Coming to Change

Great flexibility, exemplary freedom of research and, last but not least, a vast amount of money: since 2008, the Humboldt Professorship has been attracting top international researchers to Germany.

published in But the stars from abroad do not only help German universities to score in science. They are also expected to be a breath of fresh air and change the system. Reviewers have now examined whether the Professorship is achieving its goals. At the start, says , all the public attention ...  more


When I think of Germany...

Reflections of an American scientist living in Göttingen

When I think of Germany I think of a place where it is still fun to do science! No kidding. Germany is a fun place, especially when it comes to Science. This hit me like a brick recently at the end of a hard week of work, Freitag Feierabend! I’m sitting in a nice Göttingen student Kneipe with ...  more

We Need Fearless Universities

If you manage to acquire a five-million-euro professorship for your university, you get upheaval and envy into the bargain. This was a concern that was raised ten years ago when the first Humboldt Professorships were awarded. Things have changed. A conversation with Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, on recruiting research luminaries and the benefits they bring German universities.

Ein Gespräch mit Enno Aufderheide, Generalsekretär der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, darüber, wie man Forschungsstars gewinnt und wie sie deutschen Hochschulen nützen.  more

The Anxiety Tamer

Jürgen Margraf developed a therapy for panic attacks that works incredibly fast. Now a Humboldt Professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the psychologist is investigating how people stay mentally healthy.

There are occasions when even anxiety researchers get anxious. Jürgen Margraf has experienced many such moments, and remembers one in particular. “It was my first dive in the sea,” relates the Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, sitting in his office on campus at ...  more

There’s Still Room at the Top

Prominent female researchers are rare, amongst Humboldt Professors, too. What academia and the Foundation can do about it.

The IBM Research Centre in Zurich likes to showcase the successful physicist, Heike Riel. When TU München raised the possibility of a Humboldt Professorship a year ago, alarm bells rang in Zurich. They made her an IBM Research Fellow, the highest accolade the company grants. For five years, the ...  more

Heading for the Big Leagues

Worldwide competition to attract the best researchers is fierce. German universities are increasingly joining the fray – and succeeding in recruiting vast numbers of top academics.

It was about a year ago that Hannes Leitgeb faced his big decision. Leitgeb, now 39, had been conducting research as a philosopher and mathematician in Bristol, UK, for five years; then his two children reached school age. “To be honest, we weren’t really sure about the school system in ...  more