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Division Leibniz Competition
Leibniz Association
Chausseestraße 111
10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 / 20 60 49 - 33 or -32

Funding line 2: Particularly innovative and high-risk projects

Knowledge of the world – heritage of mankind: the history of UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage

Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz

Since the 1960s, discussion of the “heritage of mankind” and the protection of the “global commons” has fundamentally transformed attitudes towards the past. The UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage programme, which was founded in 1972, has been both an expression and an instrument of this process, which has unfolded in a multi-layered way at the global, international, national and local levels and which has been politically highly contentious from the start. This research project investigates for the first time the genesis of UNESCO World Heritage on the basis of historical sources. A longitudinal study focuses on the emergence of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage as well as the accession procedure from 1972 to 1994. Depth is added by four case studies dealing with the Galápagos Islands, Aachen Cathedral, Auschwitz Concentration Camp and the Old City and City Walls of Jerusalem.

Period: 1. July 2013 - 30. September 2016

Project Website
Final report (German only) (PDF)


Neurobiological foundations of economic decision making under uncertainty and excessive risk taking

Institute for the World Economy (IfW), Kiel

We study the economic, psychological, and neurological foundations of decisions under uncertainty and excessive risk taking. Three studies relying on economic experiments, personality questionnaires, psychophysical measurements and fMRI-studies will be performed. All three studies rely on the same subject pool, which consists of normal subjects, professional investors, pathological gamblers, Parkin­son´s disease patients, and Parkinson´s disease patients who developed a gambling disorder due to their medical treatment. We are the first to comprehensively analyse how experimental behavior is related to peripheral and central physiological measures and how behaviour and measures differ between the four subject groups.

Period: 1. June 2013 - 31. May 2017

Final report (PDF)


SOEP Record Linkage: longitudinal survey of migrants from the social insurance statistics (SOEP-REC-LINK) – sampling of administrative data and Llnkage with survey data on migration

German Institute for Economic Research Berlin (DIW)The German Institute for Economic Research Berlin (DIW)

There is currently a lack of reliable empirical data in two areas of growing importance for future migration and integration research: a) data on the integration of German-born children and grandchildren of immigrants, and b) data on the integration of immigrants from countries that have joined the EU since 2004. In cooperation with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, the SOEP is creating a sample of immigrants to Germany based on administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency that will then be continued as a longitudinal household survey in the SOEP study framework. The initial linkage of survey data on migrants with administrative data - including an experiment on agreement to the linkage of register data - opens up new analytical potentials for research and policy advice, and is of major importance for the research infrastructure in Germany.

Period: 1. June 2013 - 28. February 2017

Final report (in German only) (PDF)


Defining natural killer cell reactivity by quantitative analysis of activating and inhibitory receptor signal integration

Leibniz Research Center for Working Enviroment and Human Factors (IfADo), Dortmund

Natural Killer (NK) cells are essential for effective and early immune re­sponses. Using a combination of supplementary approaches utilizing cutting edge technologies we aim to adequately investigate and under­stand the complex nature of NK-cell regulation on a molecular level. We will define how opposing signals are integrated inside NK-cells and how different activating receptors quantitatively regulate NK-cell responses. This will not only be essential to predict and manipulate NK-cell re­sponses against infected or transformed cells, but will also provide the basis for investigating and understanding how occupational factors can influence the function of NK-cells and the immune system.

Period: 1. July 2013 – 31. December 2016

Final report (PDF)


Gradual environmental change versus single catastrophe - Identifying drivers of mammalian evolution

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin

We will elucidate the poorly understood mechanisms that shape patterns of genetic diversity and species distribution in the biodiversity hotspot, the Sunda Shelf in Southeast Asia. We will accomplish this by a novel approach integrating (1) palaeo-environmental reconstructions and present cli­mate data, (2) palaeo-genetics and modern genetics and (3) dynamic ecological niche modelling from late Pleistocene to present. Our multi­disciplinary approach allows us to assess whether gradual climate changes or a catastrophic event (e.g. a volcanic eruption) were the drivers of mammalian evolution in the shelf. This will substantially advance our understanding of the genesis of complex patterns of biodiversity distribu­tion.

