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Strategic Research Areas

Bielefeld University conducts top-level research in four strategic research areas which share common methodological grounds via three cross-cutting topics. These areas are interdisciplinary by nature, each involving several faculties and central academic institutes. They are backed by a number of collaborative research projects at the highest international level as well as by individual third-party funded projects. Although the strategic research areas mainly focus on cutting-edge basic research, they also reach out into applications and society, true to Bielefeld University's motto of "Transcending Boundaries". 

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    Globalising World

    Illuminates complex processes of human and social development as well as social interactions and institutions.

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    Socio-Technical World

    Explores mechanisms that enable humans, animals and artificial systems to act and communicate autonomously in complex environments.

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    Material World

    Acts at the interfaces of physics, chemistry, biology and bioinformatics, research ranges from nanolayers and biological cells to cosmology and particle physics.

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    Mathematical World

    Aims to develop and apply fundamental concepts and theories to solve long-standing open problems in economics and the natural sciences.

Cross-Cutting Topics

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These strategic research areas are intertwined by three cross-cutting topics that represent Bielefeld University's signature approaches to conducting research: Analysing Data, Building Models, and Constructing Theories. The selection of these cross-cutting topics combines Bielefeld University's traditional focus on theoretical and methodological questions with empirical approaches and the emerging field of Data Science. The cross-cutting topics form a common methodological baseline for all major research endeavours at the University, and all strategic research areas as well as all faculties and academic institutes use methods related to one or more of the cross-cutting topics and contribute to their further development. more


© Universität Bielefeld

Professorin Dr. Angelika Epple

Vice-rector for Research and International Affairs

Office: Main university building (UHG) U7-216


Phone: +49 521 106-4071

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