PICAIS is the University's central platform for academic excellence and interdisciplinary research. Since the summer semester 2021 it promotes research aligned with the University's strategic guiding themes. With two calls a year, it supports interdisciplinary project ideas financially and with infrastructure that break new ground in terms of the topics examined and the methods employed. The centre is especially dedicated to the advancement of early career researchers and the creation of opportunities for network-building and interdisciplinary co-operation. PICAIS attracts international visiting scholars to Passau and integrates them into the University's academic community.
It is intended to grow into a vibrant platform for cooperation and exchange with scientists and scholars of international standing. In doing so, PICAIS aims to establish a unique culture of collegial, transparent, open-minded and cross-disciplinary collaboration. It will also act as an interface between academia and society to promote dialogue between basic research and the social, economic and cultural actors of a networked society. PICAIS will work together closely, amongst others, with the University's Graduate Centre in order to provide support early career researchers by affording them plenty of opportunities for with networking and collaboration.
PICAIS is a central academic institution of the University. The centre is directed jointly by Michael Grimm, Professor of Development Economics at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Information Systems, and Daniela Wawra, Professor of English Language and Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Dr Stefanie Meister is the general manager. The directors are supported in their work by an executive board consisting of representatives from each of the four faculties, the university women's representative and three external advisory members. PICAIS will initially have its offices in the Nikolastrasse 12 building. In the longer term, the centre will move to new, purpose-built premises with appropriate offices for visiting academics, seminar rooms and the administrative office.
PICAIS will regularly issue calls for proposals in order to allocate financial resources, space and time in competitive procedures for the initiation of outstanding research projects and for international networking in line with the above-mentioned objectives.