Members of the Committee for the Allocation of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Awards

(as well as for the Allocation of Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards)

As of May 2019

Information on the composition of the committee

The central instrument for conferring certain research awards of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is an interdisciplinary selection committee.


The members are assigned certain applications, on which they report to the committee. All decisions are discussed and taken jointly by the interdisciplinary committee; the Foundation’s Board of Trustees must approve the committee’s choices for research awards.

The selection committee is composed of:

  • specialist members: recognized researchers of various disciplines (= specialist selection committee members)
  • non-specialist members: voting representatives of public and private funders; non-voting representatives of other science (funding) organisations.

This composition ensures the necessary scientific expertise to review the applications, complemented by institutional expertise on strategic-structural aspects.

The total number and the representation of disciplines by experts on the committees is based on the average number and subject representation of the applications received. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s choice of expert committee members forms the basis for recognising and selecting excellence in its sponsorship programmes. The selection of specialist selection committee members is, therefore, a core process at the Foundation that seeks to identify the finest scientific minds. The Selection Department takes great care to regularly include domestic and international researchers on its committees who are new to the Foundation’s broader network in order to remain open to new perspectives and angles.

For each new appointment or replacement, the Foundation consults numerous experts as well as representatives of science organisations to draw up a shortlist. Scientific excellence is a basic prerequisite for a candidate to be considered. Other core prerequisites are:

  • international contacts and experience, as possible extended academic professional activity abroad
  • preferably broad scientific expertise
  • willingness and ability to engage in interdisciplinary discourse
  • willingness to actively support the work of the Humboldt Foundation
  • sufficient availability.

The following additional aspects are also considered when appointing committee members:

  • gender and age balance
  • balanced regional representation
  • complementing existing expertise on the committee
  • including researchers who work abroad whilst ensuring the necessary familiarity with the German science system.

The decision to appoint a new member is approved by the Board of Trustees. The appointment is for an initial term of three years and can be renewed twice.


Professor Dr. Julia Fischer
Deutsches Primatenzentrum - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung, Göttingen

(Proxy: Professor Dr. Wilfried Buchmüller, Professor Dr. Heinz-Peter Mansel)

Specialist Committee Members

  • Professor Dr. Thorsten Bach
    Lehrstuhl für Organische Chemie 1, Technische Universität München
  • Professor Dr. Matthias Bartelmann
    Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg
  • Professor Dr. Monika Betzler
    Lehrstuhl für Philosophie V, Universität München (LMU)
  • Professor Dr. Immanuel Bloch
    Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik (MPQ), Garching
  • Professor Dr. Wilfried Buchmüller
    Gruppe Theorie, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) Hamburg
  • Professor Dr. Reinhard Fässler
    Abteilung für Molekulare Medizin, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried
  • Professor Dr. Roland A. Fischer
    Lehrstuhl für Anorganische und Metallorganische Chemie, Technische Universität München
  • Professor Dr. Rita Franceschini
    Fakultät für Bildungswissenschaften, Freie Universität Bozen
  • Professor Dr. Rudolf O. Gross
    Walther-Meissner-Institut für Tieftemperaturforschung, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Garching
  • Professor Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen
    Fakultät für Chemie und Biochemie, Lehrstuhl Physikalische Chemie II, Universität Bochum
  • Professor Dr. Hans-Jochen Heinze
    Medizinische Fakultät, Klinik für Neurologie II, Universität Magdeburg
  • Professor Dr. Hans Keppler
    Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth
  • Professor Dr. Jörn Leonhard
    Historisches Seminar, Universität Freiburg
  • Professor Dr. Heinz-Peter Mansel
    Institut für Internationales und Ausländisches Privatrecht, Universität Köln
  • Professor Dr. Klara Nahrstedt
    Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor Dr. Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus
    Institut für Angewandte Physik, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
  • Professor Dr. Claudia Olk
    Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität München (LMU)
  • Professor Dr. Michael Röckner
    Fakultät für Mathematik, Universität Bielefeld
  • Professor Dr. Achim Rosch
    Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Köln
  • Professor Dr. Erich Schröger
    Institut für Allgemeine Psychologie, Universität Leipzig
  • Professor Dr.-Ing Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern
    Fachgruppe Physikalisch-chemische Grundlagen der Prozeßtechnik, Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik komplexer technischer Systeme, Magdeburg
  • Professor Dr. Uwe Sunde
    Seminar für Bevölkerungsökonomie, Universität München

 Voting Non-specialist Committee Members

  • Auswärtiges Amt: Ronald Münch
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung:
    MinR Peter Hassenbach
  • Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder:
    Udo Michallik

Non-specialist Non-voting Committee Members

  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst:
    Dr. Birgit Klüsener
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft:
    Dr. Jörg Schneider
  • Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Generalverwaltung:
    Dr. Berthold Neizert
  • Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft:
    Ann-Katrin Schröder-Kralemann
  • Fritz Thyssen Stiftung:
    Dr. Frank Suder


For information on the composition of the Selection Committee see the relevant FAQ section.


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

Fax: 0228-833 212