Joint Programs

The alliance as a whole is a work in progress. Various joint institutions and programs have been launched to date under the framework of the UA Ruhr.

UA Ruhr Kooperationen

Institution Share

The University Alliance Ruhr bundles its cutting-edge, international research on pressing issues facing the future under the umbrella of the Research Alliance Ruhr in four research centers and a College for Social Sciences and Humanities. The centers deal with "One Health - from Molecules to Systems", "Chemical Sciences and Sustainability", "Trustworthy Data Science and Security" and "Future Energy Materials and Systems". The College for Social Sciences and Humanities specifically promotes international exchange.

The University Alliance Ruhr’s Flagship Program Materials Chain bundles and strengthens the research activities in the field of materials science at the three universities of Dortmund, Bochum and Duisburg/Essen. The goal of the collaboration is to reach a complete and concise description of the whole materials chain – from atoms to finished technical components and vice versa.

The mission of the cluster and Flagship Program is to develop Solvation Science as a new interdisciplinary field to understand the influence of solvation on reactions, on the function of biomolecules, and on processes at liquid/solid interfaces. Sarted in 2012, RESOLV is now the national leading research institution in Solvation Science and one of the top players worldwide.

In the competence field of Empirical Economic Research, the UA Ruhr universities work in close cooperation with the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research. They aim to identify and predict economic and social developments and their consequences at an early stage, and to evaluate the effects of economic policy measures on the basis of hard data, thus contributing to evidence-based policies.

In the Competence Field "Energy - System - Transformation", interdisciplinary research is carried out across universities in order to advance the overall energy system transformation through selected technologies of energy conversion, transmission and efficient energy application as well as their economic and social consideration.

The UA Ruhr Competence Field "Metropolitan Research" aims to establish an internationally visible center for inter- and transdisciplinary metropolitan research in the midst of the "reality lab Ruhr", bringing together the competencies of the UA Ruhr Universities and their network of non-university research and practice partners.

Research Academy Ruhr is one of the largest and most powerful platforms in Germany to support young researchers and prepare them for careers inside and outside academia. Research Academy Ruhr is sponsored and supported by the three UA Ruhr universities of Bochum, Dortmund, and Duisburg-Essen and is instrumental for the development of UA Ruhr as academic location.

The goal of the Mercator Research Center Ruhr is to foster strategic cooperation within the University Alliance Ruhr and, thereby, to strengthen the Ruhr area as an academic hub. The researchers of the UA Ruhr universities can apply through their respective rectorates for the following types of funding: project support, structure support, personnel support, initial support and strategic funding.

The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) is the interdisciplinary research college of the UA Ruhr for humanities and cultural studies in the tradition of international institutes for advanced study. The KWI cooperates with the researchers of the host universities and other partners in NRW and at national and international level. Within the Ruhr area, the KWI offers a place where the results of ambitious cultural research can be shared and discussed with interested parties from the city and the region. The main areas of research are: Cultural science research, sociology of culture and literature, science communication and a "teaching laboratory".

AREA Ruhr (Alliance for Research on East Asia) is a joint research alliance of the Faculty of East Asian Studies (EAS, Fakultät für Ostasienwissenschaften), Ruhr University Bochum, and the Institute of East Asian Studies (IN-EAST), University Duisburg-Essen as part of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr). Its objective is to facilitate collaborative research and teaching in the area of East Asian Studies. With more than 20 professors, AREA Ruhr will be one of Europe’s largest research hubs in this field.

The UA Ruhr universities cooperate with other universities and research institutions worldwide and are active in international numerous networks. In order to support international exchange, UA Ruhr has established liaison offices abroad and operates offices in New York and Eastern Europe/Central Asia. These offices also work to establish new research contacts and provide organizational support for various academic projects.