Period: 1. April 2013 – 31. December 2016

Project Website

Final report (PDF)


Trend Mining for Science

FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure (FIZ KA)

The project aims at the development and testing of semantic and statistical methods which, starting from a set of documents, (semi-) automatically recognise trends and their chronological development. A trend is defined here as the change of a topic’s importance in a certain technical domain and during a certain period of time. For the first time, patents will be used as the source for trend mining. Patents are especially challenging since they are far more complex in their syntactic structure than normal texts. To start with, the requirements of the potential user will be evaluated. On this basis, a prototype will be developed which allows for integrating and evaluating various methods of topic detection and tracking as well as different methods of trend mining such as linguistic techniques, clustering or statistical approaches.

Period: 1. July 2013 – 30. June 2016

Final report (PDF)


Growth of high perfection bulk SrTiO3 single crystals

Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ), Berlin

High-quality SrTiO3 substrate crystals can open the way to novel heterostructures like 2DELs and ex­citing physics. However, so far only low-quality crystals have been available, thereby hindering new applications. The poor quality of the current crystals is due to the crystal growth methods used in general. To apply the Czochralski method for the growth of SrTiO3 (the best known method for the growth of high-perfect bulk crystals) extensive research has to be performed. Therefore, we will first investigate the physical and chemical properties, thermodynamics and growth kinetics of SrTiO3 and then, on the basis of this knowledge, introduce innovative approaches to the Czochralski growth technique. In this way we will enable the growth of SrTiO3 crystals with characteristics that outperform today´s SrTiO3. Additionally, the influence of post-growth annealing, charge stoichiometry and synthesis on the improvement of the crystal perfection will be investigated.

Period: 1. March 2013 - 29. February 2016

Project Website
Final report (German only) (PDF)


Sustainable utilization of resources – Developing of catalytically efficient pathways for the chemical conversion of methane

Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (LIKAT)

It is the aim of the project to find out and to optimize efficient catalytic pathways for industrially relevant value-added products using methane as chemical feedstock. This strategically oriented, interdisciplinary, and risky project comprises homogeneously and heterogeneously catalyzed reactions. A scientific approach which incorporates the development and testing of suitable catalysts, the elucidation of the catalyst mode of action by means of in situ spectroscopic techniques and the investigation of reaction kinetic and reaction engineering aspects is thereby pursued.

Period: 1. April 2013 - 30. September 2016
Final report (German only) (PDF)


Direct growth of single-crystalline semiconductors on poly-crystalline metallic films and foils

Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics (PDI), Berlin

Many semiconductor devices like lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are based on single-crystalline heterostructures. Such combinations of different materials in excellent structural quality are presently fabricated by epitaxy, i.e. the process of growing an adsorbate crystal on a substrate crystal. If the two materials are not very similar, defects form in the crystal structure, and these defects are detrimental for device operation. In this project, we aim to overcome this limitation on crystal growth. We employ the natural tendency of many materials to form single-crystalline filaments independently of constraints by the substrate. Our objective is the self-induced growth of GaN nanowires with excellent crystal quality by molecular beam epitaxy on metallic substrates of different crystallinity that provide good electrical contact to the semiconductor from below. We will demonstrate the potential of our approach by fabri­cating LEDs on sputtered and flexible metallic substrates.

Period: 1. May 2013 - 30. April 2017

Final report (in German only) (PDF)


Leipzig Aerosol Cloud Turbulence Tunnel (LACTT)

Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig

In the framework of this highly innovative project, we are building the worldwide first wind tunnel for investigating the interactions between cloud microphysical processes and turbulence. The wind tunnel will allow for the detailed investigation of processes such as activation of aerosol particles to cloud droplets and the freezing of cloud droplets under well-defined thermodynamic (temperature and relative humidity) and turbulent flow conditions. The results and knowledge to be gained are highly interesting on a fundamental process level and  will also help in interpreting the results from in-situ measurements in clouds. The investigations performed will significantly enhance our understanding concerning the interactions between cloud microphysics and turbulence, and consequently cloud processes in general.

Period: 1. June 2013 - 31. May 2017

Final report (in German only) (PDF)


Ecological consequences of fish behavioural types

Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin

The goal of this project is to generate a holistic and in-depth understanding of the ecological consequences of fish behavioural types (aka ‘animal personalities’) – behavioural differences between individuals from the same population that are consistent over time and correlated across different contexts – and their ramifications for fisheries management. We pursue a highly integrative approach, combining theoretical research with lab, mesocosm and field experiments in different fish models to address basic and applied research questions on biological scales ranging from individuals to communities.

Period: 1. July 2013 - 30. June 2017

Project Website
Final report (PDF)