University strengthens research links with Germany

Germany research
Dr Dorothea Rueland, Secretary General of the German Academic Exchange Service and Professor Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne.

University of Melbourne continues to develop its research links to Germany with a visit last week by Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey.

Professors Maskell and McCluskey led a delegation that met with the leadership of some of Germany’s best universities and research institutes to discuss a series of new joint initiatives that represent the expansion of some of the University’s most important strategic partnerships.

Highlights of the four-day visit included:

  • The launch of a new network of researchers that will jointly train PhD candidates in the important field of Energy with RWTH Aachen University;
  • A visit to the University of Bonn to celebrate a close collaboration with researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute, and the development of the University’s largest joint PhD cohort in Germany that seeks to enrol almost 100 PhDs over a nine-year period;
  • Announcing the first 12 research teams funded from the University of Melbourne-Berlin University Alliance seed grants, a €1M Euro joint program to foster cutting edge research with Berlin’s best universities including the Charite, one of the largest University hospitals in Europe;
  • A celebration of the University’s German Research Partnerships at the Australian Embassy in Berlin; and
  • Launch of the Art of Healing Exhibition of Australian Bush Medicine at the Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité by Professor Marcia Langton.

Professors Maskell and McCluskey also met with senior representatives from key German research and funding bodies such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Research Foundation (DFG), Humboldt Foundation (AvH), and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

“Germany is one of the world’s premier education and research destinations and a leader in addressing not just European, but global challenges that face our communities,” Professor Maskell said.

“It’s no coincidence, developing our German links has been one of our key priorities since 2012. This attention has certainly seen these links gain momentum in recent years, and there are many opportunities to do a lot more together.

“The extension of existing agreements and the announcement of new partnerships this week has laid the foundations to further lift the trajectory of our research with colleagues in Germany’s leading universities and research institutions.”

Professor Jim McCluskey said collaboration with Melbourne was also clearly a priority for German institutions, especially where graduate researchers are involved.

“German, Australian and many international students increasingly see the value in developing their research careers by accessing the best of two countries,” Professor McCluskey said.

“The number of German-trained graduates undertaking a PhD at Melbourne continues to grow, helping to diversify and strengthen our graduate research community, while also providing greater opportunities for other international and Australian graduates to access expertise and infrastructure that is complimentary to that located in Melbourne.

“The strategic development of research links with German partners will remain a priority as they prove invaluable to our own ambitions to provide leadership on shared social, technological and environmental challenges in our region and globally.”

The University of Melbourne delegation was supported on its trip to Germany following an invitation by Dr Dorothea Rueland, Secretary of the DAAD.