Georg Forster Research Award

For whom
internationally recognised researchers
From where
developing and emerging countries in accordance with OECD (excluding PR China and India)
For what
€60,000 award money (research stay of up to 12 months in Germany possible)
Drei Menschen bei der Arbeit in einem Labor, Symbolbild Georg-Forster-Preis

Register here for the next round of nominations!


Research award for academics from developing and emerging countries

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation presents up to six Georg Forster Research Awards each year to internationally outstanding researchers from developing and transition countries in recognition of their academic record to date. The research award was named for renowned German ethnologist Georg Forster (1754–1794) and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

For more information please see the Georg Forster Research Award programme information.


The closing date for nominations has elapsed. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to submit nominations in this programme. The next nomination round is scheduled to begin in summer 2024. If you register now, we will send you an email informing you when the next nomination round opens.


Our sponsorship

The award amount is €60,000. Award winners are also invited to conduct a research project of their choice at a research institution in Germany in cooperation with specialist colleagues there. The award enables a total stay of between six months and a full year, which can be split into multiple stays. If required, we will provide further funding of up to €25,000 to finance academic collaboration – in particular to cover the costs of attending academic conferences, of material resources such as specialist literature or scientific equipment at the home institution, or of including junior researchers.

The award is intended to support the long-term promotion of outstanding scientific multipliers in transition and developing countries whose research will contribute to improving living conditions in their countries of origin.

We strive to offer our guest researchers individualised support and funding. Amongst the benefits available to award winners are invitations to numerous events or the opportunity to attend language courses. Our alumni sponsorship measures flexibly support every Humboldtian’s individual journey through life, in both their careers and their future collaborations.

Who may submit a nomination?

Nominations for a Georg Forster Research Award may be initiated by established researchers at research institutions in Germany. Humboldt Foundation award winners working abroad are also eligible to submit nominations jointly with a researcher working in Germany.

For details of the nomination process please see the web page Information for nominators for the Georg Forster Research Award. As soon as we receive all the necessary documents, we will confirm receipt of the nomination by e-mail and initiate the review process. All information will of course be treated as strictly confidential. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us (info[at] We are happy to help.

Who may be nominated?

Eligible for nomination are researchers whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or findings have had a lasting effect on their discipline beyond their immediate research area and who will continue to contribute to developing research-based approaches to the specific challenges of developing and emerging countries. The individual nominated must additionally meet the following criteria:

  • The nominee’s academic achievements must be internationally recognised and proven by corresponding successes in research.
  • The nominee may not previously have received an award from the Humboldt Foundation for her/his academic work.
  • The nominee must be a citizen of a developing or transition country
    (excluding PR China and India, see list of countries (PDF)). The nominee must have lived and worked in one of these countries for at least five years at the time of nomination.

Self-nominations are not possible, nor may you nominate close relatives or your marital/registered partner. We particularly encourage the nomination of qualified female researchers.

The selection procedure

The nomination period usually ends on 31 October of each year. The independent Selection Committee comprised of researchers of all disciplines generally meets in the summer of the following year to select the award winner. The Committee’s decision is based on the independent peer reviews, the nominees’ academic qualifications and the significance of their research for the development of their home country.

The main selection criteria include:

  • the nominee’s outstanding international reputation as a researcher
  • research findings with a demonstrable impact that extends beyond the immediate field of work
  • the significance of the awarding of a research prize in relation to the developmental relevance of the research  (The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals can serve as a point of reference here.)
  • the nominee’s multiplier effect in research, teaching, and science management and in other development-related processes outside the research field

We will inform nominators of the selection decision immediately after the meeting. If your nomination is unsuccessful, we will be happy to provide information on the level of competition and the selection criteria on request.


Nominees and nominators must always abide by the rules of good scientific practice (PDF) and the principles of scientific ethics. The foundation provides information on dealing with generative AI in the selection area.

This programme is financed by

All awards and grants