The TUM University Foundation is focused on projects that support outstanding students and young researchers. The Foundation also backs projects started under the umbrella of the institutional strategy: “TUM. The Entrepreneurial University.” as part of the Excellence Initiative. The Executive Board decides where to allocate funding; applications are not accepted.
TUM is responding to the outbreak of the corona pandemic with innovative research approaches in which doctors, virologists, epidemiologists, natural scientists, IT specialists and engineers work together as partners. The TUM University Foundation helps implement the most promising projects. Examples are an app-supported Covid-19 test infrastructure that accelerates test processes and avoids unnecessary personal contact, or the development of high-tech sensors that monitor the biological data of Covid-19 patients in isolation around the clock. A project in the field of molecular nanoengineering aims to encapsulate entire viruses in newly developed “molecular Venus traps” in order to effectively block interactions between virus and host cells. With the help of a generous individual donation, an urgently needed automatic screening microscope could be purchased. This allows the research of several working groups that are currently conducting studies with coronaviruses to be massively accelerated.
TUM has built up extensive experience in digital teaching in recent years. However, the corona crisis makes it necessary to bring the digitization of courses quickly and powerfully to the entire breadth of the university. The students should be able to continue their studies without any avoidable loss of time and also be able to complete their exams digitally. For this, the further development of digital teaching and examination formats is just as necessary as the expansion of digital infrastructures (software, hardware) and the increase in human resources such as e-Scouts. With the help of private supporters and partner companies, the TUM University Foundation contributes to realizing this feat of strength quickly and unbureaucratically. More
TUM University Foundation fellowships help the university to attract top-notch international postdocs to TUM. These fellowships make TUM an even bigger draw for top-class graduates of the best-ranking international universities. Graduates spend a year at TUM directly after finishing their doctorate – the most productive phase of their career – enriching scientific and research activities at TUM. During this year, TUM supports these fellows in driving their research forward, establishing their own research groups and applying for their own funding. To date, the TUM University Foundation has awarded 40 or so Fellowships to postdocs from around the world, including from the Roland and Uta Lacher Fund, the Rohde & Schwarz University Endowment Fund, and the Busch Family Endowment Fund.
The core idea of the TUM: Junge Akademie, founded in 2010, is to strengthen the social responsibility of young talents and to offer them early experience in scientific work. The academy promotes particularly talented students of TUM and the partner universities involved, who are enthusiastic about research and teaching. In an interdisciplinary exchange on “Technology in Society”, the fellows develop innovative ideas and methods for examining their hypotheses and research questions. During this period professors accompany and promote the students. A maximum of 45 scholarship holders is accepted every year.
The Germany Scholarship (Deutschlandstipendium), launched by the German government in 2011, was inspired by a desire to recognize excellence and dedication among students and to collaboratively support tomorrow’s professionals. Under this unique program, the government matches donations from private or institutional investors to offer successful applicants EUR 300 per month[s1] for one whole year. Students from all over the world benefit from this financial support, gaining a motivating recognition for their efforts to continue on their chosen path. The scholarship is awarded to talented students who make a special contribution to society or who have overcome obstacles in their educational path. Each year, more than 800 Germany Scholarships are awarded at TUM, with around 200 scholarships financed by the Roland und Uta Lacher-Fonds and the Hanns W. Weidinger-Fonds under the umbrella of the TUM University Foundation.
The Ingeborg Pohl Raitenhaslach Endowment Fund under the umbrella of the TUM University Foundation gives women students and scientists the opportunity to attend events at the TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach. The former Cistercian abbey is located in Burghausen, approx. 120 km away from Munich and 50 km from Salzburg. Equipped with the latest multimedia technology, the center offers a unique historical location for seminars. Far removed from everyday university life, this center provides a perfect setting to promote scientific and creative exchange. Top researchers from Germany and abroad actively engage with representatives from politics, business and society within the walls of the former abbey.
The TUM University Foundation has co-financed a new-build project in the district of Berchtesgadener Land. The Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station opened in July 2019. Its main focus is on environmental and ecosystem research and on exploring new paths in the teaching of natural sciences. It will cooperate with TUM’s Berchtesgaden School Research Center, where around 10,000 schoolkids attend courses and programs every year. This provides an early opportunity for the pupils to develop an interest in subjects like math, computer science, the natural sciences and engineering. The new Teaching and Research Station, which will have overnight accommodation for up to 40 people, will widen TUM’s scope of activities in both teaching and research. The model is unique in Germany.