Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité - Unversitätsmedizin Berlin performed very well in the preliminary decisions in the first funding line of the Excellence Strategy of the German government. Within this funding line so-called Clusters of Excellence for project-based funding in internationally competitive fields of research at universities or university consortia can be funded for two seven-year periods. In Berlin nine proposed Clusters of Excellence were invited to submit full proposals in February 2018. The projects were selected from a total of 195 brief proposals for clusters, which were submitted by 63 universities from all 16 federal states.
The Cluster projects of the Berlin universities are characterized by a particularly large disciplinary spectrum and include both the natural sciences, technology, and life sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences. The proposals rely on interdisciplinary cooperation and joint projects by scholars and scientists from different institutions. This is made possible by the special density of outstanding research facilities in Berlin as a research hub.