What Is the Impact of ExStra?

For almost two decades, excellence funding has been an integral and successful part of German science policy.


The Excellence Strategy – established in 2016 – is now a permanent funding programme jointly sponsored by the German federal government and the 16 state governments. Its key aim is to foster cutting-edge research at German universities.

And it has been a success story: internationally visible and scientifically productive Clusters of Excellence have been established, while the Universities of Excellence have integrated top-level research and implemented measures in additional areas (such as teaching, transfer and research infrastructures) as part of their respective institutional strategies, thereby strengthening those institutions as a whole.

As a result of the large number and diversity of funded research institutions and activities, the strategic establishment of interdisciplinary collaborations, and the reputational gains derived from competitive success, excellence funding has increased the visibility and attractiveness of funded institutions in Germany and abroad like no other funding programme before.

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Excellent Research

One result of the Excellence Strategy is the increase in the performance of the German research system.

Excellent Institutions

How the Excellence Strategy has helped institutions identify and further develop their potential to gain worldwide visibility for top-level research.

Keys to success

Networks and cooperation, diversity and early career support as well as science communication are keys to success of the Excellence Strategy.