Research profile

Moving knowledge for a better world

At FAU, our motto of moving knowledge expresses our wish to pull together and push ahead with our central priorities for the future – freedom and responsibility, life and health, sustainability and resilience. Our research paves the way for pioneering innovations. FAU’s academic excellence rests on the foundation of the key research priorities “Understanding norms, cultural practices and social formations”, “Targeting environmental and economic challenges”, “Engineering transformative health care”, “Exploring principles of nature” and “Developing future technologies, manifested in our Profile Centers, Research Centers and Competence Centers . Our Profile and Research Centers are the engine driving groundbreaking findings from the interdisciplinary collaboration within our university which offers the entire spectrum of academic disciplines. The Competence Centers provide all disciplines with the infrastructure and expertise resulting from their research. In this way, all prerequisites are met for researchers at FAU to tackle the greatest challenges of our times at the highest level. At FAU, research is not restricted to laboratories and libraries, rather it becomes a dynamic process that is driven by collaboration and dedication.


Key research priorities at FAU


Researchers at work

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FAU Profile Centers

Profile Centers shape the research profile of FAU with a wide range of cutting-edge research projects, both in collaborative research and excellent individual research. They are limited to a duration of seven years, in order to effectively support the University’s strategic objectives.

FAU Profile Center Immunomedicine (FAU I-MED)

The FAU Profile Center Immunomedicine is primarily concerned with consolidating cross-faculty immunological research in Erlangen. Its spectrum ranges from basic research to translational research and clinical immunological studies. FAU I-MED investigates the fundamental mechanisms and dysfunctions of the immune system and develops personalized methods for the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer and infectious diseases. Its aim is to use cutting-edge cellular, molecular and imaging processes in conjunction with studies based on animal experimentation and examinations carried out on human subjects to unravel immune reactions in all their complexity and to make these findings available for clinical medicine.

Go to the FAU Profile Center Immunomedicine

FAU Profile Center Light.Matter.Quantum Technologies (FAU LMQ)

The scientific and technological development of our society is unimaginable without photonics and electronics, which form the backbone of our current information technology. In recent years, the focus at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has turned to the joint consideration of light and matter, which will make many new phenomena and technologies comprehensible and thus form the basis for the key technologies of the 21st century. This requires substantial efforts in fundamental as well as applied research, which will be consolidated in the new FAU Profile Center Light.Matter.Quantum Technologies.

Go to the FAU Profile Center Light.Matter.Quantum Technologies

FAU Profile Center Medical Engineering (FAU MT)

Research into medical engineering has been extremely important at FAU for several decades. Several hundred research staff at FAU and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen from all faculties and institutes in medical engineering research and teaching contribute to the leading edge cluster Medical Valley in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region. The FAU Profile Center Medical Engineering consolidates activities in the key research priority of medical engineering and its tasks include coordinating advisory services for funding and entrepreneurship, as well as setting up degree programs or networking events.

Go to the FAU Profile Center Medical Engineering

FAU Profile Center New Materials and Processes (FAU NMP)

The FAU Profile Center New Materials and Processes (FAU NMP) promotes and strengthens innovative interdisciplinary research in FAU’s New Materials and Processes key research priority. It identifies new research topics geared to the future and promotes initiatives that further develop the top international and national ranking of this key research priority and the research environment in Erlangen and Nuremberg.

Go to the FAU Profile Center New Materials and Processes

FAU Profile Center Solar (FAU Solar)

The FAU Profile Center Solar researches into strategies to overcome the limitations of converting solar energy into electricity and is accelerating the development of semiconductors that can be printed at low temperatures. The aim is to produce cheap, green solar electricity at a large scale and at the highest output without damaging the environment. The Profile Center Solar pursues a holistic optimization strategy based on a digital model of the entire value chain. FAU Solar combines top-level research in engineering, science, data science and business and economics. FAU Solar’s research is an important component of strategic development at FAU and it is closely linked to other key research priorities.

