Research profile

LMU describes its research profile in terms of six priority areas that are oriented towards overarching scientific questions and research topics.

LMU Munich’s long-term goal is to become one of the most highly visible universities worldwide in all of its four subject groups - Humanities and Cultural Sciences; Law, Economics and Social Sciences; Natural Sciences; and Medicine.

LMU therefore aims to attract outstanding academics at all career levels to the University, to support innovative research ideas, and to further develop its Governance concept as well as its strategies concerning the cross-cutting issues equality and inclusion, internationalization as well as digitalization.

By implementing university-wide strategy processes, LMU Munich has succeeded in permanently enhancing its profile as a research-intensive university in the course of the Excellence Initiative (in German). The research focuses identified in these processes have resulted in the successful projects of the first and second phase of the Excellence Strategy.

As part of the further development of its research profile, LMU today describes its overall profile in terms of six profile areas that are oriented towards overarching scientific questions and research topics:

  • Digits and Data
  • Earth and Environment
  • Languages and Cultures
  • Life and Health
  • Physics
  • Systems and Communities

Strategy processes

In order to sharpen its research profile on a long-term basis, in 2004 LMU initiated the LMUinnovativ process, defining a number of focus areas across its four subject groups – Humanities and Cultural Sciences; Law, Economics and Social Sciences; Natural Sciences; and Medicine. Following an application-based procedure and with significant participation of external experts, the University Executive Board selected excellent research projects across these focus areas for targeted support. Thus, for instance, in 2004 and 2005 around 150 faculty and staff positions were reallocated accordingly. Overall, LMU’s success in the Excellence Initiative is due largely to this process.

Based on LMUinnovativ and the results of the first round of applications in the Excellence Initiative, in 2008 and 2009 LMU initiated another strategy process – the so-called 50-40-10 Process, whose designation was based on a general guideline defined by the University Executive Board at the beginning of the process according to which approximately 50 percent of all professorships that were to become vacant until 2016 should be re-appointed according to their current scientific orientation, 40 percent of professorships with a new orientation. The remaining 10 percent were to be committed to follow-up funding for the Excellence Initiative.

The success of LMU’s continuous profile development has been confirmed by the University’s outstanding results throughout both funding phases of the Excellence Initiative and, most recently, in the Excellence Strategy. Moreover, in the course of sharpening its research profile further, in 2011 LMU established – and has since continuously expanded – a comprehensive sustainability program in order to ensure, at an early stage, the continuation of successful structures and programs established during the Excellence Initiative.

In the wake of its current success in the Excellence Strategy and in order to increase its visibility as an international top-level university further, particularly by way of establishing new and innovative fields of research and of attracting outstanding academics to the University, LMU has initiated the Strategy Process 2020, centered around a comprehensive 100 Professorships Program.