European and International Research Area
Science and research have long taken place across borders and internationally. Internationalization in research was and still is dominated by a bottom-up process: most researchers have connections to colleagues in their fields through conferences and meetings, and institutional networks foster further exchange. The internationalization of research funding has brought considerable changes to the conditions for competing for research funds in recent years:
- Nationally funded research programmes are becoming more international (e.g. greater international cooperation in approved collaborative research centres).
- European research funding is playing an increasingly important role.
The internationalization of research programmes is not just apparent in the increase in international collaboration, however, and many projects are now evaluated internationally.
This process of internationalization is accompanied by a process of Europeanization in which political conditions play a more influential role. Europeanization is primarily geared towards developing a common European research and economic area and therefore represents an institutionalization of international cooperation in Europe and its cooperation partners.
The launch of the European Research Area (ERA) marked the beginning of a process in which research funding is becoming steadily more international. This is not just in terms of growth in the European framework programmes; in national research funding, too, and particularly in the German Research Foundation (DFG) and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding programmes, the international component is growing constantly. The establishment of the European Research Council and its much sought-after research prizes has also resulted in excellent international funding opportunities in basic research.
The UDE is committed to European cooperation in research and teaching and makes the European research and educational area one of the focal points of its internationalization strategy. The intention is to continue strengthening the UDE’s cooperative research activities in international and European research programmes. This applies to international DFG research training groups and collaborative research centres/Transregios. The UDE will also be more heavily involved in the new EU framework programme Horizon 2020 in the “Excellent Science” and “Societal Challenges” funding lines. The UDE as part of the UA Ruhr has joined the Vision 2020 research network among other things for this purpose. Cooperation in this network, which brings together the strongest higher education institutions from the various European countries in the European framework programme to date, underscores the UDE’s commitment to the European Research Area. By visibly participating in European excellence programmes, the University is demonstrating its great potential and taking specific steps towards developing new international projects. The aim in particular in relation to early career researchers is to win young scientists and academics as ERC grant holders.
The main research areas at the UDE are increasingly engaged in the “Societal Challenges” field (health, energy, transport, resource efficiency, reflective societies), thereby expanding their international portfolio. The members of the UDE are supported in their efforts with professional advice, assistance with proposal submissions and a comprehensive range of services in administrative project management by the Science Support Centre and the External Funding Administration. The services and provisions are evaluated regularly and constantly developed in line with the researchers’ requirements and adjusted to meet new formal conditions under the funding programmes.