One of the most ambitious and comprehensive projects within UA Ruhr is RuhrCampus³, which represents the creation of a common learning space within the Ruhr area. The students will be able to move freely within the three partner universities and all of their institutes. Students have an automatic auditor status that allows them to attend lectures and register for exams at any of the UA Ruhr universities.

he Global Young Faculty provides a platform for outstanding and dedicated young scholars from the region to get to know one another and to work on interdisciplinary projects. The network is an initiative of Stiftung Mercator in cooperation with the UA Ruhr, which is coordinated by the Mercator Research Centre Ruhr in Essen.

Nearly 20 institutions from science, industry and administration from the Ruhr area have joined forces to form the Dual Career Network Ruhr (DCN Ruhr). The DCN Ruhr supports partners of newly appointed professors in their vocational orientation in the Ruhr area in order to increase the chances of a successful job search in the region. The launch of the DCN Ruhr was funded by the Stiftung Mercator and coordinated by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR). The RVR has been coordinating the DCN Ruhr since 2020.

In order to understand the Universe, the fundamental laws governing astrophysical processes need to be understood. These fundamentals are on the one hand based on particle physics by the description of inelastic particle interactions, in particular at the highest energies. On the other hand, these elementary particles move in a plasma - an ionized state of gas - which is guiding the movement of the particles through the medium. This coupling between particle-, plasma- and astrophysics is uniquely being investigated in the Ruhr Astroparticle and Plasma Physics Center (RAPP Center). The RAPP-Center is one of only a few research centers in the world which gathers experts of all three sub-disciplines of physics in order to connect them with the aim to fundamentally understand our Universe better.

The Founder Initiative Ruhr is the newly founded platform of the University Alliance Ruhr to coordinate activities in the fields of start-up support and knowledge and technology transfer and to initiate new projects. It is supported by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Transfer of the TU Dortmund (CET), the Worldfactory of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Competence Center for Innovation and Business Creation of the University Duisburg-Essen (IDE).

The SFB 1280 investigates the neural, behavioral, educational, ontogenetic and clinical mechanisms of extinction learning in different species including humans. This combines the systemic and technical diversity of the research approaches with a high degree of uniformity at the structural, experimental, technical and conceptual levels. Partners of the RUB are the Medical Faculty of the University Duisburg-Essen, the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at the TU Dortmund University and the Philipps-Universität Marburg. The Bochum University Hospital Bergmannsheil with its excellent imaging infrastructure is also essential for the successful research in the SFB 1280.

The researchers in this CRC want to understand how the interplay between molecular signals and the regulatory switches works, which together trigger the transitions between defined cell states. This interplay, so far insufficiently understood, is crucial for cell growth and division, but also for the development and treatability of cancer. Researchers from the Faculty of Biology, the Faculty of Medicine and the Center of Medical Biotechnology of the UDE, as well as scientists from the TU Dortmund University and the MPI of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund are involved in the project.

The CRC RESIST aims to understand how different stresses individually and in combination affect stream biodiversity and functions, and how previously stressed ecosystems recover. A broad range of methods is used to investigate the effects of multiple stressors on all components of the stream food web (from viruses to fish) and on four ecosystem functions.

The Collaborative Research Center combines the subfields of astro-, plasma-, astroparticle- and particle physics. 16 leading researchers, including from the Ruhr Astroparticle and Plasma Physics Center, the RUB and the TU Dortmund University, are collaborating in 13 subprojects to create a unified picture of the detectable traces of interacting matter. They aim to understand how regular galaxies like our Milky Way work, as well as the ones with an active supermassive black hole at their core. To this end, they combine theoretical astrophysical models with experimental observations of all wavelengths and particles.

In SFB 876, scientists research methods with which large amounts of data can be collected, evaluated and used. Compared to the inflowing data, resources in terms of computing and communication capacity, storage and energy are limited. Scientists are working on systems that filter and analyse data in real time and then obtain information that is available promptly, comprehensibly and without great energy requirements at the point of use. To this end, the research areas of data analysis and embedded systems are brought together. The TU Dortmund University cooperates with the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University Hospital Essen, ARTES Biotechnology GmbH and the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences.

