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University Research Profile

The Institute of Physics and Astronomy from its inner yard.
Photo: Photo: Karla Fritze
"The University of Potsdam is well networked with many extramural research institutes in and around Potsdam, which is a unique location advantage." - Prof. Dr. Robert Seckler, Vice President for Research and Young Academics

Five Faculties

The research profile of the University of Potsdam is shaped primarily by its five faculties: the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Humanities, the Law Faculty, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Science. Starting in April 2017, the Hasso Plattner Institute of IT Systems Engineering will become UP’s sixth faculty, the Faculty for Digital Engineering. As such it represents Germany’s first faculty based on a public-private partnership. NEXUS - Earth Surface Dynamics is based in the Faculty of Science but reaches out to other disciplines as well.

Overview of all UP faculties


New Funding Line Model since 2014

Founded in 1991, the University of Potsdam (UP) has continuously evolved its research profile. To expand exisiting research strength, to further develop a clear research profile, to enhance the international visibility, and to foster interdisciplinary cooperation  - with these goals a new funding line model has been established in a peer-reviewed process in 2014.Three different funding lines with individual sets of governance forms and funding periods have been set up:

Research Focus Areas of the University

Special Research Areas of the Faculties

Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives


Cooperation with Extramural Research Institutions

From the beginning, one of the UP’s trademarks has been its close cooperation with the many multifaceted, extramural research institutes within the region (Max Planck Institutes, Helmholtz Centers, Fraunhofer Institutes, Leibniz Institutes, and others). Currently 69 jointly appointed professors who by default also participate in UP research and teaching activities constitute a key element of this successful inter-institutional research network. Further support comes from thematic networks such as Geo.X and the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB).

Overview over cooperations of UP with extramural partners

Joint appointments

Networks of the UP

Thematic networks


Context of the Research Initiative NEXUS

NEXUS: Earth Surface Dynamics is UP's most recent Interdisciplinary Research Initiative launched in 2017.  Triggered by the two Research Focus Areas "Earth Sciences" and "Functional Ecology and Evolution" NEXUS aims at bringing together interdisciplinary expertise in the field of Earth Surface Processes from faculty of different institutes of UP as well as researchers from extramural research institutes.

Mission Statement of NEXUS

Departments & Institutes

Members & Affiliates