»Uni in Leibniz«

In order to fulfil the central requirement that existing regional resources are used in the optimum way and are grouped together, especially in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as a German state tackling structural economic weakness, the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT Rostock) has struck out on new paths in its cooperation with the neighbouring University of Rostock. Accordingly, in the summer of 2006 a far-reaching contract was signed, one which was expanded upon and updated in the years since then. Through the close and contractually-secured interconnections, numerous opportunities for cooperation are offered for the institute and the university, opportunities from which both organisations benefit.

Intensive cooperation with the Institute for Chemistry, with other natural-science institutes and with the engineering sciences, but also with medical faculties at the University of Rostock, enable a high degree of integration of LIKAT Rostock’s research projects into the work of university professors, with parts of their research groups. This new kind of cooperation-model bears the name ʺUni in Leibnizʺ. Under the auspices of ʺUni in Leibnizʺ, university professors work as heads of research at LIKAT Rostock. These personnel are usually appointed to work at the Institute for a year, with this being able to be prolonged, subject to positive evaluation. The heads of research (ʺUni in Leibnizʺ) are actively involved in LIKAT Rostocks research operations. Conversely, the Institute’s scientists take on teaching duties at the University of Rostock. Catalysis, as the specialist subject-area of emphasis which, in Rostock, is offered jointly by the Institute for Chemistry and by LIKAT Rostock, holds a special position that is unique in Germany in terms of the nature of the organisation and the scope of its activities.  

The cross-faculty cooperation between the University of Rostock and LIKAT Rostock enables modern and sustainable catalysis research to be established, by drawing together chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering. This constitutes the path taken by modern research into catalysis, as an interdisciplinary activity area situated at the intersection of the natural sciences and engineering. Accordingly, several large-scale projects have been jointly set up, for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (e.g. on L2H and N4H), as were a graduate college (GRK 1213) and also the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s ʺCenter for Life Science Automationʺ (CELISCA), a Center of Excellence. Likewise, the integration of LIKAT Rostock scientists into the first inter-disciplinary faculty of its kind in Germany, created at the University of Rostock, shows the positive aspects of the cooperation. Moreover, since 2014, researchers from the University of Rostock and from various Leibniz Institutes based in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state (including LIKAT Rostock), have been pooling their scientific areas of competence in the realm of phosphorus research, within the network called Leibniz ScienceCampus for Phosphorus Research Rostock  .

The broad basis of intensive cooperation between the University of Rostock and LIKAT Rostock has resulted in the possibility for numerous postdoctoral fellows in natural-science and engineering disciplines to engage in joint research and to produce their doctoral theses in a cooperation between LIKAT Rostock and the University of Rostock. Several students currently working on their doctorate are also members of the Graduate Academy of the University of Rostock. A strengthening of the practical orientation of the projects, combined with a whole spectrum of links to engineering applications, boosts the attractiveness of doctoral studies of this kind. This significantly raises these graduates profile in the market for employment in industry and science.

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