In a focused spectrum of interdisciplinary fields in the humanities and social sciences and in the natural sciences and technology, Bielefeld University is one of the strongest research universities in Germany. In the first phase of the Excellence Initiative in 2007 we won funding for the Cognitive Interaction Technology Cluster (CITEC) and the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS).
Our research strength is also reflected in our placings in the DFG funding rankings based on the total 92 universities assessed: based on DFG data Bielefeld University occupies top places for the humanities and social sciences (fifth in the comparison of third-party funding per professorship), the life sciences (fourth place in the comparison of third-party funding per professorship), and engineering with its focus on computer science (third place in the comparison of third-party funding per professorship). In the natural sciences Bielefeld University occupies place 22 (in the comparison of third-party funding per professorship). For mathematics the DFG data do not allow calculation of size-adjusted ranking; in absolute terms the faculty occupies sixth place.
In the 2010-2011 Higher Education Ranking of the prestigious British magazine Times Higher Education, Bielefeld University is the best of all the higher education institutes in North Rhine-Westphalia. Bielefeld is the eighth best university in Germany, holds the 67th place in Europe.