The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) is intended to become a hub of international biodiversity research in Central Germany. Its research objective and task is advancement of theory-based synthesis and data-oriented theory formation. The iDiv has its seat in Leipzig and is funded by the German Research Council (DFG) with annual funding of seven million euros from 1 October 2012 for up to twelve years. The iDiv is a joint venture of Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena and Universität Leipzig. All three universities have enshrined biodiversity studies in their academic strategy concepts. Universität Leipzig is the lead university and administrative seat of the centre. The excellent expertise of the three universities is supported and enhanced by eight extra-mural institutions: Helmholtz Centre of Environmental Research (UFZ), Max-Planck-Institute of Biogeochemistry (MPI BGC), Max-Planck-Institute of Chemical Ecology (MPI CE), Max-Planck-Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA), Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Leibniz Institute Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz (SMNG), and Leibniz Institute DSMZ – German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Braunschweig.