An opportunity for renewal at the Faculty of Biology in Mainz.
In 2013, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation pledged a further major donation amounting to 50 million euros to the University of Mainz. This funding is intended to enable the University to implement a plan to reorient its institutional strategy for the future of its Faculty of Biology. The University of Mainz had developed this strategy within the scope of the German Universities Excellence Initiative funded by the federal and state governments.
The context and aims of funding.
One challenge in implementing this strategy is that the University wants to attract further eminent scientists to Mainz. The donation from the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation shall enable the University to offer scientists the best possible conditions for conducting research, and thereby to quickly develop new and promising areas of biological research.
By providing the University of Mainz with the means to offer research conditions and financial support which are competitive and attractive by international comparison, the funds are thus intended to help it compete for the best scientific minds available worldwide. The donation’s second aim is to offer an excellent education to new generations of scientists at the Faculty of Biology. Together with the first major donation earmarked for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), this second donation is meant to help the University of Mainz establish itself as an excellent and internationally renowned centre for life sciences research.
Clear framework conditions to ensure research freedom and quality.
As is usually the case with multi-year research funding projects, the basic principles of cooperation between the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and the University of Mainz are governed by a written agreement. Since the foundation neither expects nor receives any consideration in return, it is not a sponsorship agreement. According to the agreement, the foundation undertakes to donate 50 million euros within a period of up to 10 years. In return, the University of Mainz undertakes to build a new Faculty of Biology building, with financial assistance from the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has no influence on the research direction of the Faculty of Biology, which also appoints new professors in a fully independent manner. Additionally, the scientists of the University of Mainz are free to decide how and where the results of their research are used and published, as the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has no rights to them.