The research landscape of Zeppelin University (ZU) basically consists of two institutional levels and three overarching guiding themes, which are interconnected in a variety of ways. These are explained in detail as follows.
The first institutional level represents the basis of the research landscape at ZU. It consists of the chairs and departments. This is where classical disciplinary but also interdisciplinary research takes place. There are three departments at ZU, to which the individual chairs are assigned: Department "Business & Economics", Department "Political & Social Sciences" and Department "Cultural Studies & Communication Studies". Further information on the individual departments and chairs can be found on their linked websites.
The second institutional level includes the research clusters and the institutes & centers, which are especially designed to further promote interdisciplinary research. These represent the interdepartmental and interdisciplinary institutional cornerstones of ZU's research landscape. These two institutional units differ especially in their number, size, membership structure, and funding: the number of research clusters is smaller than that of the institutes & centers, but they basically consist of more members and can also accept external scientists as formal members; while the funding of the research clusters comes from ZU funds, the institutes & centers are partially financed by third-party funds. Currently, there are three research clusters: "Computational Social Science", "Global Networks" and "Arts Production and Cultural Policy in Transformation". The institutes and centers are listed here.
Due to their social relevance and their resulting attractiveness for research, teaching and transfer, the three overarching guiding themes of "Digitalization", "Sustainability" and "Global Networks" were established in 2021 with the Structural and Development Plan (STEP) 2021-2025. These themes are not specifically institutionalized at the university but are taken into account in the existing institutional structure through research at the chairs within the framework of the departments as well as in the research clusters and the institutes & centers. Since these topics affect several sectors (social, political, economic, cultural), their scientific treatment requires interdisciplinary cooperation. Beyond the area of research, these guiding themes also shape teaching and transfer as cross-sectional areas.
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