03. July 2014, No. 19/2014

Alumni work singled out for more than €600,000

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has selected the winners of its Research Alumni Strategies competition.

How do universities keep their guest researchers from abroad involved with them even after their research stay has ended? The best ideas for achieving this were recently selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in its 2014 Research Alumni Strategies competition. Sixteen universities from throughout Germany have been chosen to receive the award which is financed by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The winners also include three non-university research institutions; the competition was open to this category of research facility for the first time this year.

The winning bodies use a variety of strategies to recruit guest researchers on a long-term basis as advisors for their internationalization efforts or as ambassadors or talent scouts abroad: These strategies range from Welcome Days to Farewell Days, from virtual conferences to the appointment of alumni advisors. The Humboldt Foundation singled out concepts at three different levels: Winning universities and research institutions that have recently taken up alumni work receive €30,000 each. Institutions that have already established strategies receive €60,000 each in connection with research alumni meetings abroad. In addition, institutions that are already experienced in alumni work and have particularly effective sustainability strategies for research alumni activities are awarded €30,000 each. A list of the winning universities and institutions is available here.

At the conclusion of the (for the present time) last round of this competition, it is evident that the importance of research alumni work has become a fundamental issue at universities and research institutions. Since 2011, a total of 25 universities and research institutions have made winning submissions to the competition. The exchange of information and experience between “research alumni advisors” will also continue in 2015.

The Research Alumni Strategies competition

The Research Alumni Strategies competition is part of the International Research Marketing project that is being jointly conducted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Research Foundation and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is part of the Research in Germany initiative. Further information is available at: www.forscher-alumni.de

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 26,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 50 Nobel Prize winners.


Teresa Havlicek
Lena Schnabel
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-423/-144
Fax: +49 228 833-441

Georg Scholl
Head of
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-258
Fax: +49 228 833-441