In 2007, the neighboring universities of Bochum, Dortmund, and Duisburg-Essen formally launched the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), creating one of Germany’s largest university networks comprising 110,000 students, 1250 professors, and a unique diversity of disciplines. The Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) which was founded in early 2010 is a joint initiative of Stiftung Mercator and the UA Ruhr. MERCUR supports the strategic aims of the university alliance by offering two funding programs.
Within the framework of the MERCUR Program, professors and post-docs from the Ruhr universities can apply for research grants and, in particular cases, also for funds for teaching initiatives. Projects supported by MERCUR may either foster collaborations between members of the UA Ruhr or strengthen a distinctive research focus area of an individual university within the alliance.
The Global Young Faculty brings together approximately 50 outstanding young academics selected from universities and non-university research institutions based in the Ruhr region. It provides a platform to meet and get to know one another and to work on interdisciplinary projects, highlighting the excellent working conditions for junior scholars in the Ruhr metropolitan area.
MERCUR is one of the largest privately-funded initiatives in higher education in the Ruhr region to date. By advancing strategic cooperation between the Ruhr universities, the Center hopes to further establish the Ruhr as one of Germany’s leading regions for research and higher education.