Manfred Schmitt

Contact the President


Head of division / Office management

Kirsten Trapp
Phone: +49 681 302-3906

Front office

Petra Schmidt
Building A2 3, Room 1.04
Phone: +49 681 302-2000
Fax: +49 681 302-3001

'As President of Saarland University, it is an honour and a privilege for me to help shape the future direction and identity of our university.'

Providing a home for research

I believe that first-class research is the bedrock of our university. I am proud of the broad range of outstanding and highly competitive national and international research projects at our university. These projects cover a wide spectrum of academic disciplines and range from large international collaborative programmes to group and individual research projects. Much of the academic work now being conducted at Saarland University is internationally recognized, cutting-edge research.

Fostering and supporting research in our three core fields 'Computer Science', 'NanoBioMed – Life and Materials' and 'Europe' is a particularly important part of my role as University President. We will continue to drive forward our efforts to secure support for our research activities and to expand funding wherever possible in order to grow recognition of Saarland University's expertise and to maintain our reputation as a university that delivers international research excellence.

Creating the right environment for students

A life spent serving science

Manfred Schmitt studied and obtained his doctorate at the University of Mainz. He was awarded a research scholarship from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, USA. After returning to Germany, he took up a post as a research assistant at the University of Mainz in 1990 and three years later was awarded his 'Habilitation' in the field of microbiology, which entitled him to teach at professorial level within the German higher education system. In 1996, Manfred Schmitt became Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the Centre for Human and Molecular Biology at Saarland University, where he held the post of Director between 2003 and 2011. From 2009 until 2014 he served as Vice-President for Education at Saarland University. He has been President of Saarland University since 2017.

Research and networking

Despite receiving offers of professorial positions elsewhere (University of Düsseldorf in 2007, TU Dresden 2012), Manfred Schmitt decided to build his teaching and research career at Saarland University. He is involved in the collaborative research centre SFB 1027 ‘Physical modelling of non-equilibrium processes in biological systems’. Professor Schmitt is also active in two DFG-funded priority programmes and in an international graduate school involving Saarland University, Kaiserslautern University of Technology and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. From 2008 to 2017, Manfred Schmitt was also the programme advisor at the Franco-German University (Deutsch-Französische Hochschule – DFH / Université Franco-Allemande – UFA) for joint German-French degree programmes in biology.

University President Manfred Schmitt began his second term in office in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic

'I am pleased to have this chance to continue shaping and developing our university by working closely with all members of the university. The entire University Board is aware of the special responsibility we have towards all of the groups that make up our university. The fact that we have all been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for over a year now has, of course, left its mark. Although the pandemic has presented us with significant new challenges, it has also opened up new paths and provided opportunities for development. I am convinced that by working together we will overcome this crisis and emerge stronger.' Manfred Schmitt speaking on the occasion of the start of his second term on 1 March 2021.