Research: Karlsruhe is popular
Humboldt Rankings 2014
From 2009 to 2013, Humboldtians spent 5,980 research stays in Germany. “Foreign researchers apparently choose the institution for their research stays not only on the basis of whether it is located in one of Germany’s largest cities”, says the president of the Humboldt Foundation, Helmut Schwarz, looking at the rankings.
75% of these stays were undertaken at universities and 25% at non-university research institutions. Every stay is the result of a decision to select a host and research partner in Germany and makes a statement about the disciplines in which German research is so good that it wins the international contest for the best minds; and about which German scientists and scholars foster particularly intensive international contacts. Humboldtians do, after all, choose their own hosts and make their own decisions based on the hosts’ academic performance and international visibility. So, being near the top of the Humboldt Rankings is an important indicator for international contacts and reputation.
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) is in absolute ranking (rankings based on the number of researchers) on position 14 - in weighted ranking (weighting based on the number of researchers in relation to the number of professors per institution) at position 20. However, as each institution has its own particular strengths and weaknesses in the various disciplines, the Humboldt Rankings also differentiate according to four major academic areas: Humanities and Social Sciences; Life Sciences; Natural Sciences and Engineering Sciences. The tables are currently arranged according to the absolute rankings. A university’s weighted ranking for in the respective academic area can still be seen. In the case of stays at non-university research institutions the total ranking and this differentiation is only applied to the absolute figures.
In order to determine the Humboldt Rankings, the number of research stays by top international researchers and junior researchers who have conducted research in Germany in the last five years in connection with a fellowship or award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are counted. “This shows how much faith there is worldwide in the quality of science and research in Germany ‒ be it in Berlin, Munich or Westphalia. That is not only good for Germany as a location for research work but also for our foreign relations in general”, Schwarz explains.
In order to achieve a proper, comparative appraisal of the period under review, all significant stays undertaken by Humboldtians are incorporated in the Humboldt Rankings, including stays undertaken by an individual Humboldtian at several different host institutions. Further stays in the context of alumni sponsorship are also taken into account. However, guest researchers are only counted once per host institution, unless they have chosen different institutions, in which case they feature in the statistics several times. All stays lasting one month or longer are included, whereby the statistics relevant for the rankings only refer to stays in connection with a research fellowship or a research award. Stays in the context of programmes which focus on conducting a project (German Chancellor Fellowship Programme, International Climate Protection Fellowship Programme) or partnerships are not taken into account.