These interdisciplinary and partly interdepartmental research clusters represent the strategic development of the university research landscape in different respect: Decision-Making Research and Arts Production and Cultural Policy in Transformation (ACPT) have already been established research focuses at ZU for many years, within the framework of which extensive third-party funding has been acquired and a high research output has been generated. Their funding within the framework of the research clusters further expands the existing potential. The topic of Governance of Global Cooperation Networks also ties in with existing research, which has been additionally expanded by the Chair of International Relations established in 2018. With the research cluster Computational Social Science, a new research focus is defined at ZU, which complements the research profile with digitalization, which is becoming increasingly important. New professorships to be established will further strengthen this area in the coming years.
Numerous other chair-related research topics are established in the departments and are part of the department-specific strategies. The framework conditions of globalization and digitalization also play an important role here with regard to the social responsibility of research. For these research topics, there is the possibility of advancing to the rank of a research cluster, provided that they have a corresponding performance and presence. Currently, for example, this applies to the research topic of sustainability, for which the European Center for Sustainability Research already exists, at which several third-party funded collaborative projects have been acquired, carried out and successfully completed.
Both in the research clusters and beyond, various research topics are often dealt with within the framework of externally funded research projects - both in individual projects and in collaborative projects, which are funded in particular by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), various federal ministries, the European Commission and the largest academic research funding foundations. Research cooperations
also play an important role, ranging from individual cooperation in co-publications to institutional cooperation with universities in Germany and abroad.