Rectorate Research Council

The Research Council is appointed by the Rectorate for the duration of its term in office. It advises the University management in all matters related to initiating, coordinating, and financing research projects and alliances, and provides quality assurance support with applications for third-party funding. Its activities include advising academic staff at the University of Münster and drafting recommendations for approval by the Rectorate.

For research applications and outlines which include financial participation by the central administration, as well as funding applications to establish joint projects, such as collaborative research centres (SFBs), research training groups, research groups etc., the Rectorate requires that applicants consult with the Research Council in advance for quality-assurance advice.

Please contact the Research Council at least three weeks prior to the meeting. The upcoming meetings will take place on:

10 July 2024

11 September 2024

16 October 2024

27 November 2024

18 December 2024.

Please also refer to the calendar of meetings for the dates of the upcoming sessions.

Please submit as close to a final version of your application as possible to the members of the Research Council 14 days prior to the corresponding meeting in order to ensure high-quality advising.

Office of the Research Council

Members of the Research Council

Prof Dr Peter Funke

Prof Dr Peter Funke, born in Rheine in 1950, studied history and German studies in Münster and earned his doctoral degree in Cologne in 1978. Following his habilitation in Cologne in 1985, he was appointed chair of ancient history at the University of Siegen. Between 1988 and 2018, he was a professor of ancient history at the Institute for Epigraphy at the University of Münster, and since then, continues to work there as an emeritus (Seniorprofessor). From 1990 to 1994 he served as Vice-Rector for Teaching and Studies, and from 2004 to 2008, he was chairman of the Association of German Historians (VHD). Between 2005 and 2010, Professor Funke was a member of the Central Committee and the Senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and served as its vice-president from 2010 to 2016. From 2006 to 2015 he was a member of the Core Group and Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation. From 2007 to 2017 he was a member (and since 2011, also the deputy of the President) of the Executive Committee at the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). Since 2005 Professor Funke has served as scientific advisor to the German-Israeli Foundation and since 2007, has been a member of the committee “Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt” (Basic Research on the Ancient World) at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities where he heads the Academy project “Inscriptiones Graecae”.

Prof Dr Ryan Gilmour

Prof Dr Ryan Gilmour (1980) was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and studied chemistry at the University of St Andrews. He received a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge (2006) where he worked with Prof Dr A. B. Holmes FRS on complex natural product synthesis. This was followed by post-doctoral research fellowships at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Prof Dr A. Fürstner) and the ETH Zürich (Prof Dr P. H. Seeberger). In 2008 he was appointed as the Alfred Werner Assistant Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the ETH Zürich before moving to the University of Münster in 2012, where he is currently Chair of Organic Chemistry and CiM Professor of Chemical Biology. Gilmour's research interests focussed on translating fundamental principles of molecular structure and reactivity to applications in catalysis and biomedicine. Prof Gilmour's research has been recognised by several awards including the Ružička Prize of the ETH Zürich (2011), ERC Starting (2013-2018) and Consolidator Grants (2018-2023), and the German Chemical Society Fluorine Publication Prize (2021). He gave the Allergan Lecture at the University of California, Irvine, in 2019 and is the Prof. David Ginsburg Lecturer at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (2020-2021). Prof. Gilmour is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2015) and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2021).

Prof Dr Judith Könemann

Born in 1962, Professor Könemann earned her Diplom certificate in Catholic theology and a master’s degree in sociology and educational science in Münster and Tübingen. In 2002 she earned her doctorate for her religious sociological dissertation on religious patterns of interpretation in late modernity. After gaining teaching experience in adult education, she was appointed director of the Swiss Socio-Pastoral Institute (SPI) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, a religious-sociological research institute operated under the aegis of the Catholic Church, where she served from 2005 to 2009. In 2009 she was appointed professor of religious education and educational research at the Faculty of Catholic Theology in Münster and served as a member of the “Religion and Politics” Cluster of Excellence from 2009 to 2018. Ms Könemann’s professorship was expanded in 2018 to include theological gender research, which coincided with her appointment as co-director of the working group for theological gender research at the Faculty of Catholic Theology. She is a founding member of the Center for Religion and Modernity (CRM) and has been a member of its board of directors for eight years, four of which as its spokesperson. Between 2012 and 2015 Ms Könemann served as Vice-Dean for Research, Internationalisation and Young Researchers, and was later reappointed to the same position in 2021. She served as dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology from 2015 to 2017. Since 2023 she has headed an extensive research project on spiritual abuse.

Prof Dr Stephan Ludwig (chairman)

Prof Dr Stephan Ludwig was born in Gießen, Germany, in 1962, where he also studied chemistry. In 1993 he completed his PhD on structure-function relationships of influenza virus proteins at the Institute of Virology at the University of Giessen. He then changed his research field to cancer research at the University of Würzburg, where he built up his own independent workgroup. He earned his habilitation in 2000. In 2002 he was appointed to a C3 professorship for molecular medicine at the University of Düsseldorf. In November 2004 he came to the University of Münster to head the Institute of Molecular Virology at the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE). Professor Ludwig is the coordinator of the FluResearchNet, a nationwide research network on influenza, and the National Research Platform for Zoonoses funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). From 2009 to 2016 he served as Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Münster and has been a permanent guest at the Research Council’s meetings since 2009. He has been a member of the grants committee for collaborative research centres (SFBs) at the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2017.

