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Excellence Initiative Projects

The Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Government German Federal and State Governments to Promote Science and Research at German Universities (Excellence Agreement II) is a DFG and the German Council of Science and Humanities award-winning national program for the advancement and awarding of outstanding research. Many researchers of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have been able to qualify for various funding lines since 2005.



Graduate School


a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne

The interdisciplinary approach of the a.r.t.e.s Graduate School combines the entire spectrum of the diversity of subjects of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities from the master to the postdoctoral phase and draws from the experiences of the a.r.t.e.s Research School funded by the state of NRW between 2008-2012. The award of Excellence Project 2012 underlines the essential importance of a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School as the central backbone of outstanding graduate supervision and graduate support of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.




Excellence Centre


GSSC – Global South Studies Center Cologne

The Center of Excellence Global South Studies Center Cologne was set up in 2014 within the framework of the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne for the promotion of cutting-edge research initiated by the Excellence Initiative. As an intersection of international and interdisciplinary research on Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Center connects leading international researchers from all disciplines for the research of social, economic, political and cultural changes in the Global South. The aim is also to promote and revitalize interdisciplinary and global cooperation and research projects.

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Barbara Potthast, Department of History, Iberian and Latin American History






UoC Forum

The funding line "UoC Forum“ supports academic exchange within the University of Cologne and between the University and the partners of the Research Alliance Cologne in workshops and lecture series. It is part Measure 2 - Excellent Research of the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne.


Forum “Strings & Structures: Codes of Sense and Function in Genomics and Linguistics”

Project Leaders:
Professor Dr. Thomas Wiehe, Institut für Genetik
Professor Dr. Jürgen Rolshoven, Institute for Linguistics

Duration: 01.01.2015 – 31.12.2016

Forum “Ethnicity as a Political Resource: Perspectives from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe”

Project Leaders:
Jun.-Professorin Dr. Michaela Pelican, Institute for Ethnology
Dr. Albert Manke, Department of History

Duration: 2013 – 2016

Forum “Cultural Heritage in Africa and Asia - Discourses and Practice”

Project Leaders:
Professor Dr. Anne Storch
Dr. H. Felber

Duration: 01.01.2014 – 31.12.2015

Forum “Linguistic Awareness in Teacher Education Based on Geographical Media”

Project Leaders:
Professor Dr. Alexandra Budke, Seminar für Geographie und ihre Didaktik
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Magdalena Michalak, Department of German Language and Literature II

Duration: 01.01.2014 – 31.12.2015





Emerging Group

Within the framwork of the Institutional Strategy to promote excellent research, promising interdisciplinary research cooperation projects are furthered within the framework of the Excellence Initiative such as the

CRC 1252:


Emerging Group "Dynamic Structuring in Language and Communication"


Professor Dr. Klaus von Heusinger, Department of German Language and Literature

Funding Period: 01.01.2014 – 31.12.2016

Website: and



Awards - Institutional Strategy

The Leo Spitzer Prizes, awarded within the framework of the Institutional Strategy, can be found here: