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Georg Forster Research Award

The Georg Forster Research Award is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date to academics of all disciplines whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and beyond and who are expected to continue developing research-based solutions to the specific challenges facing transition and developing countries.

Nominees must be nationals of a developing or transition country (excluding People's Republic of China and India; cf. detailed list of countries). Furthermore, at the time of nomination, they must have had their main residence and place of work in one of these countries for at least five years.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation particularly encourages the nomination of qualified female researchers.

The award amount totals EUR 60,000. In Germany, research awards are generally exempt from income tax under German tax law.

In addition, award winners are invited to conduct a research project of their own choosing in Germany in close collaboration with a specialist colleague. The project duration of about six to twelve months may be divided into segments. In addition, further expenditures (such as travel or language courses) are covered in the context of the invitation to stay in Germany for research purposes. To support the collaboration, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation may grant additional funding of up to EUR 25,000, particularly for participating in scientific conferences, additional material resources, e.g., specialist literature and scientific equipment for the nominee’s own institute, as well as for involving junior researchers.

An established academic employed by a university or research institution in Germany must take the initiative to nominate a candidate for the Georg Forster Research Award. Nominations may also be initiated by award winners of the Humboldt Foundation working abroad, provided that the nomination is made jointly with a colleague working in Germany. Self-nomination is not possible.

In 2014, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is granting up to four Georg Forster Research Awards.

Other important details

Further information

  1. The nominee must be recognised internationally as an outstandingly qualified academic (e.g. awards, positive responses to publications, etc.).
  2. The nominee's future perspectives must indicate that she/he will continue to be an active, academically influential researcher in the coming years with relevance to the development of the nominee's own county.
  3. The nominee must be exceptionally qualified to continue developing research-based solutions to the specific challenges facing transition and developing countries.
  4. The nominee must be a national of a developing or transition country (excluding People's Republic of China and India; cf. detailed list of countries). At the time of nomination, he or she must have had his or her main residence and place of work in one of these countries for at least five years.;
  5. Detailed expert opinion (laudation) by an academic working at a research institution in Germany who would like to invite the nominee to spend time researching in Germany.
  6. Two expert reviews by important international academics and one from a German scientist/scholar;
  7. The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice during the application and sponsorship periods.

Nominations should be sent to the following address by 15 May 2014:

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Selection Department,
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany

The selection meeting is scheduled for autumn.

It is the nominator's responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents. Nominations not submitted as a single entity will take longer to process. The documents required in addition to the nomination documents, i.e. the confidential statements by the expert reviewers, can be submitted to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation directly, at the same time as the nomination. Subsequently, independent peer reviewers assess the nominations.

An independent Selection Committee composed of academics from all disciplines makes the final decision on the nominations received. The Selection Committee makes its decision solely on the basis of the nominees' academic qualifications and the relevance of their research to the development of their own countries.

Nominees will be notified about the Selection Committee's decision immediately after the meeting.

Further information

One of our hallmarks is the degree of support we try to provide for every single guest researcher. This is why we offer you extra benefits in addition to the award amount: from invitations to events to language courses.

Further information

Once a Humboldtian, always a Humboldtian: Even after your research stay has come to an end, we shall still maintain close contact with you. Our alumni sponsorship is flexible and designed to support every Humboldtian’s particular path in life and development as well as collaborations between individuals.

Further information