09 November 2015, No. 24/2015

Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards to be presented on 17 November

Six international researchers to receive awards valued at up to €1.65 million each in Berlin. The young researchers will conduct research in Munich, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Bochum and Hanover in the coming years.

This year, a total of six young international researchers from abroad will receive the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, each of which comes with up to €1.65 million in funding. State Secretary Cornelia Quennet-Thielen from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation, will present the awards at a special ceremony being held in Berlin at 7 pm on 17 November.

With this award money, the six researchers (three women and three men) can conduct research free from administrative constraints at a German university or research institute of their choice for a period of up to five years and develop their own research group for this at their host institute. The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award is one of Germany’s best-endowed research awards. It is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. With this award, the young researchers who are between 31 and 33 years of age receive risk capital during an extremely early phase in their careers to conduct innovative projects and, in the process, are given the opportunity to work independently and bear responsibility.

Notice to the press:

During the day of 17 November a working meeting will be held which will also be attended by this year’s award winners and their hosts. Specialist topics will be discussed and experience shared with regard to Germany as a location for research work. Journalists are welcome to attend. We will be happy to arrange interviews. The detailed programme is available here.

Time and date: Tuesday, 17 November 2015, 10 am - 5 pm

Venue: Maritim proArte Hotel (Friedrichstraße 151, 10117 Berlin)

Award ceremony:

Time and date: Tuesday, 17 November 2015, 7 pm

Venue: Atrium, Deutsche Bank (Charlottenstraße 37-38, 10117 Berlin)

It will be possible to conduct interviews and to film, photograph and make audio recordings at both events. Please register by 12 pm, Friday, 13 November 2015 via e-mail addressed to presse(at)avh.de

Contact on location: Teresa Havlicek, Tel. 0151-67317585


The recently selected award winners, their home countries, countries of residence, their research areas and their host institutes are:

  • Rikkert Frederix, Netherlands/Switzerland, Elementary Particle Physics, Technische Universität München, Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics Group in Garching
  • Mikhail Kudryashev, Russia/Switzerland, Biophysics/Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt am Main
  • Karin Lind, Sweden, Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
  • Ioan M. Pop, Romania/USA, Solid State Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Clara Saraceno, Argentina/Switzerland, Laser Physics, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Chair of Physical Chemistry II
  • Zhuang Xiaoying, China, Technical Mechanics/Engineering Science, Leibniz University Hannover, Institute of Continuum Mechanics

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 52 Nobel Laureates.


Teresa Havlicek
Nina Hafeneger
Press, Communications and Marketing
Phone: +49 228 833-423/450
Fax: +49 228 833-441

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