The overall concept of the geological sciences at Free University Berlin is an education as comprehensive as possible combined with exemplary fundamental research in all areas of the geological sciences. Since this goal cannot be attained solely by the geological sciences' own faculty, the institute has networked with a multitude of other geoscientific institutions in the metropolitan area of Berlin and Brandenburg forming relationships of various kinds in teaching (joint courses, reciprocal supervision of master's theses etc.) and research (e.g. combined research proposals).
Research in the individual work groups emphasizes diverse focal points:
- The DFG collaborative research center "Nanoscale Processes and Geomaterials Properties“ and "The Precambrian-Cambrian Ecosphere (R)evolution: Insights from Chinese microcontinents“ are located at the institute und represent parts of focused research in mineralogy/petrology and geology/paleontology/geochemistry.
- Research in the field of hydrogeology has an applied focus and stresses on the one hand regional aspects of groundwater research on the other hand regionally independent deep aquifers.
- The interdisciplinary research center "Ecosystem dynamics in Central Asia" analyzes geomorphological, climatic and biodynamic effects of climate change.
- Research conducted on modern devices in the work group geochemistry contributes to understanding material flow, age determination and meteorites.
- The work group planetology is involved in several international programmes of planetary exploration (Mars, Saturn), to some extent in a leading role