New Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected

Three researchers from abroad have been chosen to receive Germany’s top international research award in 2017.

A bioprocess engineer from the USA, a structural biologist from China and a constitutional law expert from Canada have been selected to receive Germany’s most valuable international research prize. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship comes with up to €5 million in funding for each recipient. It is awarded to internationally leading researchers from all disciplines who are currently working abroad. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship aims to put them in a position to conduct cutting-edge research at German universities on a long-term basis. The award money is earmarked for their first five years of research in Germany. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The newly selected award winners were chosen from a total of seven nominees from China, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, The Netherlands and the USA. The winners will now enter into appointment negotiations with the universities that nominated them for the award. Those who accept the Humboldt Professorship will receive the award in May 2017.

  • The environmental microbiologist and bioprocess engineer Largus T. Angenent (46) from Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, was nominated by the University of Tübingen.
  • Jijie Chai (50), a structural biologist from Tsinghua University in Peking, China, was nominated by the University of Cologne together with the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.
  • The constitutional law expert and political scientist Ran Hirschl (52) from the University of Toronto, Canada, was nominated by the University of Göttingen.

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship not only gives German universities the means to offer top researchers internationally competitive conditions for conducting research, it also enables them to raise their own profiles in 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. To date a total of 52 researchers, including ten women, have accepted a Humboldt Professorship and have, as a result of the award, made the move to Germany.