Members of the Selection Committee for the Allocation of Georg Forster Research Awards and Fellowships

As of May 2019

Information on the composition of the committee

The central instrument for conferring Georg Forster Research Fellowships and Georg Forster Research Awards 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 fellowships and 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
  • experience in scientific cooperation with developing and transition countries
  • 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. Silke Wieprecht
Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung, Universität Stuttgart

(Proxy: Professor Dr. Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink)

Specialist Committee Members

  • Professor Dr. Holm J. Altenbach
    Institut für Mechanik, Universität Magdeburg
  • Professor Dr. Paola Ayala
    Fakultät für Physik, Universität Wien
  • Professor Dr. Ismail Cakmak
    Faculty of Engineering & Natural Sciences, Sabanci University
  • Professor Dr. Manuel Cancio Meliá
    Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  • Professor Dr. Claudia Derichs
    Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Marburg
  • Professor Dr. Hellmut Eckert
    Instituto de Física de Sao Carlos, Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP)
  • Professor Dr. Thomas Fillitz
    Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, Universität Wien
  • Professor Dr. Lutz Heide
    Pharmazeutisches Institut, Universität Tübingen
  • Professor Dr. Peter Imkeller
    Institut für Mathematik, Bereich Stochastik, Humboldt-Universität Berlin
  • Professor Dr. Reiner Klemd
    Geozentrum Nordbayern, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Professor Dr. Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink
    Fachrichtung 4.2 - Romanistik, Universität des Saalandes, Saarbrücken
  • Professor Dr. Dirk Messner
    Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn
  • Professor Dr. Gerd Pluschke
    Schweizerisches Tropen- und Public Health-Institut, Swiss TPH, Basel
  • Professor Dr. Ute Spiekerkötter
    Klinik für Allgemeine Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
  • Professor Dr. Anne Valle Zarate
    Institut für Tierproduktion in den Tropen und Subtropen, Universität Hohenheim
  • Professor Dr. Ludger Wessjohann
    Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie, Halle (Saale)
  • Professor Dr. Silke Wieprecht
    Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung, Universität Stuttgart

Non-specialist Voting Committee Members

  • Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung:
    Ina von Frantzius
    (Proxy: Daniel Braun)

Non-specialist Non-voting Committee Members

  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst:
    Cay Etzold


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

Fax: 0228-833 212