Change of spokesperson: Sabine Kunst becomes spokesperson of Berlin University Alliance

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As of Friday (November 13, 2020) Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, will take up the rotational post of spokesperson of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) for the next two years. Sabine Kunst is succeeding Günter M. Ziegler. By signing the cooperation agreement of the Berlin University Alliance in November 2018, the President of Freie Universität Berlin became the first-ever spokesperson of the alliance.

The Berlin University Alliance - consisting of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin - submitted a proposal entitled "Crossing Boundaries toward an Integrated Research Environment" as part of the excellence strategy of the federal government and states, and in July 2019, as the only nationwide alliance, it was awarded the title of excellence. A board of directors, which includes management from the alliance partners, is in charge of managing the Berlin University Alliance and implementing the joint excellence proposal. The function of spokesperson rotates every two years within the board of directors.

"As spokesperson of the Berlin University Alliance, my main task is to create the still pending structures and processes required to implement the vision of the alliance," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst. "In specific terms, this means that I will be responsible for setting up governance of the BUA and giving impetus such that our researchers will visibly benefit as part of the cooperation and as promised not have to deal with any administrative obstacles in their path. This is to ensure that top-level research conducted jointly can produce results effectively and without wasting any time."

As the first-ever spokesperson of the excellence alliance, Günter M. Ziegler, President of Freie Universität Berlin, focused intensely on guiding the scientific and administrative structure: "Those two years, in which we founded the alliance with a cooperation agreement in November 2018, finalized and submitted the proposal in December 2018, and then defended it in February, were really exciting for everyone involved. We were then able to enjoy and celebrate the result together in July 2019. Since November 2019, we’ve been able to focus on setting up the structures of the new alliance. And despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve successfully managed to get the first Grand Challenge topic ’Social Cohesion’ off the ground across institutions and disciplines. I am confident that we can continue to develop the Berlin University Alliance with great success under Sabine Kunst as spokesperson and also strengthen the Berlin hub of research in the process."

The Berlin University Alliance

The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities - Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin - and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalisation. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.