Germany takes leading role in research alumni work

A new publication from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation shows how research alumni work functions.

Universities and research institutions in Germany are directing greater attention to their research alumni ‒ and, by international standards, are playing a pioneering role in alumni work in the process ‒ according to a recent publication issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in connection with the International Research Marketing project. Financing for this project is being provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Research alumni are international scientists and scholars who have completed a research stay at a German university or non-university research institution and have since resumed their scientific or academic work abroad. They are ideal ambassadors, multipliers and advisors for their former host institutions in Germany. The potential that research alumni offer universities and research institutions for their internationalisation is correspondingly large. Worldwide however universities and research institutions still continue to primarily target their own graduates with their alumni work. Gearing the work being done to maintain relations and contacts specifically to research alumni ‒ as is being done in Germany ‒ is an unprecedented approach.

The latest duz SPECIAL “The Discovery of Research Alumni” explains how alumni research work functions. This issue summarises key findings and insights from the five years’ research alumni work sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The duz SPECIAL can be downloaded at: (German version, PDF) (English version, PDF)

This publication is part of the International Research Marketing project being conducted on a joint basis by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Research Foundation and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. The project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is part of the Research in Germany campaign. Further information is available at and

This publication is available in German and English free of charge from the Raabe Verlag publishing house (s.kollenberg(at)


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