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 2018

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 and, if necessary, the order in which candidates are shortlisted, is taken by the President of the Foundation in his capacity as President of the Board of Trustees; the Board of Trustees approves the appointment for an initial term of three years, which can be renewed twice.


Professor Dr. Martin Carrier
Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft, Philosophie und Theologie, Universität Bielefeld

Specialist Committee Members

  • 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. Julia Fischer
    Deutsches Primatenzentrum - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung, Göttingen
  • 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. Hans-Jochen Heinze
    Medizinische Fakultät, Klinik für Neurologie II, Universität Magdeburg
  • Professor Dr. Hans Keppler
    Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth
  • Professor Dr. Gisela Lanza
    Institut für Produktionstechnik, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
  • Professor Dr. Jörn Leonhard
    Historisches Seminar, Universität Freiburg
  • Professor Dr. Heinz-Peter Mansel
    Institut für Internationales und Ausländisches Privatrecht, Universität Köln
  • Professor Dr. Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus
    Institut für Angewandte Physik, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
  • Professor Dr. Claudia Olk
    Peter Szondi-Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Professor Dr. Achim Rosch
    Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Köln
  • Professor Dr. Robert Schlögl
    Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin
  • Professor Dr. Erich Schröger
    Institut für Allgemeine Psychologie, Universität Leipzig
  • Professor Dr. Uwe Sunde
    Seminar für Bevölkerungsökonomie, Universität München
  • Professor Dr. Dorothea Wagner
    Institut für Theoretische Informatik, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
  • Professor Dr. Herbert Waldmann
    Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Physiologie, Dortmund

 Voting Non-specialist Committee Members

  • Auswärtiges Amt: Nicole Menzenbach
  • 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