2014 Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives

This year marks the sixth time the Humboldt Foundation has granted awards to Humboldt alumni for initiatives designed to promote academic and cultural ties between Germany and their own countries, or strengthen cooperation in the respective countries and regions. The award is valued up to 25,000 EUR and is funded by the German Foreign Office. The Humboldt Alumni Awards were presented to this year’s recipients on 4 June 2014 at the Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting in Berlin.

Initiatives of Humboldtians from Poland, Cuba and Cameroon were selected as this year’s award-winners:

Interdisciplinary Network for the Adoption of the Ancient World in the Culture of Children and Youth

The Polish philologist Katarzyna Marciniak wants to develop a cross-border network and conduct interdisciplinary research on the adoption of the Ancient World in the culture of children and youth, with an examination that ranges from books, comics and films and extends all the way to computer games. Marciniak wants to bring together a very broad array of groups under one umbrella for her project “On the Trail Of Mythical Beasts. The Adoption of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in the Culture of Children and Youth as a Transformation Marker”: In addition to fellows of the Humboldt Foundation, researchers from Germany and international experts in the fields of classical philology, modern philology, psychology, philosophy, and animal studies, she also wants to involve junior researchers and artists. The project will include not only seminars and publications but also innovative comparative individual studies that take a regional perspective (Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australia).

Katarzyna Marciniak
Photo: private

Professor Dr Katarzyna Marciniak
obtained her doctorate in Literature Studies from the University of Warsaw under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Jerzy Axer in 2004. From 2006 to 2007 she conducted research at the Institute for Greek and Latin Philology under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Bernd Seidensticker at the Freie Universität Berlin as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Marciniak has been director of the Centre for Studies on the Classical Tradition (OBTA) of the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw since 2013.

Latin American Network for Neuroethology

The Cuban biologist Emanual C. Mora wants to improve the quality of education and research in the area of the neuronal basis of behaviour and sensory perception with the help of his network initiative “Latin American Network for Neuroethology”. Mora aims to create better conditions for teaching and research in this field at universities in Latin America through Latin American-German collaboration. As part of these activities, training and online courses are to be conducted and teaching materials are to be made available. The project will involve not only Humboldtians but also young researchers and experts in this field from Germany, the countries of Latin America, and the USA.

Emanuel Mora
Photo: private

Professor Dr Dr Emanuel C. Mora
obtained a doctorate in Life Science at the Universidad de La Habana in 2001 and a doctorate in Neuroscience and Behavioural Biology from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla in 2010. He conducted research at the Zoological Institute of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main from 2003 to 2004. Mora has taught at the Biology Faculty of the Universidad de La Habana since 2004 and has been head of the research group for Bioacoustics and Neuroethology there since 2007.

African-German Mentoring Platform to Support Young Humanities Scholars

Cameroonian linguist Daniel Ategwa Nkemleke wants to reach young researchers in the humanities field with his network initiative “Intra-African/German Network of Academic Writing Excellence in the Humanities: Mentoring Junior Scientists for Successful Humboldt Applications”. His aim is to make information on funding options for research stays in Germany available to them. Using a new mentoring platform, he wants to advise junior researchers at events and on the internet in connection with applications for fellowships. The network will also use discussion forums to increase the sharing of information between specialists. The initiative plans to involve researchers in the fields Languages and Literature, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, German Philology, and the Performing and Visual Arts from five African countries and Germany. An international colloquium will be held in Cameroon to launch the initiative.

Daniel Nkemleke

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/
David Ausserhofer

Professor Dr Dr Daniel Ategwa Nkemleke
was awarded a doctorate in English Language and Linguistics by the University of Yaoundé I in 2003. He conducted research at the Philosophy Faculty of the Technical University of Chemnitz from 2006 to 2008 with a Georg Forster Research Fellowship. Nkemleke has taught English and Linguistics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, University of Yaoundé I since 2000.