyses on various instrument systems. The thousands of incoming samples are processed using pipetting robots. The Regional Computing Centre of the University of Cologne (RRZK) with its high-performance computers and extensive data storage facilities is indispensable for processing the enormous amounts of data (>30 terabytes per year) that are produced at the CCG.
The large community of life scientists and clinicians in Cologne, Germany and abroad profits from the modern infrastructure at the CCG and the competence of its staff in the field of genome analysis. The CCG plays an outstanding role as a technology platform for the CECAD and CEPLAS Clusters of Excellence and the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) at the University of Cologne.
In addition to contributions to basic biological research, the scientific work of CCG researchers aims to quickly and reliably identify genetic variations in the genome of humans as a cause of diseases. This is of particular benefit to people suffering from cancer and rare hereditary diseases, who can benefit from faster diagnoses and better treatment options that are specially tailored to them.
Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Cologne (CMMC)
The Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) investigates molecular and cellular mechanisms of human diseases in order to develop new methods of prevention, diagnosis, and therapy.
In about 40 working groups, CMMC researchers deal with the causes of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases, as well as diseases of the nervous system, making an important contribution to basic research in this area.
As a cross-Faculty biomedical research and teaching center, the CMMC plays an important bridging role, linking the clinically oriented research activities of the Faculty of Medicine with the molecular biology oriented research work of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. In addition, the CMMC maintains close working relationships with Cologne University Hospital, the Center for Integrated Oncology, the Cluster of Excellence CECAD, various Collaborative Research Centres at the University of Cologne, the MPI for Metabolism Research, the MPI for Biology of Aging, the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), and other research partners. The CMMC employs over 250 people.
COPT Center for Organic Electronics
The COPT Center is a technology transfer center of the University of Cologne. It was inaugurated in 2015, offering a modern research environment for organic electronics at the interface of science and industry. This promises innovative, energy-saving products such as OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes). Organic electronics is used in a wide variety of areas where flat lighting, displays, solar cells, or sensors are required. The range of applications for organic electronics extends from the automotive industry to medical technology.
The COPT Center is designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Its central location in NRW ensures short distances to one of the largest industrial regions in Europe. On its total space of around 1000 square meters, the Center provides laboratories, a clean room, and open access platforms with extensive scientific and technical equipment and offices. It also offers a wide range of analytical and consulting services.
This research infrastructure enables small and medium-sized companies to gauge their options for realizing developments in organic electronics in their products.
The COPT Center is distinguished by the knowledge of its experts, its specific technological equipment, and the excellent infrastructure it provides. The establishment of this technology transfer center was funded by the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The ProfessionalCenter at the University of Cologne offers students of all Faculties a wide range of extracurricular courses designed to provide additional support during their studies and to facilitate their transition to professional life. The aim of the ProfessionalCenter is to impart key competencies and thus build a bridge between studies and work.
The Center offers cross-disciplinary and practical skills training courses that impart important qualifications for both study and work, including courses on time and self-management, learning how to learn, or the fundamentals of setting up a business. Many courses also rely on direct practical experience with companies or public institutions such as the formats Power Your Life, Service Learning, Career Week, Career Coaching or the lecture series. These courses allow for direct insights and experiences in business and society and serve to prepare young people for their career start.
In addition, the ProfessionalCenter offers free language courses at entry and advanced level (currently English, French, Spanish, and Italian).
The ProfessionalCenter was founded in 2008 and is a central institution under the responsibility of the Vice-Rectorate for Teaching and Studies. The ProfessionalCenter actively involves institutions and people from business, culture, and science in the design of its services.
Center for Teacher Education (ZfL)
The University of Cologne is one of the largest teacher training centers in Europe. Since 2011, the Center for Teacher Education (ZfL) has been the central contact point for the approximately 14,000 students studying to become teachers in Cologne. It coordinates, moderates, and organizes the teacher training program across the UoC’s Faculties and other universities in the region (German Sport University Cologne and the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln). It is essentially responsible for the entire organization of teacher training. The specialist training of the student teachers remains the responsibility of the respective Faculties.
Under one roof, the ZfL comprises the counselling center, the examination office, and the graduate school for teacher education. In addition, a ZfL-team accompanies and supports the prospective teachers in so-called practical phases in which they teach at schools for the first time.
As a mediator between different actors in the education system, the ZfL also addresses social issues and current topics such as inclusion and migration, diversity and equal opportunities in society, school and education, internationalization, and digitization. With projects, events, and thematic years, it creates a framework for exchange and initiates discussions on future perspectives. It is a central institution under the responsibility of the Vice-Rectorate for Teaching and Studies.
Center for Data and Simulation Science (CDS)
The Center for Data and Simulation Science (CDS) was founded in January 2018, bringing together the research areas Data Science and Scientific Computing with the UoC’s research-intensive scientific disciplines.
