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Excellence Initiative

Graduiertenschule KSETA

Excellence Initiative II
KIT Succeeds with Proposals for Two Graduate Schools

The Karlsruhe School of Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics: Science and Technology (KSETA) – is a central component of the KIT Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics Center KSETA. Doctoral students in physics and engineering are to cooperate in theoretical studies and at large-scale research facilities for fundamental research and modern technologies. The Ph. D. students are integrated in interdisciplinary projects all over the world, in which KSETA partly assumes a leading role. Among others, these are the Pierre Auger Observatory for cosmic rays in Argentina, the CMS Particle Detector at the Large Hadron Collider LHC of CERN, the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment KATRIN, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) on the international space station ISS, and the underground detector EDELWEISS searching for dark matter. KSETA offers specialized education, builds bridges between physicists and engineers, and represents an excellent basis for their joint research. Spokesperson is Professor Johannes Blümer.

The Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP) meanwhile has turned into an established first-class training and research institution in the field of optical technologies with 14 professors, more than 75 active Ph. D. students, more than 40 alumni, and an international master program. Optics and Photonics (O&P) are the keys to numerous industrial high technologies and stimulate fundamental research in physics, chemistry, life sciences, and engineering. The master and Ph. D. programs of KSOP are implemented by the four KIT Departments of Physics, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Chemistry and Biosciences, as well as Mechanical Engineering. KSOP research activities concentrate on photonic materials and components, modern spectroscopy, biomedical photonics, and optical systems. KSOP is planned to grow quantitatively and qualitatively in the second funding phase. The scope of disciplines covered will be extended by integrating other KIT institutes, for example, the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research. Due to the central role of O&P for the use of solar energy and the latter’s high industrial and societal relevance, activities in the field of solar energy will be pooled and intensified in a new, fifth research area. Spokesperson is Professor Ulrich Lemmer.

A special success of KIT in the Excellence Initiative I of 2006 was the winning of the third funding line: The Institutional Strategy “Foundation of KIT” focused on the merger of Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe with Universität Karlsruhe into KIT. On October 01, 2009 already did both institutions merge into the new legal entity of KIT. The Institutional Strategy was funded from 2006 to 2012.

Funding of the Excellenzcluster Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) will phase out after twelve years in 2012/2013.


Excellence Initiative I
Karlsruhe University Is Successful with Its Proposal in the Excellence Competition

A special highlight in the Excellence Initiative I in 2006 was the fact that Karlsruhe University was one of the winners in the third funding line: The Concept for the Future “Foundation of KIT” proposed and outlined the merger of Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and Universität Karlsruhe into Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). On October 01, 2009, already did both institutions merge into the new legal entity of KIT.

Apart from the establishment of KIT, the Concept for the Future contained a number of additional measures to make the university a modern research university. One of these measures was granting of research funds in internal competition through various funding instruments, such as new field groups or feasibility studies. For making these decisions on funding, the Council for Research and Promotion of Young Scientists (CRYS) was established. Other new structures were proposed, such as the Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists (KHYS) for supporting early-career researchers, the House of Competence (HoC) for the further qualification of students, and the Young Investigator Network (YIN) for supporting networking of young scientists.

The Concept for the Future was funded from 2006 to 2012.

Another successful proposal in the first funding phase was that of the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP) in the funding line of “Graduate Schools.” The KSOP that was established by the then Universität Karlsruhe in cooperation with Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, the Research Center for Information Technology in Karlsruhe, and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart was to close a gap in the academic education of graduates.

Funding of the excellence cluster Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) expired in 2012/2013 after twelve years of funding as a DFG research center and excellence cluster.

Further information can be found on the websites of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat).