In the humanities and social sciences the WWU is traditionally been strong and varied. In this way it is easy for the Scientists of the affected departments to conquer the narrow boundaries of their discipline to find in-house partner for exciting research projects.
The Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics in Pre-modern and Modern Cultures" has been in existence at Münster University since 2007. Around 200 academics from eleven nations, representing 20 subjects from the humanities and the social sciences, are examining the sensitive relationship between religion and politics which has influenced all epochs and cultures. It is the largest piece of collaborative research of its kind in Germany and, of the 37 clusters of excellence in existence nationwide, it is the only one dealing with religion.
Another example for the performance and interdisciplinarity in the humanities and social sciences is the new Centre for Text Editions and Commentaries (ZETEK) at Münster University. It links up the work done by academics in the fields of philosophy, history, philology and theology, who are working on texts and inscriptions from three millennia in 30 research projects. The aim is to make texts written in ancient or rare foreign languages useable for academic work.
At Münster University research into networks has been carried out on an interdisciplinary basis for some time now. To this end, disciplines such as business information systems, business administration, economics, information technology, law, psychology, communication science and political science collaborate closely. The overarching question at the centre of Münster researchers’ work is: How do networks develop and how can they be influenced and shaped through an interdisciplinary approach? The evolution of networks is what the researchers are looking at in particular – in other words the entire life-cycle of networks, beginning with their origins, continuing through the behaviour and changes they demonstrate and ending in their dissolution.
Cell research in all its facets is carried out in the Faculties of Biology and Medicine at Münster University and at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biomedicine. The spectrum of activities ranges from stem cell research and the study of mechanisms responsible for the development of blood vessels to research into inflammation processes. Intensive work is being done in numerous collaborative research centres (SFB 492: Extracellular Matrix: Biogenesis, Assembly and Cellular Interactions; SFB 629: Molecular Cell Dynamics: Subcellular and Cellular Movements; SFB TR58: Fear, Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders), as well as in Graduate Schools (Molecular Interactions of Pathogens with Biotic and Abiotic Surfaces; Molecular and Cellular Glyco-Sciences; Cell Dynamics and Disease) and in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research.
The current discussion on energy and climate shows how important research into alternative forms of energy is for our society. This is why various disciplines at Münster University are engaged on work relating to this issue: energy research and materials research as well as nano-physics and nano-biotechnology.
The topic of evolution provides a common conceptual framework for interdisciplinary research approaches of different disciplines. In order to support the aim to institutionalize evolution research in Münster, WWU participates in the current round of the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments with the proposal for a „Münster Graduate School of Evolution“ (MGSE). The „Münster Graduate School of Evolution“ will initially be based on biology, medicine, geosciences, philosophy, mathematics, and theology.
Moon and Mercury are the focus of Münster planetary scientists. They involved in a NASA mission, which carried the "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter" into the lunar orbit. But the institute also has more distant objects in view: 2014, a probe of the project "MERTIS" (Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer) will be sent to Mercury.
The Mathematical Institutes at Münster University are among the most renowned in Germany. Four Leibniz Award-winners and two winners of the Max Planck Research Prize teach and do research here. Since 1990 research in Mathematics has been driven by two groups of junior researchers funded by the German Research Foundation, as well as by two collaborative research centres.
The Mathematical Institutes at Münster University are among the most renowned in Germany. Five Leibniz Award-winners and two winners of the Max Planck Research Prize teach and do research here. Since 1990 research in Mathematics has been driven by two groups of junior researchers funded by the German Research Foundation, as well as by two collaborative research centres.