Research at MARUM has the overarching goal to achieve a better understanding of key processes in the marine environment in order to provide information for sustainable use of the ocean. The research themes are: Ocean and Climate, Geosphere-Biosphere Interactions and Seafloor Dynamics. MARUM studies past and present environmental changes from the coast to the deep sea at a global scale. Processes at and below the seafloor are a special research focus. The second major goal of MARUM is the training of young scientists. Within the framework of the Graduate School GLOMAR (Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences) interdisciplinary training of doctoral students in marine sciences (incl. social sciences and law) is achieved. A third goal is to develop and provide technology and infrastructure for marine research in cooperation with industry. MARUM operates underwater technologies, including two remotely operated vehicles, an underwater drill rig and an autonomous underwater vehicle. MARUM also operates one of the three IODP core repositories in the world and, together with the AWI, the World Data Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (PANGAEA). The fourth goal is the communication of scientific topics to the general public, including special programs for schools.
As of 2011 MARUM is the first and only research faculty at the University of Bremen and coordinates the university's high-profile area in "Marine, Polar and Climate Research" across all disciplines and faculties. Through MARUM, the University of Bremen closely collaborates with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven (AWI), the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen (MPI), the Senckenberg Institute by the Sea in Wilhelmshaven (SGN), the Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Ecology in Bremen (ZMT), the University of Oldenburg, and the private Jacobs University in Bremen.
In MARUM, the DFG Research Center and the Cluster of Excellence "The Ocean in the Earth System" are key elements among many additional national and international research projects.