The RMU alliance will further expand its strategic collaboration
The Rhine-Main University Alliance (RMU) will prepare a joint application for the next cycle of the Excellence Strategy competition of the Federal Governments and the German Länder. Established almost six years ago, the alliance can attest to fruitful cooperation in the fields of research, learning, teaching as well as continuing education and now seeks to further expand its strategic collaboration . The strategic alliance of the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU), formed by the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Goethe University of Frankfurt and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (JGU) at the end of 2015, is well prepared to participate in the next round of the Strategy Excellence Program.
Operating beyond the borders of federal states, the alliance has achieved exceptional results, particularly in the area of research: for example, the number of RMU Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) has more than doubled since 2015 – from five to 11; the number of joint DFG research training groups has increased from two to six since 2016. Innovative cooperation projects have been launched and successfully implemented, supported by targeted grant programs such as funding from the RMU research initiative, which has so far contributed more than 2.5 million euros in funding.
In the area of learning and teaching, the more than 100,000 students of partner universities benefit from the establishment of the RMU study program and its range of future-oriented courses offered by the three universities. on either side of the Hesse / Rhineland-Palatinate state border. . Since its launch in the winter semester 2020/2021, more than 3,400 courses have been opened to RMU students. Funding from the RMU Education Initiative has so far provided some € 500,000 for the development of innovative and sustainable collaborative education programs that make studying in Mainz, Frankfurt and Darmstadt more attractive. Rhine-Main Universities already offer seven joint study courses – in Anthropology / African Studies, Biomedical Engineering or Political Science, for example.
Rhine-Main Universities are dedicated to continuously refining and raising the profile of the alliance over the coming years. They specifically target the submission of joint applications of excellence clusters to the next German Excellence Strategy competition and, as an alliance with a global concept to extend its leading position in high-level international research, to apply collectively to the second line of funding for universities. of Excellence. The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council for the Sciences and Humanities are currently preparing the call for proposals for the Poles of Excellence funding line, which is expected to be published at the end of 2022. decide on the precise timetable for the competition . The next call for projects from the Universities of Excellence funding line will take place after the funding decisions on the Poles of Excellence in 2025.
Looking ahead to the next National Excellence Strategy Competition and beyond, the three Presidents of the University of Rhine-Main – Professor Tanja Brühl (Darmstadt), Professor Enrico Schleiff (Frankfurt) and Professor Georg Krausch (Mainz ) – have developed a common vision of RMU which invites students, researchers and all academic staff to help transform the alliance into a high quality strategic academic partnership over the next ten years:
- The Rhine-Main universities aim to become a leading innovation hub in the international university landscape and to position themselves among the world pioneers in the key research fields of the future. The partners wish to define and implement collaborative, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary development programs in these fields of research – with the support of specific research structures of the RMU. For early-career researchers, RMU offers attractive options for independent professional advancement thanks to its unique funding environment and the various additional qualification and funding opportunities offered by the three universities.
- Regarding learning and teaching, RMU plans to expand the existing RMU study program and develop additional joint study programs. The Rhine-Main universities also intend to increase their funding of the proven RMU initiative for teaching in order to further improve existing structures and formats as well as to create new models of cooperation for learning and teaching, such as co-teaching courses and joint international summer courses. schools.
- The three universities have already opened part of their continuing education programs to academic and technical administrative staff from the other. In the long term, an RMU career development plan will be put in place in which structures designed to promote particularly attractive career paths will be put in place. Short-term observation opportunities within RMU and professional exchange agreements between the three universities will help. There are great opportunities here to improve various aspects, such as work-life balance, the appointment system and dual career options.
- The Rhine-Main universities will expand their knowledge transfer activities to include the areas of academic training and research and technology transfer. Thanks to the diversity and breadth of options, the alliance will create career and training opportunities in all fields, making the Frankfurt / Rhine-Main metropolitan area an attractive place to study, pursue a career in the research or work in administration and scientific management.
The Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts and the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Science and Health approve and support the implementation and establishment of measures and options for the long-term development of a shared RMU identity at the universities of Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Mainz.