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Exchange and outlook: inaugural meeting of the new steering committee at FRIAS

On July 17 and 18, the members of the new steering committee met for the first time at FRIAS in order to get to know FRIAS as an institution, as well as to discuss ideas and strategies.

The steering committee consists of five external and nine internal members, among them representatives of the faculties, research centers, students and junior researchers. The university’s Rector Prof. Hans-Jochen Schiewer and Vice-Rector Prof. Gunther Neuhaus, as well as the FRIAS Directorate, were also present at the meeting.

The internal members of the steering committee are: Prof. Bernd Becker, Professor for Computer Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering; Prof. Leena Kaarina Bruckner-Tuderman, Professor for Dermatology and Venerology, Medical Director of the University Clinic for Dermatology and Venerology and Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG); Prof. Tim Freytag, Professor for Human Geography and Dean of the Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources; Hannes Hein, political science student and Representative of the Students at the University of Freiburg; Prof. Ralf von den Hoff, Professor for Classical Archeology and speaker of the SFB  948 „Heroes-Heroization-Heroisms“; Prof. Barbara Korte, Professor for English Literature; Prof. Ralf Poscher, Professor for Public Law and the Philosophy of Law;  Rebecca Ramb, Research Assistant at the Clinic for Radiology, and Dr. Ulrike Zimmermann, Research Assistant at the English Seminar and the SFB  948 „Heroes-Heroization-Heroisms“.

The external members of the steering committee are:  Dr. Enno Aufderheide, Secretary-General of the Alexander von Humboldt-foundation; Prof. Andreas Barner, President of the Stifterverband für die Wissenschaft e.V. (Donor’s Association for the promotion of science) and Chairman of the corporate board of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH; Dr. Anke Beck, Executive Director of Walter de Gruyter GmbH; Prof. Peter Frankenberg, Minister of Science for Baden Württemberg from 2001-2011 and currently Chairman of the Heinrich-Vetter-Foundation; and Head of Section Michael Kleiner, Director of the Department for Research, Transfer of Technology, Junior Researchers and EU matters at the Ministry for Science, Research and Art of Baden-Württemberg.


One of the main objectives of this first meeting was to give the members an in depth insight into the activities and research at FRIAS. The Academic Year 2014/15 was the very first year in which the new concept of FRIAS was fully implemented, so that the meeting marked an occasion to look back and reflect on the experiences made. The members of the steering committee also got the chance to get to know each other as well as some FRIAS Fellows during a joint dinner.


On the second day of the meeting, the members of the steering committee exchanged and discussed suggestions and ideas on the strategic positioning of FRIAS, future challenges and possibilities to support young scientists, leading to a constructive dialogue. The committee also elected the former Minister of Science and Research, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Prof. Peter Frankenberg, as their Chairman.

Direktorium 2015_18A further major point on the agenda was the election of the new FRIAS directorate. Prof. Bernd Kortmann, Professor of English Language and Linguistics, was confirmed as the new executive director. Together with Prof. Hermann Grabert, he served as FRIAS director from 2012 on and had played a decisive part in the drafting of the new concept of FRIAS. Prof. Marlene Bartos for the Natural and Life Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering, and Prof. Günther Schulze for the Social Sciences were elected as Vice Directors.

Marlene Bartos is Professor of Medicine and Neurophysiology as well as Head of the Institute for Physiology of the University of Freiburg. Günther Schulze is Professor of Economics at the University of Freiburg and was fellow and co-organizer of the FRIAS Research Focus Southeast Asia during the Academic Year 2014/15.

Furthermore, the committee suggested to the Senate of the University of Freiburg a list of outstanding researchers for the FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). It will advise the Institute on academic matters and will be responsible for selecting its fellows.


The Steering Committee supervises the work of the Institute and the FRIAS Board of Directors. It is responsible for answering key questions concerning the Institute’s programme and for promoting interaction between the Institute and the university. It will advise FRIAS with regard to its long-term development and the filling of crucial positions such as the directorate and the Scientific Advisory Board. It is elected for a term of three years (beginning October 1, 2015).


FRIAS Directors: From left to right Dr. Carsten Dose, Managing Director; Prof. Bernd Kortmann, Executive Director; Prof. Marlene Bartos, Director Natural Sciences; Prof. Schulze, Director Social Sciences