Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland and has an international reputation of outstanding achievements in research and teaching. The university works closely with domestic and international partners to make relevant contributions to the advancement of the sciences and society.
The University of Basel consists of seven faculties in which it engages with a broad range of research activities in all of the basic scientific fields. By placing a strategic focus on five thematic focal areas, the University of Basel is able to sharpen its scientific profile and bolster its international presence. These are:
- Life Sciences: Within the life sciences, the University of Basel focuses on molecular and biomedical basic research, systems biology, stem cell and cancer research, neurosciences, infection biology, clinical medicine, nanosciences and pharmaceutical science.
- Visual Studies: Research in images studies is a cornerstone of the humanities in Basel and explores new perspectives in art, design and architecture.
- Nanosciences: Research priorities include nanobiology, quantum computing and quantum coherence, atomic and molecular nanosystems, molecular electronics as well as functional materials.
- Sustainability and Energy Research: Current research projects span topics from the disciplines of economics, law and the social sciences in relation to the phasing out of atomic energy, questions concerning sustainable energy and water use, and applied research in the nanosciences, chemistry, materials science and physics. The University of Basel is the leading house of the Competence Center for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (CREST), one of seven centers of competence created by the Swiss Confederation.
- European and Global Studies: This research focus addresses subjects of global importance such as demographic aging. In studying the African continent, traditionally there is a strong emphasis on examining theological, historical, cultural and social science as well as health aspects. The University of Basel has recently begun examining urban development and economic issues as well.
Further to the above, the research group Physical Geography and Environmental Change deals with the study of the interaction of air, water, soil, topography, vegetation and man, including subjects such as soil erosion and land-use change. The focus is on the identification of effective structures within and between spheres of the Earth, the geographic scope of a given action structure and the importance of the consequences of environmental change for the functioning of the Earth system.