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1. This case study is based on 24 semi-structured telephone interviews with representatives of graduate schools and clusters of excellence (scientific co-ordinators; managing directors) that had received funding in the first phase of the German Excellence Initiative. Representatives (presidents, vice-presidents for research, and representatives of the university’s strategic planning units) of five universities (host institutions) were also interviewed. The telephone interviews took place in January 2013. Semi-structured qualitative interviews with representatives of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR) provided additional input. For a general description of the Excellence Initiative the available documents on the Excellence Initiative from the DFG and the WR were analysed. Unless clearly indicated by references to the interviews and documents, the views and opinions expressed are those of the author. The structure of the case study follows broadly the main sections of the OECD case study template.

 
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