The Frankfurt area is home to a number of laboratories of international reputation which are dedicated to experimental research at the cutting edge of natural sciences, in particular in the areas of neurobiology and brain research, membrane proteomics and study of macromolecules, atomic and heavy ion physics, and the structure of elementary matter. While these branches of science have many potential connections and areas of overlap, contacts between researchers working in the different disciplines are scarce. Furthermore, while these experimental facilities receive substantial funding, this is not generally the case for theoretical research, which runs the risk of falling behind in the attempt to understand the rapidly accumulating experimental facts. This is particularly deplorable at a time when some of the mentioned disciplines, in particular those in the life sciences, are reaching a stage of maturity which calls for a higher degree of formalization of concepts and mathematical penetration. 

This situation has inspired the initiative for founding a new type of research establishment, the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS), as an independent research institute performing cutting-edge research in the areas Life Science Physics, Neuroscience, Computer Science and Systemic Risk. 


© istock

According to the philosophy of FIAS, flat hierarchies and a cost-efficient management structure are seen as key to success. The Board of Directors is the governing body of FIAS, controlling and steering the work of the Institute. It decides on appointments at the Fellow level. The General Manager runs the daily business in line with the strategic goals set forth by the Board. 



The scientific staff at FIAS is organized in research groups which represent a particular research area. Typically each research group is headed by a Junior Fellow, Research Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow, or Adjunct Fellow.


Goethe University

© Goethe-Univeristät

FIAS was founded by the Goethe University as a civil law foundation. Even if it has an completely independent structure, there are still close ties between the two institutions. The universities president is a member of the FIAS board of trustees and many fellows are professors at the university. 

Goethe University


Sustainable scientific success is inextricably linked with the promotion of young researchers. At FIAS they represent about half of the scientists. From this excellent care ratio, benefit not only the young scientists, but also their supervisors. 




Founding of FIAS

In 2003, two of Frankfurt's most renowned scientists, Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Walter Greiner (picture) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Wolf Singer established an interdisciplinary research institute for theoretical basic research.

Start of the institutional work at Campus Bockenheim.

FIAS moves into its first premises in Robert-Mayer-Straße on the Bockenheim Campus. 

The graduate school FIGSS starts its work.

The Frankfurt International Graduate School for Science (FIGSS) is the graduate school of FIAS. It provides a framework for structured doctoral training at FIAS and guarantees its interdisciplinary character. The doctoral degrees are awarded by the faculties of the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Official registration as a public foundation.

The FIAS is officially registered as a foundation under civil law, the founder is the Goethe University. 

Move to Campus Riedberg

FIAS moves into a temporary accommodation in the new physics building on the Riedberg campus. 

Johanna-Quandt endowed professorship is awarded to Jochen Triesch

Prof. Dr. Jochen Triesch becomes the first endowed professor of FIAS. This professorship is made possible by a donation from Johanna Quandt. 

FIAS moves to its own building at Ruth-Moufang-Straße 1. The building was build by our donor STIFTUNG GIERSCH

First successful scientific evaluation

Kooperation with King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KAST) to build a green supercomputer.

for the construction of the high-performance computer SANAM, together with the Darmstadt GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research - the world's most energy-efficient high-performance computer for commissioning. Photo: Prof. Volker Lindenstruth (left), CEO of FIAS and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Rudolf Steinberg (right), symbolically present a graphics card of the SANAM supercomputer to His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al Saud.

10th FIAS-Fellow gets professor title

The FIAS distinguishes itself as an excellent training location: In 2013, for the 10th time an FIAS Fellow will receive a call to an external university. 

10 years FIAS

FIAS celebrates the 10th anniversary of the foundation. 

Helmut O. Maucher endowed professorship is awarded to Nils Bertschinger

With a generous donation from Helmut O. Maucher and an endowed chair for systemic risks, a new research focus is being created. 

Giersch-Stiftungsprofessur is endowed to Franziska Matthäus

The third endowed professorship is sponsored by the GIERSCH FOUNDATION in 2016. It is dedicated to bioinformatics and thus strengthens the field of life sciences.