Press release I2023/001 from

The three universities that comprise the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research’s (iDiv) consortium rose to the top of this year’s international Shanghai Ranking in the field of ecology. Of the 5,000 universities evaluated, the universities of Halle, Jena, and Leipzig placed 27th, 51st*, and 35th, respectively. This recognition means Central Germany is home to three of the country’s six highest-ranked universities in the field.

The Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) evaluates field-specific indicators in five categories: research performance, research influence, international cooperation, research quality, and international academic awards.

Led by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, the GRAS was first published in 2017. At that time, the three universities that make up the iDiv consortium were ranked between 151 to 200 in the field of ecology. In the new 2023 ranking, the Central German universities jumped to the top of the list based on evaluations made between 2018 and 2022.

These strides are also seen when looking at the number of peer-reviewed publications that came out of iDiv over the same time span. Founded in 2012, iDiv helps link the biodiversity research taking place in Central Germany. From 2013 to 2017, iDiv researchers published 1,301 publications, and from 2018 to 2022, iDiv researchers produced 2,266 publications – a 74% increase in scientific output.

“When iDiv was founded eleven years ago, our three universities laid the foundations for a wonderful success story,” says Prof Henrique Pereira, research group head and speaker at iDiv. "iDiv was the necessary catalyst that helped us win international recognition for German research in the field of ecology. Today we are playing in the ecological Champions League, alongside universities such as Stanford, Oxford, and Zurich.”

According to Pereira, the Shanghai Ranking’s findings validate the work and effort put forward in recent years: “Investing in research pays off. We have to continue advancing this great trend in the international recognition of our universities.”

* together with 24 other universities (places 51-75)

International GRAS ranking in the field of ecology: