New Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected

Three researchers from abroad have been chosen to receive Germany’s top international research award in 2017 and move to North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony.

A cell biologist, a philosopher and a plant molecular biologist from the USA have been selected to receive Germany’s most valuable international research prize. These outcomes mean that six awards have been granted for 2017. The first selection round was held in April.

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 ten nominees from Denmark, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, 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 cell biologist Peter Baumann (47) from the University of Kansas Medical Center, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA, was nominated by the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz together with the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) in Mainz
  • James Conant (58), philosopher at the University of Chicago, USA, was nominated by Leipzig University
  • The plant molecular biologist Wolf B. Frommer (58) from Stanford University, USA, was nominated by Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf together with the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne

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.