In their paper they investigate the potential tension that arises when universities try to organize their members’ collaborative research activities. The analysis explores how this tension is reflected and manifests itself in research support activities and measures by vice presidents for research, their research support offices, and their staff. What kind of activities and measures do German universities use to organize collaborative research activities? How do such activities and measures deal with and resolve the tension between organizational- and individual-level organizing? What are the limitations of organizing by universities as institutional actors? The paper also sheds light on the scope and limitations of universities’ organizational actorhood. It is based on a conceptual framework on universities’ internal governance mechanism and an interview study (and related document analyses) conducted in German universities.