Albert’s Researcher Reunion Grant

Deadline for the Next Round of the Reinvitation Programme: 1st March 2016

In the current round
8 Researcher Alumni are being supported with their short term research stays at the University of Cologne.

Learn more about this scholarship and how to apply for it.

Provide information in German to your potential host at the UoC.

Content Issue No 5

Falling Walls Conference 2015

UoC International Researchers Dating Brains in Berlin

Thanks to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Albert’s Global Researcher Network had the opportunity to take two international scholars to this year’s Falling Walls Conference in Berlin.








Besides the conference itslef Dr. Hong Jiang (Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne/Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne) and Dr. Nikolay Sitnikov (Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Cologne) were able to make use of the ‘Brain Date’ format to meet ohter participants and join the reception at the Axel Springer Building as well as the festive dinner at the DZ Bank close to the Brandenburg Gate.


Dr. Nikolay Sitnikov: »This was a very multifaceted conference of very unusual format, which provides great opportunities for establishing new valuable contacts across the industrial and scientific community. The brain dating platform, created by the organizers, was of great help to select people you would prefer to get in touch with and book an appointment. Thus, one could really extract maximum of the few very intense days we spent together in Berlin. This conference is not oriented to cover developments in a particular scientific area, but provides a great overview on the most high-impact breakthroughs in human knowledge. It was a great motivation for my further work and a lot of connections to like-minded people what I took back with me from Berlin!«

Dr. Hong Jiang: »The Falling Walls Conference was the most amazing conference I have ever participated in. The novel format and breakthrough topics all attracted me a lot. The most impressive part will be the “brain date”. In brain date, you will have academic dating with people you are interested in. That is fantastic when you get closely in touch with people who have a different background but inspire you a lot. There were a lot of topics that correlate science, politics, and culture. There are so many open-minded people showing their ideas, new products and breakthroughs in this world. I’m sure most of the participants feel it’s awesome! I would be very glad to take part in again in the future if possible.«


The Falling Walls Conference takes place on 9 November, the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years before the first conference in 2009. And since that first time the question is: Which walls will fall next? Falling Walls provides a platform for exchange between science, business and politics.

At the conference 2015 the audience could enjoy 22 inspiring and also entertaining talks by researchers from across the globe and the disciplines. During the intermissions participants could get deeper into the topics they had learnd about before. At the Forum Stage the speakers answered questions from science journalists and the audience. The winners of interdisciplinary competitions (Falling Walls Lab, Falling Walls Venture) also presented their projects.

Watch all 2015 talks on video




Content Issue No 5

3rd Research Alumni Conference Germany

Research and International Research Alumni Activities in Germany




In September (23 – 25) we took two of the UoC’s international scholars Dr. Sima Sadeghi (Iran) and Prof. Dr. Paul Turnbull (Australia) to the 3rd Research Alumni Conference Germany in Berlin.

The conference was organised by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and provided an overview of current trends in international scientific mobility and of the German research landscape. Representatives of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Leibniz Association, the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Robert Bosch Foundation, and of course the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation informed about German research funding programmes available for international researchers.

Besides panel discussions the researchers had the opportnity to ‘meet the funders’ for more specific questions. As always they were also invited to discuss their situation in Germany and suggestions to further improve the research alumni work of the German institutions for mutual benefit.

There was also enough time for networking with other researchers and the alumni advisors from the winning institutions of the Humboldt Foundations’ contest on ‘research alumni strategies’ (


Prof. Dr. Paul Turnbull (2nd from the left) and Dr. Sima Sadeghi (2nd from the right) attended the conference as international researchers at the University of Cologne accompanied by Dr. Johannes Müller (on the right) and Frank Hasenstab (on the left) from Albert's Global Researcher Network. Photo: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation / Ausserhofer

Prof. Dr. Paul Turnbull (2nd from the left) and Dr. Sima Sadeghi (2nd from the right) attended the conference as international researchers of the University of Cologne accompanied by Dr. Johannes Müller (on the right) and Frank Hasenstab (on the left) from Albert’s Global Researcher Network. Photo: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation / Ausserhofer



Content Issue No 5

UoC Profile Guide

A Brief Introduction to the Cologne
University Cosmos



The UoC Profile Guide provides a concise introduction to the University of Cologne, its faculties and offers. It addresses students, academic and administrative staff from abroad.

