22.10.2013

New Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected

Six researchers from abroad – two women and four men – receive Germany’s most valuable international research award

An environmental economist from Switzerland, a quantum physicist from Austria as well as three physicists and a mathematician from the USA have been chosen as the next Alexander von Humboldt Professors. Worth up to five million EUR each, the awards are granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Eminent researchers with a world-spanning reputation, who are currently working abroad, are eligible to be granted an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, irrespective of discipline. They are expected to continue their ground-breaking, long-term research at German universities.

The award winners selected in this year’s second round will now enter into appointment negotiations with the German universities that nominated them for the award:

  • Stefanie Engel (45), environmental economist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland, was nominated by Osnabrück University.
  • Quantum physicist, Francesca Ferlaino (35), currently at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, was nominated by the University of Ulm.
  • Andreas Ludwig, a theoretical physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, is invited to conduct research at the University of Cologne.
  • Solid state physicist, Stuart Parkin (57), nominated jointly by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, is currently a researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, USA.
  • Andreas Schulz (44), mathematician at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, was nominated by Technische Universität München.
  • Jairo Sinova (41), a theoretical physicist at Texas A&M University, College Station, USA, was nominated by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

“I am delighted that the Alexander von Humboldt Professorships spark interest in Germany amongst excellent international researchers. This clearly demonstrates how attractive our research location has become. It is especially pleasing that this year, for the first time, three women have been selected to become Humboldt Professors,” says Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka.

The Humboldt Foundation’s selection committee had 14 nominations to consider, for nine researchers currently working in the USA, two in Switzerland and one each in Canada, Austria and Hungary.

The award amount is earmarked to finance the first five years in Germany. The award enables universities to offer top international researchers competitive general conditions and long-term prospects for working in Germany; it also enables the universities themselves to sharpen their profiles.

The award ceremony for all the Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected in 2013 who successfully conclude their appointment negotiations will take place in Berlin on 7 May 2014.