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Excellence Initiative Summary & Assessment of Benefits for Thai Students

The Excellence Initiative is a programme of the German Federal and State Governments in order to improve and promote top-level research. The focus of the programme is to strengthen research, the funds are not made available to strengthen univesity doctrine.There is no possibility to apply to the programme individually, but only universities can submit draft proposals to an internationally appointed panel of experts, which reviews the proposals and decides which projects are granted funding. Funding may be granted to outstanding „graduate schools to promote young scientists and researchers“, „clusters of excellence to promote top-level reasearch“ and „institutional strategies to develop project-based, top-level university research“.

The first phase of the programme took place from 2005 until 2012, with 95 projects funded between 2006 to 2012. The selection process of projects for the second phase was completed in June 2012. Until the end of the second phase in 2017 there will be 99 projects funded with a toal amount of 2.4 billion Euro. In Berlin both the Humboldt-University and the Free University was successful in having projects being funded in the first and the second phase.

Prospects for Thai Students/Scientists:

The programme is designed for German universities. There is no possibility for individuals to apply to the initiative to receive grants. Hence Thai students can only profit from the initiative if they are involved with research projects at one of the awarded German universities.

Due to the generous funding, new jobs as researchers are created at German universities. If students or scientists from Thailand have great expertise concerning the subject of one of the funded projects, this may offers an opportunity to Thai nationals to apply for these jobs.

There may be indirect benefits for Thai students in Germany. Even though the funding is only used to promote research, but not for university doctrine, the international reputation of universities awarded with funding for research projects may increase. This may also result in increasing value of degrees of the universities concerned.

List of Awarded Universities/Cities:

Aachen, Bayreuth,  Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dresden, Frankfurt/Main, Freiburg, Gießen, Göttingen, Hamburg,  Hannover, ErlangenNürnberg, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Köln, Konstanz, Leipzig, Lübeck, Mainz, Mannheim, München, Münster, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart, Tübingen, Ulm, Würzburg, Jena, Heidelberg