Heidelberg University

Global Change and Globalization


Meeting the research challenge of global change and globalization requires understanding the new causal links, relationships, processes, and players. Doing so is impossible without creating new links between the different scientific disciplines that engage with the goal of global sustainability. While the general objective is to foster these links across the University, the specific focus of this project is to prepare for an research cluster by

  • developing a comprehensive understanding of the co-joint processes of global change and globalization and their actors in a way that transcends the limitation of disciplinary boundaries,
  • identifying the pathways presented by a globalized world for managing adaptation and identifying the fundamental impediments that prevent global society from harnessing the full potential of globalization for addressing the problems of global change and
  • developing new integrated concepts and methods that will help overcome those fundamental impediments and reap the benefits of striking an optimal balance between mitigation and adaptation.
This preparatory project will meet the challenge by focusing on three key areas of global environmental change, namely climate change processes, water and energy.


The main function of this cluster is to initiate a number of collaborative research projects typically involving three or more disciplines (see Research groups). The research will typically be carried out by doctoral students located at the interface between disciplines. While remaining firmly located within their respective disciplines they will be jointly supervised by scientists from the different disciplines.The discipline-integrating research will result in joint publications in international peer-reviewed journals to accomplish visibility for this novel type of research. The current set-up of this initial cluster is to serve as a nucleus for further expansion within the university and its regional network of institutes. All of these measures are building blocks for responding to the unique challenge of establishing a discipline-integrating research cluster. The visible shell for these activities will be a "Heidelberg Center for Environmental Research".

webmaster: Egger
last update: 21.01.2010
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