Members of the Alliance

Robert Schlögl, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
The strength of the German science system lies in the way it combines a division of responsibilities with cooperation. The Alliance lays the foundation for this cooperation and here, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation contributes its excellent international network.

Robert Schlögl, President Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation

Joybrato Mukherjee, German Academic Exchange Service
Science has a powerful voice when it acts as a community of strong partners. With nearly 100 years of experience as the internationalisation agency of German universities, the DAAD is able to contribute to the success of the Alliance. Due to the diversity of its members, the Alliance is able to draw on the strengths of the German science system, including its enormous appeal for international students, researchers and teachers.

Joybrato Mukherjee, President German Academic Exchange Service

Katja Becker, German Research Foundation
The efficiency of the German science system is based not least on the diverse range of research and funding types it offers. This diversity is the institutional expression of the high degree of academic freedom we enjoy in Germany, and this is reflected to the full in the collaborative work done by the Alliance of Science Organisations: together, we strengthen the complementary nature of the different approaches to funding while at the same time coordinating on key questions and issues so to enable excellent cutting-edge research on a lasting basis.

Katja Becker, President German Research Foundation

Holger Hanselka, Fraunhofer Society
With its universities, institutes of higher education and non-university scientific organizations, the German research and innovation system offers a high degree of functional and structural diversity. This diversity is a great treasure and a huge competitive advantage internationally; we must therefore maintain it and continue its development. The Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany is a valuable collaboration platform for providing fresh impetus for innovation at a national and international level. Moreover, this platform aims to stimulate and accelerate synergetic cooperation at all levels of technological maturity.

Holger Hanselka, President Fraunhofer Society

Otmar Wiestler, Helmholtz Association
It is vital for the leading German science organisations to join forces and coordinate closely in political and social discourse. In this way, they can make an essential contribution to the national and international positioning of Germany as a research base. The Alliance’s joint initiatives and statements have become a key driving force for the German science system

Otmar Wiestler, President Helmholtz Association

Walter Rosenthal, German Rectors' Conference
The Alliance is an important forum for communication and coordination processes between science organizations in Germany. In its capacity as the driving force for national and international science policy, the Alliance also has an outward effect. For universities, as the institutional center of the science system, close cooperation and joint positioning with their partners are of strategic importance. Only together can science achieve lasting success. Among others, the Alliance initiatives “Understanding Animal Testing” and “Digital Information” / DEAL as well as the joint positioning on career paths in science and research bear witness to this.

Walter Rosenthal, President German Rectors’ Conference

Gerald Haug, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
It is more important now than ever before for the major science and research organisations in Germany to speak with a single voice. In this way, they can contribute to addressing the challenges facing society and to finding possible solutions based on scientific expertise.

Gerald Haug, President German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Patrick Cramer, Max Planck Society
Without the Alliance, the Max Planck Society would not be the same. We have been involved from the very beginning and value the association enormously. Particularly when we have different approaches in our day-to-day work on science policy, or when we don’t share the same opinion. That is a natural part of it, also because the German research landscape – and that is its great treasure – is so structurally diverse. The Alliance is not an echo chamber, but a lively space for honest exchange. This gives it credibility – especially at important moments when we speak and act with a united voice. When the organizations of the Alliance use their combined weight for a cause, it must be taken very seriously.

Patrick Cramer, President Max Planck Society

Wolfgang Wick, German Science and Humanities Council
The Alliance is a powerful voice for freedom and openness in science within the framework of a differentiated science and funding policy discourse.

Wolfgang Wick, Chair German Science and Humanities Council

The following ten organisations constitute the members of the Alliance.

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes collaborative research ventures involving excellent foreign and German researchers. By awarding research fellowships and prizes to outstanding researchers, irrespective of discipline and nationality, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation strengthens Germany as a hub of science and scholarship through international research networking.

With the Foundation’s support, excellent researchers from Germany can also carry out research projects abroad as guests of one of more than 30,000 Humboldtians in over 140 countries worldwide – the Humboldt Foundation’s alumni. Alumni receive lifelong support through the Foundation network.

In this way, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes international cultural dialogue and academic exchange as an intermediary organisation of German foreign cultural and educational policy.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

As the association of German universities and their student bodies, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the world’s largest organisation for the promotion of international academic exchange. The DAAD supports some 150,000 German and foreign students, researchers and teachers each year with individual scholarships and structure-building projects. Through its international network of almost 70 offices around the world, more than 470 lectureships and numerous transnational educational projects at universities abroad, the DAAD maintains a presence in the research systems of more than 100 countries, enabling it to draw on unique expertise in global science. On this basis, the DAAD advises policymakers and science on the full range of foreign science policy issues and is involved in the science diplomacy of the Federal Republic of Germany. As the Erasmus+ National Agency “Higher Education”, the DAAD also has a vital role to play in shaping higher education in Europe.

German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) is Germany’s largest research funding organisation and the country’s central self-governing body for research. It serves science and the humanities, providing funding for research in all its forms and disciplines.

The DFG promotes academic excellence and quality by selecting the best projects in competition. In doing so, it also pays particular attention to promoting international cooperation, early-career researchers, gender equality and diversity in research. The DFG also maintains dialogue with society, policymakers and business and supports the transfer of knowledge. It advises state institutions and institutions working in the public interest on issues relating to academic research and research policy.