Prof Dr Ines Michalowski

Prof Dr Ines Michalowski, born in 1976, studied sociology and anthropology in Paris. She earned her doctorate at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations (Sciences Po Paris) and the University of Münster in 2007, after which she worked as a researcher for several years at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) in the department of Migration, Integration and Transnationalization. Her research stays have taken her to Washington D.C., Boston, Vienna, Paris and Nijmegen. In 2019 she accepted an appointment as chair of the Sociology of Religion department at the University of Münster

Prof Dr Andreas Pfingsten

Prof Dr Andreas Pfingsten, born in 1957, studied industrial engineering (Diplom) at the University of Karlsruhe and went on to earn his doctorate in economics in 1985. After earning his habilitation in macroeconomics (Karlsruhe, 1988), he was appointed chair of the economics department at the University of Siegen in 1990. Since 1994 he has worked at the University of Münster as a professor of business administration. Professor Pfingsten has been a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences since 1999.

Prof Dr Ulrich Pfister

Prof Dr Ulrich Pfister studied modern and contemporary history, sociology and macroeconomics at the University of Zurich. He earned his doctorare there in 1984, followed by his habilitation in 1991. After taking several temporary positions at the universities of Zurich, Konstanz and Geneva, he was appointed professor of modern and contemporary social and economic history at the University of Münster in 1996. In 2001-2002 he was appointed dean of the Faculty of History and Philosophy (FB 8), and from 2002 to 2006, served as vice-dean for teaching and international affairs. From 2010 to 2012 he chaired the Economic-Historical Committee in the Verein für Socialpolitik. Since 2015 he has been the spokesperson for the Collaborative Research Centre / SFB 1150 "Cultures of Decision-Making".

Prof Dr Norbert Sachser (deputy chairman)

Prof Dr Norbert Sachser, born in 1954, studied biology, chemistry and sociology in Bielefeld, where he also earned his doctorate in 1984. He received his habilitation in zoology at the University of Bayreuth in 1992. He has been teaching zoology with specialisation in behavioural biology at the University of Münster since 1994. Professor Sachser was the German representative in the International Council of Ethologists from 1988 to 1996, and then served as vice president and later president of the Ethologische Gesellschaft from 1997 to 2002. He became an honorary member of the association in 2012. From 2005 to 2008 he served as dean of the Faculty of Biology.

Prof. Dr. Dorothea Schulz

Prof Dorothea Schulz, PhD, born in 1962, studied biology, socio-cultural anthropology and sociology in Giessen and Mainz. She received her PhD in socio-cultural anthropology in 1996 from Yale University (USA) for her research on the role of traditional praise singers, the griots, or jeliw, in legitimising power in post-colonial Mali. She received her venia legendi from the Freie Universität Berlin, with a study on the interplay between the adoption of new media technologies, the transformation of gender relations, and Islamic moral reform in Mali. Following one-year fellowships at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in Leiden (NL) and Cornell University (USA), Dorothea Schulz worked at Indiana University (USA) as an assistant professor of religious studies until 2008, when she accepted a professorship of socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Cologne. While in Cologne, she served as Vice-Dean for Strategic Planning and Young Researchers for several years, and as a member of the steering committee for the University of Cologne’s Excellence Cluster funding initiatives. Prof Schulz has held the chair of socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Münster since 2018 and serves as a principal investigator in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, with a research project on normative and religious plurality in Uganda.

Prof Dr Dr Katrin Tent

Prof Dr Dr Katrin Tent, born in 1963, studied general and comparative linguistics, mathematics and computer science at the University of Kiel. After earning her doctorate in linguistics there, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She wrote her second dissertation in mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Following several extended research visits at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Würzburg, she received a teaching position at the University of Birmingham (UK). In 2004 she accepted an appointment in Bielefeld, and in 2008, was appointed professor of mathematics and mathematical logic at the University of Münster.

Prof Dr Christian Weinheimer

Christian Weinheimer, born in 1962 in Mainz, earned his doctorate in Physics at the University of Mainz in 1993. Following a fellowship at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) and his habilitation in Mainz, he was granted a professorship at the University of Bonn in 2001. In 2004 he was appointed chair for Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics at the University of Münster, and from 2014 to 2016, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Physics. He was spokesperson of the DFG Research Training Group 2149 from 2015 to 2020 (deputy spokesperson, 2020 to 2024). His experimental nuclear, particle and astroparticle physics research on neutrinos and dark matter was recently distinguished with an ERC Advanced Grant in 2022. From 2001 to 2021 he served as co-spokesperson for the international neutrino mass experiment KATRIN. From 2013 to 2019, he headed the committee for astroparticle physics (KAT) in Germany. Since 2021 he has been a member of the Senate Committee and Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres at the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Former Members of the Research Council

Professor Dr Dr hc Hans-Uwe Erichsen (Law): chairman 2008–2018

Professor Dr Gerhard Erker (Organic Chemistry): 2008–2018

Professor Dr Franz Hillenkamp (Medical Physics and Biomedical Physics): 2008–2014

Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Pape (Physiology): 2016–2023

Professor Dr Dr hc Michael Quante (Philosophy): 2013–2016

Professor Dr Sabine Schlacke (Law): 2018–2021

Professor Dr Ludwig Siep (Philosophy): 2008–2018

Professor Dr Monika Stoll (Human Genetics): 2014–2016

Professor Dr Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf (German Studies): 2008–2013

Professor Dr Johannes Wessels (Physics): 2013–2016