DFG is funding research projects at Goethe University Frankfurt, TU Darmstadt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) is funding several research projects in the Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) funding line at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Technical University of Darmstadt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. This enables excellent research in the fields of medicine, physics and linguistics, among others. Collaborative Research Centers are DFG-funded collaborative projects between universities in which scientists work together across disciplines.

The Collaborative Research Center "Negation: A Linguistic and Extra-linguistic Phenomenon" (Goethe University Frankfurt, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Georg-August University Göttingen) will be newly established in 2024. It combines theoretical approaches and methods from linguistics, psychology and philosophy in order to gain new insights into the linguistic phenomenon of negation and the associated cognitive processes, making use of innovative methods such as virtual reality.

Another Collaborative Research Center newly established by the DFG is "Pushing Electrons with Protons – Unifying Multi-Electron Redox Catalysis by Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer", in which Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is involved. The CRC addresses the question of how exactly catalysis can contribute to a shift in the fossil economy towards a sustainable energy and raw materials basis. Catalysis uses various methods to initiate or accelerate chemical reactions with the aid of a catalyst, for example in the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier. The CRC is headed by the Georg August University Göttingen; further participants are Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Ruhr University Bochum, Saarland University and TU Darmstadt.

The collaborative project "Hysteresis design of magnetic materials for efficient energy conversion (HoMMage)", a joint project of TU Darmstadt and the University of Duisburg-Essen, is entering its second funding phase. Whether super-strong permanent magnets for wind turbines and electric motors or materials for magnetic cooling – new functional materials are needed for a successful energy transition and a low-emission future. Researchers from the fields of materials science, physics, chemistry and process engineering are therefore searching for suitable materials that are also resource-saving and efficient.

The collaborative project "Molecular and Functional Characterization of Selective Autophagy", a cooperation between Goethe University Frankfurt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, together with the Georg-Speyer-Haus in Frankfurt and the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH in Mainz, is entering its third funding phase. Autophagy is an endogenous protective mechanism. If it is disrupted, serious diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, infectious diseases or inflammatory reactions are favored. In order to intervene therapeutically, an interdisciplinary team of biochemists, cell biologists, structural biologists and physicians is researching autophagy.

The Collaborative Research Center "Nuclei: From Fundamental Interactions to Structure and Stars", which involves TU Darmstadt, the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, is also entering its third funding phase. The scientists are investigating the structure of atoms and are trying to find out how these nuclei are formed. They use the latest technologies, such as laser spectroscopy or gamma spectroscopy. They also look into the cosmos and investigate supernova explosions. The project combines nuclear physics, which deals with very small structures, and astrophysics, which deals with huge structures in space.

The Collaborative Research Center/Transregio (CRC/TRR) "Spin+X – The Spin in its Collective Environment" of the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU) and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is also being funded by the DFG for the third time. Its aim is to develop new fundamental concepts for magnetic components with particularly high speed and energy efficiency. As before, the work will be aimed at spin research and its potential for information technology – especially with regard to the requirements for handling large amounts of data with low energy consumption. The focus in the third funding period will continue to be on ferromagnets and antiferromagnets, but in future will also include the new class of alter magnets.

As the largest research funding organization in Germany, the DFG will support the consortia with up to three million euros per year over the next four years.