In organisational terms, the DFG is an association under private law that exclusively and directly pursues public-benefit aims within the meaning of the German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung). Its members are German higher education institutions, non-university research institutions, scholarly associations and the academies of sciences and humanities. In order to perform its tasks, the DFG has an amount of some €3.5 billion at its disposal per year, most of which it receives from the federal government (69 percent) and the German federal states (30 percent), as well as from EU funds and private donations.

Fraunhofer Society

The Fraunhofer Society, based in Germany, is the world’s leading organisation for applied research. With its focus on key future-relevant technologies and the utilisation of the results in business and industry, it plays a central role in the innovation process. Acting as a guide and stimulus for innovative developments and scientific excellence, it helps shape our society and our future. Founded in 1949, the organisation currently operates 76 institutes and research facilities in Germany. The annual research volume of €2.9 billion is generated by more than 30,000 employees, most of them trained in the natural sciences or engineering. €2.5 billion of this amount is accounted for by contract research.

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

The Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest research organisation and is dedicated to developing solutions and technologies for the world of tomorrow. In doing so, we ask ourselves central questions: what helps in the fight against life-threatening diseases? How can climate change be slowed down? How will the next quantum revolution change our lives? Cutting-edge research is needed to tackle challenges of this nature. Helmholtz has more than 43,000 employees working at 18 centres on exceptional projects. Together we seek to develop innovative technologies so as to preserve the foundations of human life. With an annual budget of €5 billion and dedicated to long-term, interdisciplinary research programmes, Helmholtz is one of the leading research organisations internationally, too. We collaborate with the very best scientific institutions worldwide.

German Rectors’ Conference (HRK)

The German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) is a voluntary association of state and state-recognised higher education institutions in Germany. The member universities are represented in the HRK by their presidencies and rectorates. The HRK currently has 268 member universities, at which more than 92 percent of all students in Germany are enrolled.

Due to this powerful membership covering all types of higher education institution, the HRK is the voice of the higher education institutions vis-à-vis policymakers and the public, providing a central forum for the joint opinion-forming process among higher education institutions and for the representation of their interests.

The HRK is involved with all issues that affect the role and tasks of higher education institutions in academia and society, in particular teaching and studies, research, innovation and transfer, continuing academic education and internationalisation, as well as issues of higher education self-administration and governance.
It provides policymakers, the media, academia and business with comprehensive and up-to-date information about the higher education system – in particular the degree programmes offered through the Higher Education Compass and university research priorities through the Research Map – and it helps with university placements through the Studienplatzbörse.

Leibniz Association

The Leibniz Association connects 97 independent research institutions that range in focus from natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economics, spatial and social sciences and the humanities.

Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer, especially in collaboration with the Leibniz Research Museums. It advises and informs policymakers, academia, business and the public.

Leibniz institutions collaborate closely with universities in the form of “Leibniz ScienceCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. The Leibniz Institutes are subject to a transparent and independent evaluation procedure. Due to the importance of the institutions for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the German federal government and the federal states, employing some 20,500 individuals, including 11,500 researchers. The total budget is approximately €2 billion.

German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

As the National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina provides independent science-based advice for policymakers and society on current issues. To this end, the Academy develops interdisciplinary statements based on research findings. These publications present options for action; decisions are then made through the democratically legitimised political process. The experts who write the statements work on a voluntary basis without prejudgement of outcomes. The Leopoldina represents German science on international bodies, also providing science-based advice to the annual G7 and G20 summits. With over 1,600 members from more than 30 countries, it combines expertise from almost all fields of research. The Leopoldina was founded in 1652 and became Germany’s National Academy of Sciences in 2008. As an independent science academy, the Leopoldina is committed to the common good.

Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society conducts basic research in the natural sciences, life sciences and humanities. Since its foundation in 1948, twenty-one Nobel laureates have emerged from its ranks. More than 15,000 publications in scientific journals every year – many of them in renowned journals such as Science and Nature – likewise testify to the outstanding work done at the Max Planck Institutes. In important rankings such as the Nature Index and the Index of Highly Cited Researchers, Max Planck has been among the top five worldwide for years. With its 86 Max Planck Institutes and facilities and some 24,000 employees, the Max Planck Society is the international flagship for German science. In addition to five foreign institutions, it operates more than 22 Max Planck Centers with partners such as Princeton University in the USA, Sciences Po in Paris/France, University College London in the UK, and the University of Tokyo in Japan. Over 16,000 early-career researchers and visiting scientists conduct research at Max Planck Institutes every year. Funded in equal measure by federal and state governments, the Max Planck Society had an annual budget of €1.8 billion in 2020.

German Science and Humanities Council

The German Council of Science and Humanities is an important scientific policy advisory body in which representatives of science and politics work together on an equal footing on central issues of the German science system. Acting in an advisory role to the federal and state governments, it is primarily concerned with the overall conditions of study, teaching and research in Germany. In doing so, it also seeks to ensure that Germany remains competitive within the international science system. In its statements and recommendations, the German Council of Science and Humanities comments on issues such as the structure, capabilities, development and funding of academic institutions and selected areas in research and teaching.