Go to the FAU Profile Center Solar

FAU Profile Center Immunomedicine (FAU I-MED)
The FAU Profile Center Immunomedicine is primarily concerned with consolidating cross-faculty immunological research in Erlangen. Its spectrum ranges from basic research to translational research and clinical immunological studies. FAU I-MED investigates the fundamental mechanisms and dysfunctions of the immune system and develops personalized methods for the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer and infectious diseases. Its aim is to use cutting-edge cellular, molecular and imaging processes in conjunction with studies based on animal experimentation and examinations carried out on human subjects to unravel immune reactions in all their complexity and to make these findings available for clinical medicine. Go to the FAU Profile Center Immunomedicine
FAU Profile Center Light.Matter.Quantum Technologies (FAU LMQ)
The scientific and technological development of our society is unimaginable without photonics and electronics, which form the backbone of our current information technology. In recent years, the focus at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has turned to the joint consideration of light and matter, which will make many new phenomena and technologies comprehensible and thus form the basis for the key technologies of the 21st century. This requires substantial efforts in fundamental as well as applied research, which will be consolidated in the new FAU Profile Center Light.Matter.Quantum Technologies. Go to the FAU Profile Center Light.Matter.Quantum Technologies
FAU Profile Center Medical Engineering (FAU MT)
Research into medical engineering has been extremely important at FAU for several decades. Several hundred research staff at FAU and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen from all faculties and institutes in medical engineering research and teaching contribute to the leading edge cluster Medical Valley in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region. The FAU Profile Center Medical Engineering consolidates activities in the key research priority of medical engineering and its tasks include coordinating advisory services for funding and entrepreneurship, as well as setting up degree programs or networking events. Go to the FAU Profile Center Medical Engineering
FAU Profile Center New Materials and Processes (FAU NMP)
The FAU Profile Center New Materials and Processes (FAU NMP) promotes and strengthens innovative interdisciplinary research in FAU’s New Materials and Processes key research priority. It identifies new research topics geared to the future and promotes initiatives that further develop the top international and national ranking of this key research priority and the research environment in Erlangen and Nuremberg. Go to the FAU Profile Center New Materials and Processes
FAU Profile Center Solar (FAU Solar)
The FAU Profile Center Solar researches into strategies to overcome the limitations of converting solar energy into electricity and is accelerating the development of semiconductors that can be printed at low temperatures. The aim is to produce cheap, green solar electricity at a large scale and at the highest output without damaging the environment. The Profile Center Solar pursues a holistic optimization strategy based on a digital model of the entire value chain. FAU Solar combines top-level research in engineering, science, data science and business and economics. FAU Solar’s research is an important component of strategic development at FAU and it is closely linked to other key research priorities. Go to the FAU Profile Center Solar


Researcher in the lab

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FAU Research Centers

Research Centers are central research institutions that have close links with the higher-level key research priorities at FAU and are involved in at least one collaborative project. Research Centers are limited to a duration of seven years and have the opportunity during this time to establish their research which may be extended as a Profile Center.

FAU Research Center Embedded Systems Initiative (FAU ESI)

The FAU Research Center Embedded Systems Initiative has a pioneering role in fundamental research for future electronic embedded hardware and software systems. Its research activities include embedded AI, post-silicon technologies and open source hardware. As an incubator, FAU ESI promotes design automation and the design of new applications for these areas. FAU ESI’s innovative approaches to research have the potential to produce groundbreaking developments in these areas and to shape the future of the electronics and technology sectors.

Go to the FAU Research Center Embedded Systems Initiative

FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU CHREN)

The interdisciplinary work of the FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg focuses on current questions regarding human rights in theory and in practice. In a regional context, the center investigates the human rights requirements for politics in Bavaria. FAU CHREN campaigns for the innovative development of international human rights protection while considering contemporary discourse and developments. The aim of FAU CHREN’s work is to strengthen the protection of human rights and to drive forward the universal implementation of these rights.

Go to the FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU CHREN)

FAU Research Center for Islam and Law in Europe (FAU EZIRE)

The FAU Research Center for Islam and Law in Europe (FAU EZIRE) conducts multidisciplinary research into Muslim life in the context of constitutional European states. It investigates how European legal systems react to Muslim life, and how Muslims’ perception of themselves and the autonomous organization of religion develop in this context. These questions are considered in a broader context encompassing societal developments in Europe and connections to developments outside Europe regarding law, religion, political and social change. EZIRE’s research considers the issues from a perspective of research into social sciences, law, Islamic studies and religious studies.

Go to website of FAU Research Center for Islam and Law in Europe

FAU Research Center Mathematics of Data (FAU MoD)

At FAU MoD, researchers from various FAU institutions, the Max Planck Center for Physics and Medicine and the ADA Lovelace Center from the Fraunhofer IIS work together to gain a better understanding of the mathematics of large and complex volumes of data. FAU MoD combines expertise and experience from the area of data science with applied mathematics, scientific computing and artificial intelligence in order to tackle the challenges posed by the wide scope of modern research and various innovative industrial sectors.

