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The Graduate School of Geosciences (GSGS) was founded on 1 January 2014 as one of three graduate schools funded as a part of the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne with funding from the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments.

After a positive evaluation in June 2015, the Institutional Strategy Steering Committee decided to continue funding the GSGS until the end of the phase of the Excellence Initiative (October 2017).

After a further positive evaluation by the Dean and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Rector decided in March 2017 to make the GSGS a permanent structure of the university, supported by central university funds (from 1 January 2019). In the transition period, we are grateful to receive further Institutional Strategy funding.