Cooperations and networks

National cooperation

Established in 1980, the Alfred Wegener Institute is anchored in a global research network by numerous national and international cooperative relationships.

This strong network is supported by more than 100 cooperation agreements with universities, research institutions and other partners.

The Alfred Wegener Institute is also a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, one of the main scientific organizations in Germany.

Partners in Research and Teaching

In addition to these memberships and collaborative partnerships, the AWI maintains close cooperation in research and teaching with a number of universities.  All professors at the Alfred Wegener Institute are named joint appointments with universities, including the University of Bremen, Jacobs University Bremen, Bremerhaven University and the Universities of Potsdam, Oldenburg and Kiel.

The collaborations in research and teaching have seen the creation of graduate schools and colleges, and the Helmholtz-Max Planck bridging group ‘Deep Sea Ecology and Technology’. 

AWI scientists are cooperating in joint research projects and in joint logistics with partners from 50 different countries. In terms of joint publications and joint research projects, the leading partner countries are the USA, UK, Norway and Russia. The most important institutional partners are the British Antarctic Survey, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Norwegian Polar Institute and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. The cooperation with those institutes spans all scientific disciplines of the AWI and includes a significant part of logistic cooperation.

Exceptional is the AWI's long-term and trustful cooperation with Russian partners which was established in 1992, with Polarstern accomplishing its first research cruise to the Russian EEZ already in 1993. Since 1998, AWI scientists are also performing fieldwork in the Siberian tundra with Russian scientists at the Samoylov station

International Cooperation

Answering the full range of research questions from the Polar Regions is beyond the capabilities of nations acting individually. The Alfred Wegener Institute has therefore fostered since its foundation bi- and multilateral cooperation with European and International partners and developed strong and long-term relationships with its main partner institutes all over the globe.  

Your contact for international cooperations at the Alfred Wegener Institute is Dr Nicole Biebow.

In response to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in coordination with the Foreign Office and the Federal Chancellery, announced a fundamental change in its cooperation policy with Russia and Belarus on February 25,22. Nationally and internationally, this pursues the goal of isolating the Russian government as far as possible. For this reason, all current and planned projects of the Alfred Wegener Institute with government agencies in Russia will be frozen and/or critically reviewed. For further inquiries, please contact

The Alfred Wegener Institute deploys scientists to institutions, on research vessels and research stations around the world.  Scientists from other nations are also invited to the Alfred Wegener Institute, to work with its fleet of research vessels and aircraft, and at its research platforms.  Approximately one quarter of all AWI expedition participants in research cruises aboard the RV Polarstern are international visiting scientists.