Programme to create ‘Ivy League’ gets extra funds

The programme designed to create a German ‘Ivy League’ will be extended indefinitely, giving a handful of the country’s top universities a yearly bonus of at least €10 million (US$11.3 million) in extra funding, writes Gretchen Vogel for Science.

Germany’s Excellence Initiative, launched in 2006, was meant to boost research at German universities to world-class status. The €4.6 billion spent on the effort so far has paid off, an international commission concluded in January. Although German universities haven't made it to the top of world rankings, the programme has made them more dynamic and has encouraged them to build on their strengths, the report concluded.

The redesign, which will cost €533 million a year, has two funding categories. Starting in 2017, groups of researchers, either at a single university or from different universities, can apply to become an Excellence Cluster. Between 45 and 50 such clusters will receive between €3 million and €10 million per year, and their university hosts will receive an extra €1 million. After those awards are made, universities that host at least two clusters can apply to be designated an Excellence University. Between eight and 11 will be chosen to receive between €10 million and €15 million per year in extra funding starting in 2019.
Full report on the Science site