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Research at the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy

Our department greatly benefits from the extensive cooperation between its three institutes – the Institute of Biology, the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Institute of Pharmacy – as well as with external research institutions.

Collaborative Research Centres

Three interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centers with spokespeople from Freie Universität Berlin are based at the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy.

Participation in Clusters of Excellence

Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Technische Universität Berlin – along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – work together within the framework of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA). This network is funded through the Excellence Strategy research competition run by the German federal and state governments. Seven Clusters of Excellence established by the alliance partners have also been approved. The Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy at Freie Universität is specifically involved in the Excellence Clusters NeuroCure and Unifying Systems in Catalysis (UniSysCat).

Einstein Research Unit

The Einstein Research Unit “Climate and Water under Change” (CliWaC) is a transdisciplinary research initiative of the Berlin University Alliance set up to address water-related risks under climate change. CliWaC will bring together the social and natural sciences as well as practical expertise from stakeholders to support the governance of mitigation and adaptation measures in response to climate change.

The consortium consists of 28 project leaders affiliated with the BUA members Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. External institutions such as the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research and the Institute for Ecological Economy Research are also involved in the initiative. Prof. Dr. Britta Tietjen (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Jörg Niewöhner (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) are spokespeople for the Einstein Research Unit.

National and International Networks

The department engages in extensive cooperation with other German institutions, including many of the Helmholtz Centers, Leibniz Institutes, Max Planck Institutes, and federal institutes, such as the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, to name just two. Moreover, the department cooperates with the University of Potsdam, LMU Munich, and many other German universities in a number of projects. This includes the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research, an association of four universities (Freie Universität Berlin, University of Potsdam, Technische Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and five Leibniz Institutes (Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Zoo and Wildlife Research, Agricultural Landscape Research, Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) with the aim of bridging the traditional gaps in biodiversity research. On an international level, there is strong cooperation between the department and renowned universities in Australia, Europe, Japan, Canada, and the United States

Early-Career Researchers

Training and supporting early-career researchers are particularly important to the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy. The Graduate Center is the central service facility for all doctoral researchers within this department. The department has developed its own graduate programs within the framework of the Collaborative Research Centers and in cooperation with Dahlem Research School. Furthermore, the department is involved as a partner in many other graduate programs in Berlin and Brandenburg. A number of early-career researchers who are female are supported by the women’s advancement program, and quite a few junior professorships have also been established.

Core Facilities

Core Facilities are a significant feature of the department. These facilities have made it possible to pool scientific work in the field of large-scale instrument analysis and make it available to the entire department.

External Funding

The impressive publication rate of our scientists testifies to the success of our cooperative relationships and efforts. In 2020, approximately 18.5 million euros in external funds were raised for research projects.