A passion for research

The right university for researchers

Leading research & innovation

1FAU is one of the leading research universities in Germany. It is consistently ranked highly in national and international rankings alike.

2FAU is situated right in the middle of an engrossing, innovative environment. Surrounded by global brands, exciting high-tech firms, Medical Valley, and an all-round innovative, entrepreneurial spirit.

3FAU has ambitious goals, striving to be at the forefront of innovation in its key research fields.

Our Mission #1innovator


Key research fields

FAU’s research is squarely aimed at transforming the future. Be it new energy systems, new materials, looking at the world of work or innovations in medical engineering. FAU’s researchers are determined to change the world. FAU is currently at the centre of the drive towards developing sustainable energy technology.

At the same time, a lot of research is being undertaken on important societal issues. Ethics, human rights, digitalization, and various aspects of health and medicine are key issues that shape the future.

See Innovation at FAU for some specific examples, or take a look at the key research fields and activities.

  • Cultural Values, Religion and Human Rights
  • Electronics, Analytics and Digital Transformation
  • Future Energy Systems
  • Medical Engineering
  • Medicine, Life Sciences and Health
  • New Materials and Processes
  • Optics and Optical Technologies
  • The World of Work


A broad research network

FAU fosters an interdisciplinary approach to research to bridge the gap between different fields, and currently boasts more than 20 research centres, which cover a wide range of topics. FAU operates on all scales, from EU-wide projects, to federal projects, right down to regionally focused innovation through its membership in four Bavarian Research Associations.

Inventions and patents

FAU has been and is currently home to some of the most exciting innovations, some of which could sustainably change the future. Here are just a few examples:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Based on its extant AI research, FAU has compiled five clusters that are presented in the FAU AI Map. Traditionally, FAU is an exemplary location for Artificial Intelligence (AI), pattern recognition and machine learning.

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Compressed audio formats are the standard solution for listening to music on the go. The most well-known of them all is MP3, which revolutionised how we listen to music in the late 1990s. The idea and the initial groundwork on the road to audio coding originated at FAU.

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Europe's time machine

FAU is involved in a large European project together with more than 30 other institutions. Big data, digitalisation and artificial intelligence are to be used to record the social, geographical and cultural development of Europe.

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Tissue from a 3D printer

The Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen has been researching artificial replacement tissues (tissue engineering) and regenerative medicine for years now. Special 3D printers can be used to arrange and place materials in a certain pattern.

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The beginning of market research

A stylish (and expensive) new mobile phone is not only an excellent communication device, it is also a status symbol. Market researchers differentiate in cases such as this between core benefits and additional benefits.

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Test-tube baby

Admittedly: the first test-tube baby was born in the UK. However, the first in-vitro baby in Germany was born at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen in 1982. The expert in reproductive medicine Prof. Siegfried Trotnow and the biologist Tatjana Kniewald took a leading role in the research.

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Software for space research

The X-ray integral field unit (X-IFU) on board ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics), a European Space Agency (ESA) space observatory, will one day be able to observe areas of energy in space. FAU has made a significant contribution to this research: special software developed by FAU can be used to simulate the missions.

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Computed Tomography

Computed tomography has a long history. A number of inventions, innovations and developments have brought the technology to where it is today. In 1917, Johann Radon laid the mathematical foundation with the radon transformation. One of the positions he held was as a professor at FAU.


One important consideration when transitioning to renewable energy is the question of how to store energy. The LOHC technology developed by scientists such as FAU professor Peter Wasserscheid has a crucial contribution to make. This technology allows hydrogen to be bound to a non-explosive and non-toxic liquid, meaning that it can be used to store renewable energy without incurring losses.


Collaboration between chemistry and pharmacology reached its first high point in 1884: two FAU professors and a doctoral researcher succeeded in developing the first fully synthetic medicinal drug in Erlangen. Antipyrine was successfully tested on malaria patients in Italy, and replaced quinine as the most popular pain killer and antipyretic in the following years.

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Collaborative research & strategic partnerships

In order to meet the ambitious scale of projects that FAU engages in, it is essential to forge broad networks to bring together wide-ranging expertise. FAU works together with such renowned institutions as the Fraunhofer Institutes and Max Planck Institutes. Not to mention that it has itself helped to establish in Medical Valley one of the strongest, most active medical technology research clusters in the world.

As the region has taken centre stage for the development of sustainable energy technology, it has created a strong partnership with ZAE Bayern and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB.

FAU is a friendly place for international researchers. FAU has excellent people, who support foreign students and researchers like the Welcome Centre and the staff in the department. They will welcome you like a family.

Sunghwan, South Korea


Research support

As a university that excels in research, we provide comprehensive support to our researchers, from the first time they contact us to helping them find a place to continue their research.

Welcome Centre

FAU believes in creating the best conditions for researchers to excel, and at the Welcome Centre you will find a central point of contact to give you advice, information and support during your stay.

You can contact them in advance. Use their registration form so they can help you prepare for your stay before you arrive.

Graduate Centre

FAU prides itself on its research excellence, and is continually striving to promote and harness the best talents. The excellent support staff at the Graduate Centre will help you on your unique path. Let them help you continue your research, find funding or apply for professorship placements. Furthermore, they host seminars and events designed to help you develop your skills.

FAU, through its Welcome Centre, offers help at the beginning with the accommodation search, enrolment at the University, and some other important things to start living in Germany. Also, international researchers should not feel isolated during their stay here at FAU: there are a lot of events, seminars and trips for international students arranged by the Welcome Centre, which help to understand and to get involved in the German culture.

Marta, Chile


Yes, we do have robots!

Glad you asked 🙂