You can download the PDF-version from our website:



Content Issue No 5

Initial Training for Atmospheric Remote Sensing

A Big Influence, Both on the Scientific and on the Human Side



ITaRS stands for Initial Training for atmospheric Remote Sensing and is a network bringing together a group of universities, research organisations and high-tech companies from different disciplines (Meteorology, Geosciences, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics) with the aim to further develop the area of atmospheric remote sensing… read more

Academia or Industry? Getting ready for the EU job market. On Marie-Curie-Project ITaRS

Content Issue No 5

German-Canadian Exchange of Doctoral Candidates

This Highly Strengthens Independent Working



“I heard about the program and I wanted to be on it,” says Patrick, a PhD student at McGill University in Montreal, about STIMULUS. As the name suggests, the so-called exchange is only the impulse of something larger which is planned for the future – the foundation of a joint graduate school…  read more

Cologne-Bonn-Montreal: STIMULUS Exchange for Doctoral Students in Chemistry and Physics

Content Issue No 5

UoC Research News

UoC Research and Academic Activities




Japanese University Awards Honorary Doctorate to Franziska Ehmcke

Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, has awarded Franziska Ehmcke, professor emerita of Japanese studies at the University of Cologne, an honorary doctorate. This is a rare distinction for scholars of Japanese studies. Decisive for the decision was Ehmcke’s discovery and analysis of two screens depicting the Osaka (Naniwa) region.

Kansai University is a partner university of the University of Cologne. In the past, Professor Ehmcke has cooperated with colleagues from Kansai University on the decoding of the first screen (early seventeenth century), which was discovered in the Austrian city of Graz and depicts Osaka castle before its destruction in 1615. As one of the few remaining artefacts of the time, the screen is particularly significant. The second pair of screens traces over 100 famous sites in Osaka around 1830, depicting the prosperous culture of its inhabitants.



North Rhine Westphalia Wants to Know How Its Elderly Would Like to Live

Ministry of Science funds representative survey among very old persons conducted by the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health at the University of Cologne with 1.5 million euros

In North Rhine-Westphalia, approximately 1,000,000 people are over eighty years of age. The proportion of very old persons has become the fastest growing age group in our society.

However, we lack basic insights into the quality of life and life circumstances of the very old that would allow us to better understand their needs and how society can accommodate them. In the framework of the three-year study NRW80+, the scientists will research the circumstances in which elderly people live, the role they play in society and how they would like to live. This will make a valuable contribution to the development of an age-friendly culture… read more



How an Arabic Philosopher Brought Aristotle to the West

A research project on Averroes at the University of Cologne’s Thomas Institute will receive over 10 million euros in funding over the next 25 years

The writings of Averroes (1126-1198) created a stir in the Arabic, Latin and Hebrew world. The Arabic philosopher, who is also known by the name Ibn Rushd, is among the most important medieval writers. For centuries, his Aristotle commentaries were must-reads for scholars of different disciplines. Like no other philosopher, he thus made the works of Aristotle accessible to the western world… read more



International Research Project on EU-Turkey Relations

Horizon 2020 awards 2.5 million euros to the University of Cologne’s Jean Monnet Chair

In an intense competition, the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation has awarded a grant of 2.5 million euros to the Jean Monnet Chair for European Politics at the University of Cologne. The proposed project addresses relations between the European Union and Turkey…. read more



Tug of War Among Bacteria

Mechanical forces control the architecture of bacterial biofilms

As hide-outs for bacteria, biofilms cause problems for antibiotic treatment or the cleaning of medical tubes. They contribute to the spreading of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. A biofilm is created when bacteria attach to surfaces and multiply. Gradually, bacterial subpopulations can develop different properties although they originated from the same cell. However, very little is known about how this heterogeneity contributes to the development of structure in such biofilms… read more


Sven Bernecker Nominated as Alexander von Humboldt Professor

Philosopher to found a center for contemporary epistemology and Kantian tradition in Cologne

The University of Cologne nominated Sven Bernecker, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Irvine, as Alexander von Humboldt Professor. Sven Bernecker is one of the most acclaimed philosophers of our time. He works in the areas contemporary epistemology, theory of knowledge and classic German philosophy. Among his particular fields of specialization is philosophy of memory. In this area, he is regarded as a pioneer in the renaissance of the philosophical treatment of memory. At the heart of his work is the question of what memory is. In this context Bernecker also draws on approaches from cognitive research, psychology and sociology. As Humboldt Professor, he is to found and later head a center for contemporary epistemology and Kantian tradition in Cologne. Moreover, cooperation with the Humboldt Professor and philosopher Michael Neil Forster, who is based in the neighboring city of Bonn, is conceivable… read more



The Ranking: University of Cologne Among the 160 Best Universities in the World

In the current university ranking of the Times Higher Education magazine, the University of Cologne came in at position 156. This is a significant improvement of approximately 150 positions in comparison to last year.