The intrinsic angular momentum of electrons in semiconductors is the focus of the SFB/TR 160. This quantum mechanical quantity, the so-called spin, influences the magnetic properties of a material and can be specifically controlled by a magnetic field. In the field of spintronics, spin effects are already used today for storage media. The international team of the SFB/TR 160 is working on the basic principles so that spin can also be used for switching processes for processing information that are superior to those in previous techniques: The spin excitations in semiconductors are to be manipulated in such a way that the associated energy consumption is minimized. The SFB/TR 160 covers the necessary spectrum of material technology, coherent spectroscopy and detailed modelling. Cooperation partners are the Russian Ioffe Institute and St. Petersburg State University.

The vision of the SFB/TR 196 is to precisely and dynamically characterize and localize even moving materials in our daily surroundings. In order to achieve this vision, suitable devices and overall systems are needed to carry out the localization, characterization and visualization of materials. The final goal is the achievement of a mobile material transceiver that can either be interpreted as a novel compact sensory organ that extends the human senses or, on a more industrial level, as a device that systematically creates material maps for searching and classifying objects in arbitrary environments. Further partners are the University of Wuppertal (BUW), the Technische Universität Darmstadt, the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems.

The aim of the SFB/TR 247 is to understand oxide catalysis in detail and to raise the knowledge about it to the level of metal catalysis. The members of the SFB/TR 247 want to gain basic knowledge about catalysis, because the understanding of catalytic processes often cannot keep up with the practical application of catalysts. The Max Planck Institutes for Chemical Energy Conversion and Coal Research in Mülheim/Ruhr and the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin are also involved.

The HDKR offers a joint forum for doctoral students in history from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. In this doctoral training group, current dissertations in the field of recent history are presented and discussed. The goal is to build a network of early career researchers in the discipline of history, and to foster inter-university exchange and the joint discussion of organizational and theoretical issues among doctoral candidates.

The IMPRS-SurMat provides a unique combination of excellent research conditions plus an intensive and interdisciplinary teaching program. The research focuses on questions centered on interfaces of advanced materials. In this context all projects within the IMPRS-SurMat are interdisciplinary - chemists, physicists, material scientists and engineers work together and the research approach can be experimental as well as theoretical.

The IMPRS-CMB in Dortmund provides an interdisciplinary postgraduate program at the interface between Chemical Biology, Biophysics and Cellular Biology. The IMPRS faculty from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology and its three neighboring universities (TU Dortmund, Ruhr University Bochum and University of Duisburg-Essen) tackles scores of different biological and medicinal problems. Students of the IMPRS-CMB are offered a flexible academic program. The aim of the school is to recruit the best students and provides them generous professional and personal support and ensures careful mentoring.

The MPI CEC is built upon the realization that the best way to achieve energy storage in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, is to store the energy in chemical bonds. Thus, the goal of our IMPRS is to decouple the primary photochemical processes that lead to capturing of solar energy from its later uses in technology or mobility. Doctoral students will mainly deal with reactivity/structure analysis in the six key energy-conserving chemical reactions. RECHARGE will focus on understanding the atomic level mechanisms of catalytic processes, at both the homogeneous and heterogeneous limits, by using state of the art methods in physical characterization and theory.

Under the leadership of TU Dortmund University, the PhD candidates of the interdisciplinary college address the comprehensive questions, which factors influence the sustainable, energetic development of urban quarters and how and energy-efficient development can be promoted. Until now the focus of energy efficiency measures was on the single building; this college will concentrate on the quarter. Because the complexity of the research topic demands for a comprehensive, integrated approach, there are social scientists, urban planners, economists, electrical engineers, and lawyers involved in the project. Until the end of 2018 11 candidates will write their thesis at 8 different chairs at the 3 universities of the Universitätsallianz Ruhr, as well as at Bochum University of Applied Science, and Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.

