The Center

Aims and organizational structures

The Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB) was established in 2015 as a result of the University of Cologne’s (UoC’s) successful application to the Excellence Initiative of the German government. The UoC defines Key Profile Areas (KPAs) that address topics of high scientific, technological, and societal relevance. The KPAs belong to strong international and national networks and are partners in cooperation projects with regional non-university research institutes as well as industrial partners.

C-SEB institutionalizes the KPA II “Social and Economic Behavior” that brings together researchers from economics, management science, psychology, and related fields to investigate social and economic behavior.
UoC Main Building
C-SEB is located in two buildings on the UoC campus in proximity to the Main Building.
Student Service Center (SSC)
The economists of C-SEB work at the Student Service Center (SSC).
Student Service Center (SSC)
The psychologists of C-SEB are located at the Bauwens Building.
All members of the center meet frequently for joint academic events.
The focus of these meetings is on scientific exchange and the planning of collaborative research projects.


As one of the UoC Research Center, C-SEB provides funding for outstanding individuals and excellent collaborative research projects. UoC Research Centers are awarded to research groups with outstanding scientific records and a strong international reputation. They promote their overall visibility by advancing outreach activities as well as international networks and exchange programs. This also includes support for new junior research groups, international visitor programs, and other measures.


The center’s governance structure is formed by the executive board, the speakers, the PI board, the external scientific advisory board, and the central office.
C-SEB Organigramm
C-SEB is managed by the executive board, which is responsible for its daily operation and decides upon all relevant matters. The board is headed by a speaker and a vice speaker who represent C-SEB both internally and externally. The current speaker and vice speaker are Bernd Irlenbusch and Anne Gast. The other members of the executive board are Andreas Glöckner, Mona Mensmann, Axel Ockenfels, Dirk Sliwka, and Christian Unkelbach.

Research is conducted and supervised by the principal investigators (PIs) which constitute the PI board. All PIs are qualified scientists at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences or the Faculty of Human Sciences working in a field related to C-SEB’s thematic focus.

The external scientific advisory board, a group of leading international scholars, advises C-SEB in all scientific and strategic matters. The current members of the board are Dan Ariely, Susan Fiske, and Uri Gneezy.

The central office provides the administrative framework for C-SEB and is supervised by the managing director. It is responsible for maintaining a productive research environment, organizing events and public relations activities, as well as infrastructure development.

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