In Europe, the University of Cologne is among the 75 best universities. In all, German universities were able to improve their position in the international comparison. Among them, the University of Cologne took the biggest step forward. The rector of the University of Cologne, Professor Axel Freimuth, explains this improvement with the accomplishments that have been implemented in the course of the Excellence Initiative and other development programs, as well as the hiring of top researchers of international renown. “Of course ranking positions are only one indicator of a university’s quality. However, our improvement by a factor of two confirms our accomplishments over the last few years, which are also reflected in greater international visibility,” says Freimuth… read more



University of Cologne and Dschang University Sign Cooperation Agreement

The University of Cologne and Dschang University (Cameroon) signed a cooperation agreement formalizing the exisiting collaboration between both universities. A delegation from the University of Cologne consisting of three scientists from the Faculty of Medicine and a representative of the International Office traveled to Cameroon from 26 September to 2 October. In consultations, workshops and visits to local facilities, both sides discussed possibilities to intensify and enhance the existing cooperation, particularly in regard to the joint founding of a Medical Faculty at Dschang University… read more



Poorly Qualified Workers with a Migration Background Have Income Advantages in Germany

An analysis of data collected in the German micro-census 2005–2011 has revealed that contradictory to popular perception, the economic situation of poorly qualified workers from immigrant families is not worse than that of their German peers. Surprisingly, it is even slightly better. The reasons for this on the one hand lie in the educational system, and on the other in the ambitions of immigrants to build a better life, which also affect following generations… read more



„Crisis – Criminality – Criminology“

Annual Conference of the Criminological Society at the University of Cologne from 24 to 26 September 2015

More than three hundred participants are expected to take part in the fourteenth annual conference of the Criminological Society, which is hosted by the UoC’s Institute of Criminology (Professor Frank Neubacher) this year. Beginning at noon on Thursday, guests from Germany and abroad will discuss manifestations of international crisis and criminality. In his opening speech, Professor John Hagan (Chicago) will address state criminality and war crimes using the example of the Iraq War…. read more



University of Cologne Founds Business School Und Launches Executive MBA in Cooperation with Rotterdam School of Management

The University of Cologne cordially invites you to take part in the official opening ceremony of the University of Cologne Executive School on 18 September. The celebration also marks the official beginning of our cooperation with the Rotterdam School of Management.

On this occasion, we are hosting a press conference on Friday, 18 September 2015. The rector of the University of Cologne, Professor Axel Freimuth, the dean of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Professor Steef van de Velde, the dean of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne, Professor Werner Mellis and the manager of the University of Cologne Business School, Professor Ulrich Thonemann, will be available for interviews from 1.00 to 1.45 p.m. (WiSo conference hall, room 20, WiSo wing, Universitätsstrasse 24, 50931 Cologne; parking is available in front of the WiSo high-rise). Please contact us if you are planning to attend. Further interviews outside the launch event can be arranged…. read more

Cologne-Rotterdam Executive MBA



Enhancing Digital Research in the Humanities

University of Cologne signs cooperation agreement with the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts

Digital technologies shape the way we do research – in the humanities as in all other disciplines. A long-term cooperation agreement between the University of Cologne and the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts intends to facilitate the development of the “digital humanities” and to lay the groundwork for collaboration between the two institutions… read more



Cologne Scientists May Be Able to Solve the Mystery of the Crash Site of MH 370

Goose barnacles discovered on wreckage of lost Malaysia Airlines Boein

On the 29th of July, airplane wreckage washed up on the island of Réunion. It is highly likely that it belongs to the missing Malaysia Airlines airplane MH370. The Cologne geologist Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Herbig and the biologist Philipp Schiffer may be able to identify the site of the crash using the wreckage. Organisms that only live in certain places of the earth may be stuck to the debris… read more



Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter Wins “Exeter Prize”

Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter (Chair of Economics: Design and Behavior) is a winner of the 2015 Exeter Prize for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics for the paper “Experimental games on networks: underpinnings of behavior and equilibrium selection” with Gary Charness, Francesco Feri and Miguel Melendez, published in Econometrica. This paper provides a balanced portfolio of theory, experimental design, and the pursuit of alternative explanations for behavioral puzzles… read more



More research news in German from the UoC’s press office




UoC Research – Miscellaneous


University of Cologne Biocenter Energy Efficient
Article in English on the dena company website














Content Issue No 5

– 3 –

Destination Cologne

Cologne Has a Lot to Offer as a Place to Live and as a Place for Research:


Information on the video copetition (German)


“The density of first-class research facilities in Cologne and the Rhineland is exceptional!”
Photo: Jens Willebrand


Content Issue No 5

– 4 –

Offers for Refugees at the
University of Cologne

The UoC wants to sustainably integrate qualified refugees into the German science and education system. A central problem hindering integration is a lack of German language proficiency in all age groups and educational levels… read more











Statement by the Rectorate
of the University of Cologne
against Racism and Xenophobia








Content Issue No 4