The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research NRW promotes the doctoral training in water research of the UAR in the Fortschrittskolleg FUTURE WATER. Inter- and transdisciplinarity are in the focus of the activities and are assured by the consortium with members of the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Ruhr University Bochum, the EBZ Business School, the University Ruhr West, the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and the IUTA e.V. under the auspices of the Centre for Water and Environmental Research (UDE) and by the participation of numerous industry and practice partners. In addition to their specific promotion projects the PhD students are concerned with the many facets of sustainable urban water management.

SecHuman is a graduate school focusing on Security for People in Cyberspace from an inter- and transdisciplinary perspective. 13 PhD students with technical as well as backgrounds in humanities explore issues in IT-Security. Companies as well as partners from politics serve as advisors, making sure that the questions in focus are of relevance for society. Besides the technical disciplines, researchers from various fields including education, journalism, linguistics, media science, peace research, as well as social science serve as principal investigators in the project.

The Research Training Group (RTG) High-dimensional Phenomena in Probability - Fluctuations and Discontinuity offers excellent national and international graduates in the mathematical sciences the opportunity to conduct internationally visible doctoral research in probability theory. The goal of the RTG is to bring together the joint expertise on aspects of high dimension in probability. In the study of random structures in high dimensions, one frequently observes universality in limit theorems (fluctuations) as well as phase transitions (discontinuities). These aspects form the common focus of a large number of currently active research projects in stochastic processes. The cooperation of several research groups will offer the Ph.D. students the unique opportunity to gain experience beyond their own research topic, thus giving a broad scientific education.

'Confinement-controlled Chemistry' is a common factor in outstanding fundamental scientific problems in fields such as energy technology, environmental studies, catalysis, and biomedicine. The researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum and TU Dotmund University have come together for the reason that their theory, spectroscopy, synthesis, and surface science efforts are complementary and will lead to new advances in the emerging field of 'Confinement-controlled Chemistry'.

The Graduate Program „Regional Disparities and Economic Policy“ studies the causes and consequences of regional disparities from different angles, for example with regard to local labor markets, health care, migration and trade, technological change or public finance. A better understanding of the spatial economy is an important contribution towards better targeted public policies.

RIMUR (Regulatory Immune Mechanisms Doctoral College at the University Alliance Ruhr) is a program to enable assistant physicians to write a scientific doctoral thesis after completing their studies. In immunology and infectiology, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Ruhr-University Bochum have a strong and long-standing expertise. The doctoral college will be integrated into the existing network of graduate schools at the universities of Duisburg-Essen and Bochum: Graduate School of Biomedical Science (BIOME), RUB Research School and International Graduate School Neuroscience (IGNS).

The Ruhr Graduate School in Economics (RGS Econ) is a joint project of the UA Ruhr universities and a doctorate program in economics offered by the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung. RGS Econ offers an innovative academic and research program in theoretical and empirical economics, conducted entirely in English. The focus areas include theoretical modeling and econometric analysis of economic processes.

The RuhrCenter of American Studies brings together the research on American Studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University Duisburg-Essen. The RuhrCenter works to enhance academic and interdisciplinary co-operation between its members and beyond. It aims at developing new and effective methods of doctoral education. The RuhrCenter of American Studies fosters the general promotion and exchange of current research in the field of American Studies by organizing talks and lectures of guest researchers.

The School of International and Intercultural Communication | SIIC, supported by MERCUR , is a joint project of the UA Ruhr in the field of communication, media, and journalism studies. SIIC aims to deepen the relationships of the involved institutes in research and teaching and intends to strongly internationalize the UA Ruhr by offering a platform for a structured PhD program for dissertation projects with an explicit focus on international and/or intercultural research issues.

The UA Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies is a collaboration project between the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), Ruhr-University Bochum, the Institute of Political Science (IfP), University Duisburg-Essen and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), University Duisburg-Essen. Major features of the Centre are the interdisciplinary approach to development issues and the international focus. Complementary specializations in political science, economics, sociology and law benefit cooperation activities in research and postgraduate teaching.