FAU MoD and the globally connected Nuremberg Metropolitan Region are making a significant contribution to modern research in the area of “Mathematics of Data”.

Go to the FAU Research Center for Mathematics of Data

FAU Research Center New Bioactive Compounds (FAU NeW)

The goal of FAU NeW is to connect, strengthen and improve the focus of interdisciplinary work in the areas of materials, target areas, mechanisms, and bioanalysis. In addition to ongoing research projects and modules with close links to practical applications, the research center provides a structured graduate program as well as core facilities for mass spectrometry/formulation for life sciences.

Go to the FAU Research Center New Bioactive Compounds

FAU Research Center Embedded Systems Initiative (FAU ESI)
The FAU Research Center Embedded Systems Initiative has a pioneering role in fundamental research for future electronic embedded hardware and software systems. Its research activities include embedded AI, post-silicon technologies and open source hardware. As an incubator, FAU ESI promotes design automation and the design of new applications for these areas. FAU ESI’s innovative approaches to research have the potential to produce groundbreaking developments in these areas and to shape the future of the electronics and technology sectors. Go to the FAU Research Center Embedded Systems Initiative
FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU CHREN)
The interdisciplinary work of the FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg focuses on current questions regarding human rights in theory and in practice. In a regional context, the center investigates the human rights requirements for politics in Bavaria. FAU CHREN campaigns for the innovative development of international human rights protection while considering contemporary discourse and developments. The aim of FAU CHREN’s work is to strengthen the protection of human rights and to drive forward the universal implementation of these rights. Go to the FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU CHREN)
FAU Research Center for Islam and Law in Europe (FAU EZIRE)
The FAU Research Center for Islam and Law in Europe (FAU EZIRE) conducts multidisciplinary research into Muslim life in the context of constitutional European states. It investigates how European legal systems react to Muslim life, and how Muslims’ perception of themselves and the autonomous organization of religion develop in this context. These questions are considered in a broader context encompassing societal developments in Europe and connections to developments outside Europe regarding law, religion, political and social change. EZIRE’s research considers the issues from a perspective of research into social sciences, law, Islamic studies and religious studies. Go to website of FAU Research Center for Islam and Law in Europe
FAU Research Center Mathematics of Data (FAU MoD)
At FAU MoD, researchers from various FAU institutions, the Max Planck Center for Physics and Medicine and the ADA Lovelace Center from the Fraunhofer IIS work together to gain a better understanding of the mathematics of large and complex volumes of data. FAU MoD combines expertise and experience from the area of data science with applied mathematics, scientific computing and artificial intelligence in order to tackle the challenges posed by the wide scope of modern research and various innovative industrial sectors. FAU MoD and the globally connected Nuremberg Metropolitan Region are making a significant contribution to modern research in the area of “Mathematics of Data”. Go to the FAU Research Center for Mathematics of Data
FAU Research Center New Bioactive Compounds (FAU NeW)
The goal of FAU NeW is to connect, strengthen and improve the focus of interdisciplinary work in the areas of materials, target areas, mechanisms, and bioanalysis. In addition to ongoing research projects and modules with close links to practical applications, the research center provides a structured graduate program as well as core facilities for mass spectrometry/formulation for life sciences. Go to the FAU Research Center New Bioactive Compounds


Researcher at work

FAU Competence Centers

Competence Centers are central research institutions that have a cross-sectional function and provide expertise and support from basic research to the development of methods and instrumentation for the entire range of research carried out at FAU. FAU Competence Centers are permanent institutions that are subject to evaluation every seven years.

Center for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications (FAU ZIWIS)

FAU ZIWIS focuses on the innovative area of applied philosophy of science, which examines the theoretical and practical preconditions and consequences of science as a whole, i.e. the history, ethics and philosophy of science. Its research is published via an inter-faculty platform and used in collaborative projects. FAU ZIWIS also provides teaching resources and networking opportunities for students and researchers at FAU and offers key qualifications (SQ).

Go to the Center for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications

FAU Competence Center Engineering of Advanced Materials (FAU EAM)

FAU EAM further develops scientific methods and processes in FAU’s key research priority New Materials and Processes and provides a wide range of infrastructure, expertise and services. It is divided into seven specialist departments and the Graduate School of Engineering of Advanced Materials (GS EAM).

