Governance structure of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”

The research activities of the Cluster of Excellence involve researchers from eight faculties of Kiel University and of the partner research institutions GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), and the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design (MKH). The Cluster management is supported by the Kiel Marine Science office within the central Service Centre for Research, IT and Structural Development of Kiel University.

The Cluster developed an operational framework, which defines decision-making processes and quality assurance:
The General Member Assembly elects the Cluster's spokespersons and members of the Executive Committee. It also approves new full and associate membership applications. The General Member Assembly meets at least once a year. The Cluster Council is the assembly of the principal investigators and Cluster leaders of the Junior Research Groups (first phase 2007-2011). It advises the Executive Committee on progress of the research agenda, overall budget allocations and meets at least twice a year. The Cluster Council further installed a number of topical advisory panels. At present these are focus on data management, quality management, international cooperation, gender, postgraduate education, public outreach and knowledge transfer.

The Executive Committee comprises representatives from the Cluster research topics, the different aspects of science support and the participating institutions, as well as spokepersons or representatives of platforms, graduate school, junior research groups, postdoc network, and PhD students. The Executive Committee meets monthly and makes all operational, management and funding decisions of the Cluster.

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprises external national and international experts and provides guidance and advice to the Cluster. The SAB meets in Kiel once a year.
Note: The SAB is dormant during the completion funding period (2017-2019).

The Cluster Office handles day-to-day operations and administrative procedures, ensures effective cooperation and communication between the participating institutions, and provides science support, including public engagement, knowledge exchange, international cooperation and early career support. Being a separate unit within the Service Centre for Research, IT and Structural Development of Kiel University it ensures smooth cooperation within the University's central administration and the legitimacy of decision-making processes within the Cluster.

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