The research group "Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models, Transatlantic Interventions" (short: City Scripts) explores the imaginative strategies and narrative scenarios which the centers of old industries (steel, coal and cars) in the United States and Germany are devising to forge paths into their futures. Funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung for four years, City Scripts is a joint endeavor of the American Studies Departments of the University Alliance Ruhr (Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, Dortmund).

Founded by VWStiftung, the college combines international communication science and journalism with practice-relevant questions in media development assistance. The approach promises new findings for the systematic analysis of the changing framework conditions of media development cooperation, be it in socio-political, economic or technological field. The doctoral students will spend up to one year of practical work at renowned foundations and NGOs.

At the UA Ruhr universities, numerous scientists conduct research in the field of bioinformatics and related areas such as life science data science and AI in medicine. The UA Ruhr bioinformatics teams are involved in many small and large collaborative research projects.

In the newly founded Engineering Allianz Ruhr (EAR), all three UA Ruhr universities cooperate in the field of mechanical engineering. The faculties open up their high-quality courses in the elective areas to each other even more strongly and communicate the existing offers to prospective students even more purposefully via a common web portal. The EAR aims to improve the attractiveness and visibility of research and teaching in mechanical engineering in the coordinated cooperation within the UA Ruhr.

The Ruhr Alliance EE&IT is an integration of the Bochum and Dortmund Faculty for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. Students of the Ruhr Alliance EE&IT are enrolled at one of the two universities but can take advantage of the full spectrum of teaching and research activities of both EE&IT faculties. The EE&IT faculties offer a forward-thinking engineering education with emphasis on energy technology, medical technology, plasma technology, microsystems technology, and nanoelectronics.

The Ruhr Alliance EE&IT is an integration of the Bochum and Dortmund Faculty for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. Students of the Ruhr Alliance EE&IT are enrolled at one of the two universities but can take advantage of the full spectrum of teaching and research activities of both EE&IT faculties. The EE&IT faculties offer a forward-thinking engineering education with emphasis on energy technology, medical technology, plasma technology, microsystems technology, and nanoelectronics.

The Civil Engineering Unit Ruhr educates engineers in civil engineering, including environmental technology as well as computational engineering. The civil engineers of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of Duisburg-Essen network through cooperation in learning and intensive joint research. Master’s students in particular profit from the pooling of these resources and therefore have more diverse opportunities to specialize in whatever fields they like.

The advanced Masters Course „Biodiversity” is an interdisciplinary degree program, which is jointly launched by the Ruhr-University Bochum and the University Duisburg/Essen. Since 2013/14 international Bachelor students of all fields of Bioscience studies can apply for this innovative and practical MSc program. A team of 12 professors represents the complex and diverse topics within the field of biodiversity research. Hereby, the program offers a broad range of opportunities for interdisciplinary and specialized research courses for all master candidates. Compared to other Study programs, the “MSc Biodiversity” in Bochum and Duisburg/Essen is outstanding for an innovative, multifaceted and interdisciplinary curriculum as well as for a unique research focus in the field of microorganisms such as fungi and protists.

Econometrics is a four-semester, English-language master’s program established by TU Dortmund University, Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Duisburg-Essen – the first degree program to be run jointly by all three UAR universities and commences in winter 2019. The program combines the expertise and breadth of the three participating economics faculties in empirical economic research and economics with the methodically oriented training of the statisticians and econometricians at Germany’s only Faculty of Statistics in Dortmund.

The MERCUR funded master’s degree programme “Empirical Multilingualism Research” is offered jointly by Ruhr University Bochum and TU University Dortmund. From the academic year 2018/19 on, holders of bachelor degrees in linguistics or philologies are given the opportunity to specialize in linguistically oriented empirical research in multilingualism. Students are able to choose from a variety of linguistic as well as methodological specializations which combine the competencies of both participating universities in order to forge their individual academic profile.

