New Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected (Alexander von Humboldt)

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Six researchers from abroad are set to become the recipients of Germany’s most valuable international research award and move to Bielefeld, Bonn, Cologne, Heidelberg, Jena and Karlsruhe

An Epidemiologist, a Philosopher and a Molecular biologist from the USA, a Mathematician from the United Kingdom, an Economist from Switzerland and a Physicist from France have been chosen as the recipients of the 2016 Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.

Germany’s most valuable international research award brings each researcher funding of up to five million euros. It is granted to eminent international researchers of all disciplines who are currently working abroad to enable them to conduct long-term research at German universities: the award amount is earmarked for the first five years’ research in Germany. It is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The new award winners were selected from a pool of thirteen nominees from Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA. They are now embarking on appointment negotiations with the German universities that nominated them for the award. If they accept the Humboldt Professorship, it will be conferred in May 2016:

  • The Epidemiologist Till Winfried Bärnighausen (45), currently at Harvard University, Boston, USA, was nominated by Heidelberg University.
  • Sven Bernecker (48), Philosopher at the University of California, Irvine, USA, was nominated by the University of Cologne.
  • William Crawley-Boevey (55) professor of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, is expected to move to Bielefeld University.
  • The Molecular biologist Heinrich Jasper (41) currently doing research at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, USA, was jointly nominated by Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute, Jena.
  • Felix Kübler (45), Economist at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Finance Institute, Switzerland, is invited to conduct research in Bonn.
  • The Physicist Wolfgang Wernsdorfer (49), currently at the Institut Néel, CNRS in Grenoble, France, was nominated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

These outcomes mean that ten awards have been granted – the maximum number for 2016. The first selection round was held in April.

The Humboldt Professorship allows German universities to offer top-rank researchers internationally competitive general conditions whilst honing their own research profiles on the global research market. The award is granted on the precondition that the new Humboldt Professors are given long-term prospects for their research in Germany.