Sponsored networking initiatives

2020 Humboldt Alumni Award

For the twelfth time now, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is awarding Humboldtians abroad for innovative networking ideas. The selected projects are being developed by Humboldt alumni to promote the academic and cultural ties between Germany and the home countries of the individual alumni, get discipline- and topic-driven researcher networks involved, and strengthen collaboration in the respective region. Each award comes with up to €30,000 in funding. One of the Humboldt Alumni Awards will be specifically granted to foster an initiative to network female researchers. It will be awarded to an initiative that promotes and boosts the careers of female researchers and their collaboration partners, with consideration being given to the individuals’ professional and family-related responsibilities. A further Humboldt Alumni Award will be granted to foster innovative formats for science communication. It will go to an initiative where researchers and their collaboration partners work to create a dialogue between science and society and which helps build the public’s trust in scientific findings.

This year, initiatives developed by Humboldtians from Cameroon, Kenya, New Zealand and Romania were selected for the award.

Music History from Cross-Cultural Perspectives Network

The Humboldt Research Fellow Nancy Rachel November is a professor of musicology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Historically, music has always been studied and propagated from a western, Central European perspective. Priority has traditionally been given to a Eurocentric approach even when the subject and location of study are located – culturally or geographically – outside of Europe. With her Music History from Cross-Cultural Perspectives Network, Nancy November will bring together key individuals and institutions that foster a historically informed awareness of the complexity and abundance of nuances of regional societies and music cultures. The network wants to advance music history research from Australasian and East Asian perspectives and link it with German approaches with the aim of developing a cross-cultural musicology. The work done by this network will also focus on mentoring and helping to set up collaborations between established and younger researchers.

Global Challenges of the 21st Century: Science and Scientific Communication for Civic Engagement

The Humboldt Research Fellow Diana Stanciu is an associate researcher at the Institute of Research of the University of Bucharest, Romania.(ICUB) and the Director of the Romanian Young Academy (RYA), hosted by the University of Bucharest.


What are the global challenges of the early 21st century? The founder of the Romanian Young Academy, Diana Stanciu’s vision for the Global Challenges of the 21st Century: Science and Scientific Communication for Civic Engagement initiative is to establish a regional/international network that promotes science communication and the transfer of knowledge from the academic world to society. The researcher network will particularly focus on technological progress, human health/ quality of life; climate change and environmental sustainability; as well as democracy and social cohesion. Humboldtians and other scientists and scholars will place their research work in the service of civil society in a variety of ways such as: specialist and non-specialist publications, informative lectures and events for political decision-makers, and meetings or workshops with professors, teachers and students from various fields.

Women in Sciences: Trans-disciplinary Initiatives with the “Cameroon Professional Research Oriented Women Network (CaPROWN)”

The Georg Forster Research Fellow Evelyn Shiri-Neh Fogwe Chibaka is a professor of Linguistics, African languages and cultures at the University of Buea, Cameroon.


Bringing the expectations and the realities of successful career paths for female researchers into line with one another is Evelyn Fogwe Chibaka’s mission. She and her already launched network Women in Sciences: Trans-disciplinary Initiatives with the “Cameroon Professional Research Oriented Women Network (CaPROWN)”  have set themselves the goal of fostering and boosting the careers of post doctorate women from Cameroon in all academic fields. Whether they are building their careers at a university, non-governmental organisation or other institution, the CaPROW network wants – with the help of online discussions and workshops with personal contact – to actively help ensure that female researchers receive systematic support to improve their professional and personal skills and make them competitive in the area of research design and financing. Its long-term aim is to mentor, promote, integrate and boost women’s careers and, not least of all, raise their profiles at international level.

Formation of a Malaria Vector Control Network in East Africa

The recipient of the Humboldt Research Award in Memory of Neville Alexander, Joseph Owuor Lalah is a professor at the Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi.


Sub-Saharan Africa is severely affected by malaria, an infectious disease that strikes several hundred million people around the world every year. One of the fundamental problems in fighting this disease is the lack of knowledge on how to deal with the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. The mosquito larva control recommended by the World Health Organization requires expertise in biology plus government funding. However, there is a gap between research findings on the one hand and government actions on the other. This is the starting point for Joseph Owuor Lalah’s Formation of a Malaria Vector Control Network in East Africa. This researcher network will launch an awareness campaign and implement a Larval Source Management system in endemic areas in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Working together with researchers, representatives of national environmental protection agencies, local authorities, and communications experts, the network will tackle urgent tasks in order to lower the mortality rate among the general population.