The evaluation of large amounts of data and numerical simulation play an increasingly important role in many areas of the natural sciences, life sciences, engineering, economics, and social sciences. The interdisciplinary cooperation among scientists from the data generating disciplines and experts from the fields of data science (machine learning, computational statistics, visualization...) and scientific computing (simulation science, numerical methods, high-performance computing...) is therefore a critical basis for answering current questions. This results in new methods and scientific fields with great innovative power – for example high-performance data analytics for the analysis of large data structures using supercomputers and suitable algorithms.
Under the umbrella of the CDS, approximately 25 Core Principal Investigators and a number of other associated scientists in five scientific domains (Theory, Computational Biology and Medicine, Quantitative Modeling of Complex Physical Systems, Computational Economics and Social Sciences, Digital Humanities) are working on new tools for numerical simulation and analysis of complex data. At the same time, the CDS offers a platform for discussing the social implications of data-intensive science in the digital
Cologne Centre for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
The accelerator mass spectrometer was built by High Voltage Engineering Europe (HVEE) and installed at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the University of Cologne.
After renovation work at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in 2010, the accelerator mass spectrometer was delivered in May 2010. The inauguration of the CologneAMS Center at the University of Cologne took place in 2011, after successful acceptance of the AMS. At the end of 2011, routine operation was initially started for 14C. In 2012, 10Be and 26Al were added to the standard measurement program. The first 244Pu measurements were also carried out successfully.
The CologneAMS is not only available to scientists of the University of Cologne, but also to external users. The center is financed by the DFG and the University of Cologne. Additional funds for the extension and expansion of the facility were provided by the German Geosciences Centre Potsdam (GFZ) within the framework of a cooperation agreement.
Albertus Magnus Center (AMC)
The Albertus Magnus Center (AMC) was founded in 2018 as the successor to the Albertus Magnus Graduate Center (AMGC). The AMC pools all personnel and career development activities for doctoral candidates and early postdocs (early career researchers). It is the central hub for all aspects related to the support of early career researchers and develops a wide range of services which also include Postdocs in the early career phase (so far it was limited to doctoral students only). The main responsibilities of the AMC are to provide a central information portal as well as central admission procedures, to offer cross-Faculty and interdisciplinary education and training (e.g. communication, writing, and project management, transferable skills for the professional wider market) and to organize networking, conferences and retreat.
It also provides Mobility Grants for short-term research stays of UoC Postdocs, it supports third-party funding application in collaboration with the individual Graduate Schools to provide financial support for all PhD students and Postdocs and it provides quality management, evaluation and advice to ensure excellent scientific standards as well as high quality educational and training programs of the UoC graduate programs, in particular with respect to good scientific practice and general ethical aspects of research.
The AMC closely cooperates with UoC subdivision for Academic Staff Development, the Professional Center, and the new Science Communication Center to ensure a synergistic and efficient use of resources.
The AMC governance, the Faculty-wide individual graduate schools, as well as supporting administrative divisions were established within the previous UoC IS and sustained from UoC core funds. To support the future enhanced operation of the AMC and support programs, the AMC will be provided with an annual budget of € 0.5m.
Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics and Social Sciences of Health (ceres)
The Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics and Social Sciences of Health (ceres) is a cross-departmental center for interdisciplinary research, education and advanced training in the area of health. ceres also carries out advisory functions on health-related matters. The center was founded by five faculties and the rectorate of the University of Cologne. ceres' systematic interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary composition enables us to connect hitherto largely unrelated research areas, resulting in a more comprehensive as well as practice-oriented knowledge gain. Additionally, ceres serves as a forum for international exchange in the area of research as well as on all levels of academic education. By providing social and political information and guidance, ceres plays an active role in contributing to the public debate.
The current emphasis of ceres' work includes aging and demographic change as well as health literacy in complex environments and digital transformation. These areas represent major challenges to today's science and society which call for the integration of a number of scientific disciplines and societal protagonists.
Start-up Service GATEWAY
Gender Studies (GeStiK)
Within the six years since its foundation (June 2012), GeStiK has established itself as a nationally and internationally recognized scientific institution. It has succeeded in establishing cross-faculty teaching at the BA (Certificate in Gender Studies) and MA level (Master's Programme in Gender & Queer Studies) in cooperation with the Cologne University of Technology and with the participation of the Cologne University of Music and Dance. GeStiK fosters innovative, quality-assuring publication formats in German-speaking countries (open gender journal) for the organisation of the academic field of gender and queer studies. It has established reliable structures for cooperation in gender studies at the UoC and in the Cologne higher education area (Cologne University of Technology, Cologne University of Music and Dance, Cologne Academy of Media Arts and German Sports University Cologne). Furthermore, it has established itself as an important location in the field of multidisciplinary gender studies. GeStiK is in continuous contact with municipal institutions, non-university institutions, feminist and queer activists as well as the media and persons engaged in the cultural sector. In the area of teaching and research, as well as with regard to international contacts, a profile based on the continuous linking of gender and queer studies has been successively established. GeStik has outlined numerous focal points that will be further developed in the future.