Go to the FAU Competence Center Engineering of Advanced Materials

FAU Competence Center for Research Data and Information (FAU CDI)

FAU CDI is a central research institution that provides support to all researchers at the University and at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen with questions and tasks regarding research data management and the CRIS Research Information System. This support includes providing advice with funding applications as well as services for handling research data and e-research projects.

Go to the FAU Competence Center for Research Data and Information

FAU Competence Center Optical Imaging Center Erlangen (FAU OICE)

FAU OICE was founded in 2012, based on the close collaboration between FAU and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL). Its mission is to provide and coordinate access to high-end optical microscopes in its Core Facility Unit (CFU) and to develop new microscope systems and techniques in its Exploratory Research Unit (ERU). The Educational Training Unit (ETU) provides training for students and researchers in placements and seminars.

Go to the FAU Competence Center Optical Imaging Center Erlangen

FAU Competence Center Scientific Computing (FAU CSC)

The FAU Competence Center Scientific Computing pools expertise in scientific computing at FAU. It consolidates the expertise and experience of more than 40 research institutions at the University. This makes FAU CSC a unique interdisciplinary cooperation platform that provides the right environment for even the most complex research tasks in numeric simulation and scientific computing.

Go to the FAU Competence Center Scientific Computing

Center for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications (FAU ZIWIS)
FAU ZIWIS focuses on the innovative area of applied philosophy of science, which examines the theoretical and practical preconditions and consequences of science as a whole, i.e. the history, ethics and philosophy of science. Its research is published via an inter-faculty platform and used in collaborative projects. FAU ZIWIS also provides teaching resources and networking opportunities for students and researchers at FAU and offers key qualifications (SQ). Go to the Center for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications
FAU Competence Center Engineering of Advanced Materials (FAU EAM)
FAU EAM further develops scientific methods and processes in FAU’s key research priority New Materials and Processes and provides a wide range of infrastructure, expertise and services. It is divided into seven specialist departments and the Graduate School of Engineering of Advanced Materials (GS EAM). Go to the FAU Competence Center Engineering of Advanced Materials
FAU Competence Center for Research Data and Information (FAU CDI)
FAU CDI is a central research institution that provides support to all researchers at the University and at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen with questions and tasks regarding research data management and the CRIS Research Information System. This support includes providing advice with funding applications as well as services for handling research data and e-research projects. Go to the FAU Competence Center for Research Data and Information
FAU Competence Center Optical Imaging Center Erlangen (FAU OICE)
FAU OICE was founded in 2012, based on the close collaboration between FAU and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL). Its mission is to provide and coordinate access to high-end optical microscopes in its Core Facility Unit (CFU) and to develop new microscope systems and techniques in its Exploratory Research Unit (ERU). The Educational Training Unit (ETU) provides training for students and researchers in placements and seminars. Go to the FAU Competence Center Optical Imaging Center Erlangen
FAU Competence Center Scientific Computing (FAU CSC)
The FAU Competence Center Scientific Computing pools expertise in scientific computing at FAU. It consolidates the expertise and experience of more than 40 research institutions at the University. This makes FAU CSC a unique interdisciplinary cooperation platform that provides the right environment for even the most complex research tasks in numeric simulation and scientific computing. Go to the FAU Competence Center Scientific Computing

 


Research across subject boundaries

Female researcher working with equipment
Image: FAU/Anna Thiessen

With its wide spectrum of subjects, FAU has the potential to pool research topics across subject boundaries and to bridge the gap to current pressing issues. As one of the largest research institutions in Germany, we are home to more than 4,000 researchers who dedicate their passion and innovation to carrying out research in 5 key research priorities, 5 Profile Centers, 5 Research Centers, 5 Competence Centers and many other projects, all aimed at exploring the major questions we face in our world today.

Substantial third-party funding for research

With nearly 250 million euros in third-party funding, FAU is in a very strong position for both individual and collaborative research. FAU is involved in a number of collaborative research centers, research training groups, DFG research units and DFG priority programs, with FAU researchers often assuming the role of spokesperson. Researchers at the University are regularly awarded prizes in recognition of their outstanding performance. FAU is consistently ranked highly in both national and international rankings.

Excellent support for early career researchers

With our own programs such as the FAU head of junior research group concept, FAU recognizes the importance of investing in effective support for early career researchers.