Since its foundation, Zeppelin University has been committed to researching socially relevant questions. It sees itself as a university bridging business, culture, and politics and applies a decidedly interdisciplinary approach. The definition of interdisciplinary research foci and the expansion of numerous also international networks are thus a foundation stone of the strong research activities carried out at this young university. The panel where all research-related questions are discussed and - if applicable - prepared for senate decisions, is the Academic Research Council.
The Research Council is the central, research-related panel of Zeppelin University. In close cooperation with the board of directors and the senate it shares the responsibility for strengthening research at ZU, as well as for the further strategic development of its research profile and its interdisciplinary research culture.
At the same time, the Research Council is a forum for feedback, exchange, and reflection that can be used by all research-related committees. Research-related issues and decisions that are to be brought before the senate have to be discussed in the Research Council first.
The Research Council supports the research associations and clusters in their work, and is involved in the decision to start or dissolve research associations. It also decides on the awards for outstanding final theses by ZU students every semester, as well as on the funds allocated by the university in the context of the research support system FUSY.
Members of the Research Council with voting powers are:
Usually, the Research Council meets once per semester. These sessions are not open to the public.
Real Problems are Undisciplined. So are We!
Social phenomena seldom follow the patterns of academic disciplines. Thus, ZU is committed to a decided support of interdisciplinary research: Cross-faculty research associations and clusters, as well as research centers, work on central, socially relevant issues, research colloquia invite to discourses across disciplines, and the annual research topic of the whole university joins scholars of different faculties in a many-voiced exchange.
We also specifically promote and ask for interdisciplinary perspectives both in the area of teaching and on the level of the students, for example in the context of the so-called Zeppelin Year. Interdisciplinarity, in the sense of a challenging yet promising cooperation of different academic disciplines on one phenomenon, is an integral part of the research and teaching profile of the university.
Research in Networks
How does a tiny university with approximately 100 scholars carry out great research? In cooperations. Zeppelin University as a university bridging business, culture, and politics has been committed to the ideal of a "university able to maintain relationships" since its foundation. The exchange and cooperation with regional, national, and international partners from academia, business, politics, and society are a constitutive part of the ZU research profile.
The forms of the cooperation (research association, research cluster, third-party funded project, research center, joint venture) are just as various as the partners which include renowned universities such as MIT, Stanford University, the Copenhagen Business School, Warwick University, as well as non-university institutions such as the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the Max-Plank-Gesellschaft.
Since its foundation, ZU has seen itself as a research-oriented university where research on all levels - from students and young academics to the professors - plays a central role. Study formats such as the Zeppelin Year and the Humboldt Year promote the research spirit of the students. The constant increase in the third-party funds for research, high-impact and often quoted publications, and expert activities by ZU scholars clearly show the research achievements of this university. Comprehensive information on these topics can be found in the ZU research database.
An important and motivating confirmation of the way we have chosen was the recommendation by the Science Council in July 2011 to grant ZU the right to award doctoral degrees, and the following awarding of the right to grant doctoral and postdoctoral degrees (professorial teaching qualification) by the Science Ministry of Baden-Württemberg.
Appreciation and Assurance of Academic Quality
For Zeppelin University, the promotion and facilitation of the whole range of research activities is extremely important: The comprehensive monograph by an individual researcher is appreciated just as much as high impact publications that often result from cooperations. Small research projects by individual scholars can promote research just as much as cooperative projects that involve larger networks with the support of third-party funding. Against the background of the university´s profile interdisciplinary projects play a special role, yet also approaches of one specific discipline have their place at ZU.
Outstanding research activities require a comprehensive quality assurance rooted within the institution. To ensure this, the senate of Zeppelin University passed the Principles to Assure Good Scientific Practice in June 2004, which can be found here in their current version, updated in September 2012.
An ethics commission has been established to assure good scientific practice, as well as to deal with questions on the implementation and ethical justifiability of research on animate beings. It meets upon request. Additionally, the senate has also passed guidelines to avoid plagiarism, both for students and for PhD candidates as part of their Doctoral Regulations.