New Alexander von Humboldt Professors chosen

Researchers selected from abroad set to receive Germany’s most valuable international research award in 2018

A legal scholar, a quantum optician, a virologist, a computer scientist and a cell biologist have been selected to receive Germany’s most valuable international research award. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship comes with up to €5 million in funding and is granted to eminent researchers of all disciplines who have been working abroad up to now. They are expected to conduct cutting-edge research at German universities on a long-term basis. The newly-selected award winners currently work in Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and France. The award amount is earmarked for the first five years of their research in Germany. The Humboldt Professorship is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The new award winners were chosen from a pool of 15 nominated researchers from Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Israel, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States. They will now embark on appointment negotiations with the German universities that nominated them. If the researchers accept the Humboldt Professorship, the award will be conferred in May 2018.

  • Legal scholar Anne van Aaken (48), currently at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, was nominated by the University of Hamburg.
  • Wil van der Aalst (51), computer scientist at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, was nominated by RWTH Aachen University.
  • Quantum optician Arno Rauschenbeutel (46) of the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology in Austria, was nominated by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
  • Guus F. Rimmelzwaan (57), currently a virologist at Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands, was nominated by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation.
  • Cell biologist Michael H. Sieweke (54), at present director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche (CNRS) and group leader at the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, France, was nominated by Technische Universität Dresden.

The Humboldt Professorship enables German universities to offer top international researchers competitive general conditions for research and to sharpen their own international profiles in the global research market at the same time. 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 59 researchers, including ten women, have been appointed to a Humboldt Professorship, facilitating the move to Germany.