Universität Bonn

The Digital Science Center

Strategy Center

The Digital Science Center (DiCe) is a central organizational unit at the University of Bonn tasked with the development, ongoing optimization and implementation of a new digitalization strategy for scientific activities. The DiCe conducts, coordinates and advises on the University’s strategy development process. This is a participatory process in which department representatives work in close inter-coordination at all hierarchical levels, focused on jointly organizing work in strategic fashion to enable flexible response to constantly changing conditions. Widely anchored in the University in cross-departmental committees, the mandate, action areas and governance bodies of the DiCe make it the backbone of the University’s IT governance structure.

The establishment of the DiCe as strategic center is flanked by structural development processes adopted by the faculties in parallel. Drawing on the DiCe approach, the faculties develop their own appropriate governance structures for their internal coordination regarding strategic and operational issues. Professional digitalization managers working within the dean’s offices play a key role as well in this process, serving as liaison between the offices and the DiCe.

Digitalization management within the faculties

IT governance: DiCe action areas, mission and networking within the University 

The DiCe leverages various existing cross-departmental University committees to generate the broadest possible support and ensure close coordination with the protagonists ‘on the ground’ in research and teaching. The University believes that issues of digitalization should be discussed not only among qualified IT specialists, but with the involvement of researchers, students and staff as well. Activities conducted within the framework of the DiCe Forum (including the IT Forum and DiCe Future Scientists Forum) are fundamentally open to the University public, but the following entities of cross-departmental stature are specifically involved in these as well:

  • the Senate
  • the Faculties’ Conference (“Decanale”)
  • the Deans of Studies
  • the Deans of Research
  • the Transdisciplinary Research Areas
  • the Clusters of Excellence
© DiCe Coordination Desk

DiCe Action Areas

Networking and strategical coordination of the relevant actors within the University are conducted with the respective DiCe action areas. The primary actors in the Teaching and Research action areas are students and researchers whereas in the Services area these are mainly the central operating units and administrative staff members of the faculties, departments and institutes.

Action Area Services

The Services action area concerns DiCe efforts around providing and further developing IT infrastructure so as to keep it on the cutting edge of technology. The activities of the relevant actors within the University in this regard are thus coordinated within the Services area. These actors include in particular University IT (HRZ), the University and State Library (USL), and IT and Computing Services (Division 2) as central operating units as well as the Bonn Center for Higher Education (BZH) and the Research Data Service Center (SFD), among others. The joint further development of IT infrastructure is a core concern, including IT support structures at the faculties, departments and institutes, thus IT Forum meetings are of key importance (as part of the DiCe Forum, see below) as venues for providing feedback and suggestions to the DiCe Board and for DiCe projects. The Digitalization of Administrative Processes program (PDaP), which reports directly to the Provost, was launched principally to ensure that core tasks falling within the Services action area meet legal requirements pertinent to digitalization.

Action Area Research

The DiCe Research action area is devoted to supporting University research activities, including within the framework of international research digitalization-related alliances. Chief concerns within this area are the further development of research methods, tools and infrastructure and dialog on research pertaining to information technology and digital transformation. It is thus a priority to promote networking between the relevant actors within the University. Feedback and suggestions flow to the DiCe Board and project managers in interaction with the Deans of Research, the Transdisciplinary Research Areas and the Clusters of Excellence.

The DiCe also conducts its own research and seeks to advance the careers of early-career researchers at and through the High Performance Computing and Analytics Lab (HPC/A Lab). The HPC/A Lab organizationally bundles research tasks relating to high-performance computing at the University of Bonn. These include in particular strategic scientific planning and resource management for the central high-performance computing infrastructure used for University research and teaching. These tasks are conducted in close cooperation and coordination with University IT.

Action Area Teaching

The DiCe action area of Teaching is concerned with the digital transformation in degree programs and teaching, involving digital tools and techniques for teaching, digitalization as teaching content and target group-oriented teaching (within contexts of internationalization, equal opportunity, etc.). Promoting networking between the relevant actors within the University is thus a priority. Feedback and suggestions flow to the DiCe Board and project managers through interaction with the Deans of Studies and the student body in particular (the latter via the DiCe Future Scientists Forum, within the framework of the DiCe Forum, see below). Initiatives aimed at furthering digitalization in studies and teaching (such as the ‘Contract for the Future’ on Degree Programs and Teaching) are bundled for inter-coordination within the DiCe, taking into account the Guiding Principles for Degree Programs and Teaching.

DiCe concept for download (German)

University of Bonn strategies

Excellence Strategy

Since January 2019, the University of Bonn has had six Clusters of Excellence—more than any other university in Germany.


Internationalization efforts are of key importance to achieving further quality and competitiveness improvements across all areas of activity at the University of Bonn.

Guiding Principles for Degree Programs and Teaching

The University of Bonn adopts a combined approach to research and teaching to achieve a holistic union of research and pedagogy.

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