Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz focuses on research in clearly defined fields and hereby meets one of the key requirements for achieving competitiveness in the international arena. As a comprehensive university, JGU is able to identify – from the wide range of disciplines on offer – potential core research areas in competition-based and quality-based processes; these research areas then receive targeted support. With its executive committee of leading researchers based at JGU and its non-university research partner institutes, the Gutenberg Research College (GRC) plays a major part in determining the focus of the university, an aspect that is subject to continuous review and modification. JGU also uses the GRC to promote individual excellence in order to enhance its position as one of the leading research-driven universities in Germany and increase its international competitiveness.
JGU's profile-building strategy is based on three primary approaches:
- Continuing promotion of core research fields
- Specific support of the humanities and social sciences
- Targeted support of the interdisciplinary interfaces between medicine and the natural sciences
JGU's success in Germany's Excellence Strategy program shows that this strategy is working: In 2018, the research network PRISMA+ (Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter) was recognized as a Cluster of Excellence. With its forerunner PRISMA and the graduate school Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) JGU had previously been successful in the Excellence Initiative.
The research profile of JGU is particularly characterized by the following top-level areas:
- Particle and hadron physics at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence
- Research into materials sciences in close cooperation with the MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence
- Research into translational medicine at the center of the same name
JGU has identified 13 additional top-level areas which receive major funding from the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Promotion of Young Research Talents
JGU established the Gutenberg College for Young Researchers (GYR) in 2014 as the core institution commissioned with the continuous improvement of working conditions and the mentoring of its young research talents. The institution brings together corresponding support organizations at JGU, provides information about them and helps with their further development. In so doing, it adopts the approach already successfully employed by the MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence. By forming the graduate school Mainz Research School of Translational Biomedicine (TransMed), JGU is pursuing innovative ways of contributing to the interdisciplinary training of physicians and natural scientists by closely linking theoretical research with clinical research. Similar forms of innovative and interdisciplinary teaching of postgraduates are used at the Max Planck Graduate Center, an institution managed by JGU together with the two Max Planck institutes on the university campus.