The Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL) is a non-university forum and centre of competence for sustainable spatial development based in Hannover. The research focus is on spatial structures and developments, their causes and effects, and policy and planning options for their management. The work of the Academy is characterised by the holistic, integrative and future-oriented perspectives taken of complex, spatial-social challenges. The outstanding unique feature of the Academy is its inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation. Experts from both academia and practice in the fields of spatial science research, spatial development and spatial planning come together in a multidisciplinary network. Scientific and practice knowledge is thus pooled and new applied knowledge generated and transferred.

The Kiel Insitute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel)  is an international center for research in global economic affairs, economic policy consulting, and economic education. The Institute engages especially in creating solutions to urgent problems in global economic affairs. On basis of its research, the Institute advises decision makers in policy, business, and society and informs the broader public about important developments in international economic policy.

The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) is an independent research institute that conducts research on the upper part of the Earth's crust. The focus of our work is to explore structures and processes in the subsurface by using geophysical methods. For this purpose, we develop and optimize measurement techniques as well as processing, modeling, and inversion methods. Our research is future-oriented and of public interest.


„Research for the Future of our Freshwaters” is the mission of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). IGB is Germany’s largest and one of the leading international research centres for freshwaters. It combines basic and preventive research, trains young scientists and advises decision-makers and society for a sustainable freshwater management. Its key research activities include the long-term development of lakes, rivers and wetlands and the effects of climate change, the renaturation of ecosystems, the conservation of aquatic biodiversity, and technologies for sustainable aquaculture.

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Dresden is an establishment of the Leibniz Association for research in the spatial sciences focusing on ecological aspects of sustainable development. It was founded on 1 January 1992, is jointly funded by the federal and Saxony governments and is a research establishment with a staff of over 100. In accordance with its mission statement, the Institute addresses the scientific basis for the sustainable development of cities and regions in the national and international context.

The Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (IOW) was founded in 1992 on the recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities. It succeeded the Institute for Oceanography, Warnemünde, which was the premiere oceanographic research institute of the German Democratic Republic's German Academy of Sciences. Today, the institute is a member of the Leibniz Association (Leibniz Association, WGL). IOW's research program focuses on coastal oceans and marginal seas, with a particular emphasis on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea.


The Leibniz Institute for Troposphereic Research (TROPOS) was established in 1992 to examine physical and chemical processes of the aggressive atmosphere. It has a clear and worldwide unique research profile with a main focus on aerosols, small airborne particles and clouds. Despite modest absolute quantities, they are essential parts of the atmosphere because they control the budgets of energy, water and trace substances of the Earth System.


The Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) conducts research on peace-relevant issues for the good and benefit of mankind. All activities at PRIF follow the guiding principle of the Leibniz Association “theoria cum praxi”: Conducting knowledge-driven and applied basic research with the pursuit of passing practical outcomes on to politics and society. The institute defines its research topics autonomously as the constitution guarantees complete scientific freedom. PRIF engages in research alliances and is part of various national, international and European institutional as well as educational cooperation. Synergies are created through joint research projects as well as inter- and transdisciplinary exchange.


The Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) is working on socially relevant questions related to the use of agricultural landscapes. Issues such as food security, soil as a natural resource or biodiversity are interdisciplinarily investigated. The research questions comprise three core topic areas starting from the functioning of agricultural landscapes through the effect of different land uses to the resulting use conflicts and their governance. Based on the results ZALF develops solutions for the sustainable intensification of land use under changing conditions such as climate change.


Since 1991 the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) has focused training and research on the better understanding of coastal ecosystems in the tropics. The structure and functioning of these habitats, their response to anthropogenic and natural influences and the use of resources are at the centre of ZMT research requiring interdisciplinary approaches from the fields of natural and social sciences. The overall objective of ZMT research is to analyse tropical coastal ecosystems in their complexity in order establish the necessary scientific basis to develop concepts for the protection as well as the sustainable use and management of the ecosystems. ZMT works on research projects in close cooperation with partners in the tropics and its scientists also support the development of expertise and structures in its partner countries to allow for sustainable coastal zone management.

The Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity (ZMFK) engages in species-focused biodiversity research with particular emphasis on phylogenetics, evolution, biogeography, genomics and speciation of terrestrial vertebrates and insects (especially  monitoring). A focal point of the ZFMK is the development and publication of inter-regional taxonomic revisions and monographs, as well as the preservation of speciemen copies and scientific literature for species identification.

The Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science is an integrated research museum within the Leibniz Association.  The institute sees itself in the tradition of Charles Darwin, Alexander von Humboldt and other nature researchers for a sustainable future of humankind. Mission, vision, strategy and structure makes it one of the most important research institutions worldwide in the areas of biological and geological evolution and biodiversity.


The Senckenberg Society for Nature Research (SGN)  has been studying the "earth system" for the past 200 years. The integrative approach of this "geo-biodiversity research" puts the main focus of the whole earth system on biodiversity: How is the biosphere correlated with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, pedosphere and solid earth? And what role does anthropogenic influence play?

At the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) At PIK, researchers in the natural and social sciences from all over the world work closely together to study global change and its impacts on ecological, economic and social systems. Researchers examine the earth system's capacity for withstanding human interventions and devise strategies and options for a sustainable development of humankind and nature. Interdisciplinary and solution-oriented approaches are a distinctive characteristic of the institute. PIK generates fundamental knowledge for sustainable development primarily through data analysis and computer simulations of the dynamic processes in the earth system, but also of social processes. PIK members publish their research findings in international publications and advise policymakers in Germany and abroad. Understanding climate change and its impacts is a huge task that no institution or country can tackle alone. PIK is part of a global network of scientific and academic institutions working on questions of global environmental change. PIK plays an active role in activities such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also known as the world´s climate council, whose working group on the mitigation of climate change is coordinated by PIK researchers.