Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is the federal Public Health institute of Germany and a federal agency under jurisdiction of the German Ministry of Health. The RKI has been dedicated for 125 years to the surveillance, investigation and prevention of infectious diseases and is tightly connected with the major universities in Berlin (FU, HU), as well as the university hospital Charité. Today, the institute has 7 departments with around 1200 staff members. The institute is responsible for nationwide health monitoring for the federal government. RKI collects and interprets molecular and epidemiological data communicated to the institute as a result of the Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz). Its scientists conduct research in infectious disease epidemiology, as well as sentinel surveillance projects and support the federal states in outbreak investigations. The RKI runs an in-house program for research training and professional development of its every stage researchers and offers a wide range of key transferable skills during the doctoral study phase. Moreover, it has defined binding guidelines for the doctoral supervision. The RKI’s center for international health protection (ZIG) connects RKI’s research activities internationally. Currently, it maintains partnerships to its international sister organisations (CDC, Institute Pasteur, etc), as well as supranational organisations such as IANPHI, African CDC, ECDC and WHO, for which the RKI is a collaborating Centre for Emerging Infections and Biological Threats and runs several reference laboratories. The RKI has a professional Research Funding Support Service that has long-standing experience in administrating small and large-scale grants, among them various EU projects.
RKI is home to large collections of samples and data on infections as a result of the German Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG) and runs several laboratories, including BSL-4. RKI houses high performance computing resources with hundreds of cores, including machines with more than 1TB of RAM and a PB-sized storage facility. Further, due to existing collaboration agreements with FU, RKI partially finances and has full access to the computational resources of FU.