PIER concentrates on four pioneering research fields and two areas of expertise that form interdisciplinary networks between the research fields

Research Fields

Particle & Astroparticle Physics

Thanks to the collaboration between Universität Hamburg (UHH) and DESY research centre, Hamburg is recognised internationally as one of the most powerful and highly regarded German sites for high-energy physics.


Infection and Structural Biology

Universität Hamburg and the University Hospital (UKE) are currently establishing an interdisciplinary research area whose focus is on “global and newly occurring infections”.


Photon Science

The research location Hamburg boasts a globally unique constellation of complementary expertise in the closely interrelated fields: laser physics, quantum optics, short-time physics, X-ray physics and atomic, molecular physics. All of these fields are heavily involved in photon research.



The research into nanomaterials in Hamburg focuses on both the synthesis and the non-destructive analysis and study of new kinds of functional materials and their molecular processes under conditions of environmental, technological and industrial relevance.


Competence Fields

Theoretical Physics

The Wolfgang Pauli Centre (WPC) unites the various theoretical physics research groups that are working on particle and astroparticle physics, cosmology, mathematical physics, condensed matter, quantum optics and chemical physics at Universität Hamburg and DESY.



The DESY research centre is one of the world’s leading institutes when it comes to building and operating large particle accelerators. DESY and Universität Hamburg have been closely collaborating on accelerator research for decades.


Research events on Bahrenfeld Campus

Young Researchers Integrability School 9 February - 16 February 2020, DESY; Building 61, Lecture Hall (workshop)

New Directions in Heavy Dark Matter 12 February - 14 February 2020, 9 a.m., DESY, Building 1b, SR 3

The Search for Efficient Particle Accelerators in the Universe 18 February 2020, 4:45 p.m., DESY, Auditorium (colloquium)

AIM Winter school 2020 24 February - 28 February, 8 a.m.

Astroparticle physics (tbc) 25 February 2020, 4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., DESY, Auditorium

DESY Water WEEK 2020 25 February - 28 February, DESY, SR FLASH

xFitter Workshop 26 February - 28 February 2020, 8 a.m., DESY, Building 35, SR 108

Generalized Geometry and Applications 2 March - 6 March 2020, 10:15 a.m., Geomatikum, SR H2 (workshop)

Quantum Universe 17 March 2020, 4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., DESY, Auditorium (colloquium)

SESAME: a bright light in the Middle East 27 March 2020, 1:00 p.m., EMBL, SR48e

Within the scope of their strategic Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research (PIER), Universität Hamburg and DESY promote cooperation across the two institutions and between the PIER research and competence fields. For this purpose, Universität Hamburg and DESY have established the PIER Idea Fund as a seed money funding scheme. Three formats are available: PIER Seed Projects, PIER Workshops, and PIER Short Visits.