We develop and realize experiments probing properties of nuclei, in particular properties of short-lived “exotic” nuclei. Aim of these experiments is the understanding of the structure and the reactions of exotic nuclei. Such exotic nuclei exhibit a large neutron-to-proton asymmetry, in contrast to stable nuclei. Besides the fundamental interest of understanding nuclear properties and test nuclear theories, short-lived nuclei are produced in the cosmos and play a central role in the energy production of stars and the synthesis of the elements in the universe. Properties and reactions of neutron-rich nuclei also provide a path towards understanding neutron-rich nuclear matter as found in neutron stars. Our research in that area is based on experiments we perform at the R3B setup at GSI and FAIR, and the SAMURAI experiment at the RIBF in RIKEN (Japan). Complementary investigations with stable nuclei we perform at the photon-tagging facility NEPTUN at the S-DALINAC in the institute for nuclear physics, as well as at the photon-facility NewSUBARU in Japan, at the RCNP in Osaka, and at the JINR in Dubna (Russia). We provide a major contribution towards the development and construction of the R3B experiment at FAIR. R3B is the only experiment worldwide which is capable for kinematically complete measurements of reactions up to relativistic energies of 1 GeV/nucleon even for heavy nuclei and with very good resolution.