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Research profile

How the University of Graz is sharpening its profile

The University of Graz is strengthening its specialist research areas. The focus is particularly on five Fields of Excellence distinguished by outstanding achievements, international successes and socially relevant topics. The University of Graz has identified five Fields of Excellence. Researchers are linking up across the traditional faculty boundaries to explore responses to major questions, and develop new kinds of strategies that will help to shape future developments.

The aim of BioHealth is firstly to reach a better understanding of the causes of disease-related changes at the molecular level, and also to develop new kinds of intervention, in order to maintain or restore good health throughout a patient’s life, and particularly in the context of aging. The researchers base their work largely on model organisms with a cellular structure and biochemical metabolic processes which are very similar to those in human cells, meaning that findings in these can also be relevant for human cells.
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Climate Change Graz works on anthropogenic climate change, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. In order to limit rising temperatures to an increase of 1.5 to 2 degrees, in line with the targets set by the Paris Agreement, CO2 emissions must be reduced by at least 50 percent by the year 2030, and around 90 percent by 2050. Making the transition to an almost emission-free and climate-stable economy and society requires a fundamental change of direction. At Climate Change Graz, one of the university’s profile-building areas, a team of over a hundred researchers is exploring what economic, production engineering, social, political and legislative changes are needed to make this profound and sustainable transformation possible. >> More

Complexity of Life in Basic Research and Innovation (COLIBRI) is concerned with the profound changes that lie ahead in our living environment. Research findings from the science of complexity will soon provide a vital basis for decisions in business and policy-making. The findings come from modelling and computer simulation of complex systems in humans and nature, such as the optimisation of transport and logistics systems, the investigation of vulnerabilities in ecosystems and the fields of biologically-inspired technologies and research into swarm intelligence. >> more



Dimensions of Europeanization deals with processes of social change in the past and present. Under investigation are changing discourse about Europe, and the transfer of concepts, values and ideas. These developments are particularly apparent in SouthEastern Europe, where “Europeanisation” is a complex, historically evolved process; this is compared with developments in other regions. This Field of Excellence builds on the historical emphasis on SouthEastern Europe, which is a distinctive feature of the University of Graz.
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Smart Regulation addresses topics related to technical innovations. The flood of digital data, Industry 4.0 or self-driving cars are already having a major impact on regulatory and economic issues. How best to meet these challenges is a particular focus for researchers in law and economics. They are exploring issues, such as possible regulatory models, behaviour management and ways to influence the decisions made by individuals, companies and society.



These Fields of Excellence are complemented by research networks.

The Human Factor in Digital Transformation: How digitalisation affects humans, their activities and their lives – these topics are under investigation by researchers with a wide range of perspectives – from the humanities to systems scientists and theologians. >> Find out more

Brain and Behaviour: The network is characterised by a combination of methods of empirical-behavioural and neuro-scientific methods. New technologies of brain research are combined with innovative simulation facilities and behavioural measuring and observation methods in order to investigate basic and application-oriented questions. >> Find out more

Heterogeneity and Cohesion: The research focus concentrates on the question of how the cohesion of social groups develops in the context of increasing social diversity. The problem of social cohesion is becoming a pressing matter because of a proceeding fragmentation and individualisation of living conditions. >> Find out more

Environment and Global Change: The focus lies on the analysis and monitoring of climate and environmental change and its impacts, on the analysis of the role of human beings and the identification of transition paths towards sustainable regional development and innovation. Austria is the primary regional focus embedded in European and globally oriented research. >> Find out more

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