The UA Ruhr Master's program "Medical Physics" is jointly supported by the Faculty of Physics of the TU Dortmund and the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of the Ruhr-University Bochum in order to bundle the existing educational and research activities and to be able to offer students a wide range of topics in medical physics. With its thematic breadth, the Master's programme is unique in Germany.

East asia gets closer: Three major german research organisations, specialisted on east asia, will cooperate strategially in the future: The faculties of east asian studies at the Ruhr Universität Bochum and the Universität Duisburg-Essen and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) located in Berlin.

Every year, selected students from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, the Yale University and the Lehigh University are invited by the University Alliance Ruhr (TU Dortmund University, Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of Duisburg-Essen) to experience a unique two-month summer program combined with an internship and explore the cultural, industrial and academic landscape of the Ruhr Area.

The Transatlantic Ruhr Fellowship provides highly motivated students from the University Alliance Ruhr with a unique experience to expand their portfolio and networks to the New York metropolitan area. In a program that combines a one-week summer school, a one-week skills training workshop and a six-week internship, you will learn about topics such as entrepreneurship, global markets and regional labor relations while gaining hands-on working experience during your internships at companies and international organizations in the New York metropolitan area.

The universities in Bochum and Dortmund have a cooperation agreement for teacher education at both universities. Through a “Spagat Studium” it is possible to study, for example, one academic discipline at Ruhr University Bochum and another at TU Dortmund University.

Each semester, the Faculty of Social Science at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Institutes of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen publish a joint course list detailing the English course offer, thereby allowing students to take advantage of the UAR’s mobility structures more easily and take classes at both universities. In addition, exchange students have access to counselling at both universities to help them with administrative and academic questions.

The three UA Ruhr universities have created an alliance on the basis of their physical proximity so that they can offer the students in the region better study and research opportunities. Through this cooperation it is possible for students to attend lectures at different universities and thereby gain access to a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience. This includes opportunities not only for university students and researchers, but also exciting programs and projects for school-age students.

The program "Misch dich ein - mach Politik vor Ort! Kommunalpolitisches Programm für Studentinnen" is a cooperative project of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the TU Dortmund University, the Europa Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder and the University of Leipzig in collaboration with the respective municipal equal opportunity offices and the European Academy for Women in Business and Politics in Berlin. The project coordination for the partners in North Rhine-Westphalia lies with the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

The UA Ruhr project OGeSoMo, funded for two years (2018-2010) by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and led by the University Library of Duisburg-Essen in collaboration with three publishers (transcript, Barbara Budrich, Peter Lang) has the aim to motivate all stakeholder to publish more open access, to strengthen and to promote the development of open access book across the Humanities and Social Sciences. The project focuses on the funding of open access publication with an UA Ruhr affiliation, the aspects of conceptualizing reusable information- and consulting services and materials and further the developing of an clear and sustainable open access business models. The awareness concept will be initially proved at the University of Duisburg-Essen and afterwards transferred to partner Universities.

To assure the same and high level of data protection for all partner universities the Data Protection Officers cooperate on many processes coordinated by the data protection office. The office is the contact point for all matters regarding data protection for employees, students as well as other third parties whose personal data is stored at one of the universities in the alliance.

New forms of working and communication raise questions concerning users’ rights. Copyright law determines the rights that creators have in the use of protected materials in private use, research, and education. The Copyright Law Working Group provides necessary information about regulations relating to creatorship, library usage, and web design, and helps point out what you as a user need to look out for in practice.

The central IT provider of the three partner universities pools the IT services of each university and makes them available to all students throughout the UA Ruhr. The University of Duisburg-Essen focuses on the area of data management and data security (backup), Ruhr University Bochum has taken on the area of virtualization, while TU Dortmund University is responsible for housing and high-performance computing. Through this distribution of responsibilities, each partner is relieved and can further improve their specialized services.