This year’s successful initiatives were proposed by Humboldtians from Cuba, Japan, the Russian Federation, South Africa and the United States.

Japanese and German legal scholars traditionally maintain close relations. At an early stage in their academic training they are encouraged to connect. With his networking initiative A backbone for Japanese-German communication in public law Hiroki Harada seeks to sustainably reinforce legal understanding of Germany in public law in Japan. Experienced researchers will provide German-Japanese meeting and learning formats in order to convey knowledge and communicative competence about the basic legal structures to junior academics in the network. Those involved will connect during visits, at doctoral seminars as well as at workshops in Japan and Germany. They will thus invigorate the socially important bilateral exchange on the appropriate relationship between the state and the citizen.

Humboldt Research Fellow Hiroki Harada is Professor in the Law Faculty at Kyoto University, Japan.

One of the largest radio telescopes worldwide, the Square Kilometer Array, is currently being built in the southern hemisphere by an international research alliance. Madagascar is one of the African partners and has a keen interest in being involved scientifically. University education in astronomy is, however, not strongly developed in the country. Roger Ianjamasimanana`s Madagascar-South Africa-Germany Network Initiatives: Mentoring and Teaching of Future & Emerging Young Researchers are designed to improve academic training in Madagascar. Together with German, South African and Madagascan researchers, Ianjamasimanana advises and encourages school students and young researchers to pursue a scientific/technical career. Distinguished researchers will mentor younger scientists and help them to plan their careers.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Roger Ianjamasimanana is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

The Alexander von Humboldt National Park in eastern Cuba is the largest and best-preserved residual mountain ecosystem in the Caribbean. As early as 1804, on his travels through the country, Alexander von Humboldt recognised that the variety of species in this biodiversity hotspot was under threat. Rayner Núñez’s networking initiative seeks to foster and preserve what is now a UNESCO world heritage site. His project Cuba revisited – Alexander von Humboldt National Park: A network for Caribbean biodiversity research and conservation connects Cuban and international researchers, junior academics, NGO staff, volunteers and students in preserving the diversity of the animal and plant species native to the National Park. The results of this collaboration will be made available to other researchers and conservationists on the Alumniportal Deutschland.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Rayner Núñez currently works for the Planta! - Plantlife Conservation Society in Havana, Cuba.

How can women help to shape societies that are still governed by traditional authority and institutions, and how can they obtain equal participation in leadership positions which are generally reserved for the senior male members of royal families? These are some of the questions addressed by Christa Rautenbach in her Traditional Governance and Women Network that is composed of female researchers in Germany, South Africa, Zambia and the Netherlands. The members will connect at roundtables in their various countries and elucidate the area of tension between traditional forms of government and gender issues. The aim of the networking initiative is to build sustainable, interdisciplinary research collaborations over continents. Furthermore, the experienced members of the network will communicate information on opportunities for international cooperation to young female researchers in law, social science, anthropology and politics.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Christa Rautenbach is Professor in the Faculty of Law at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

How can you spark the enthusiasm of junior researchers for research into innovations in undiscovered fields of application and develop technologies in a way that engages new users? Alexandra Yurkovskaya is embracing this challenge. She has initiated a network, Emerging spin technologies, that connects experienced researchers with younger generations of academics in order to promote scientific breakthroughs in the chemical, physical and technical application of spin technology. As part of the networking initiative, several satellite events are planned on the periphery of conferences, workshops and scientific courses in Germany, Russia and Japan. The relevant findings will be published on a website.

Humboldt Research Fellow Alexandra Yurkovskaya is Head of the research laboratory at the International Tomography Center, which belongs to the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk, Russian Federation.

Never before were so many animal and plant species threatened with extinction as they are today. Abdullahi Yusuf wants to draw attention to the state of and changes in insect populations. With his initiative, Behavioral and Ecological Principles of Biotic Interactions in Insects, he is creating a network that will aggregate knowledge on biodiversity and the state of ecosystems in times of climate change. Established researchers from Germany, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria will work together with students in the context of events and virtual workshops. Moreover, it is planned to connect the network with other relevant research communities such as the African Association of Insect Scientists and the Entomological Society of Southern Africa.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Abdullahi Yusuf is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Universities and research institutions draw their innovative strength from the engagement of everyone involved. With her networking initiative, Kathrin Zippel seeks to achieve gender equality in university leadership positions. Entitled Diffusion of promising practices: Global Links to promote Gender Equality in University Leadership, Kathrin Zippel is connecting a network of Humboldt alumni and German researchers with the research consortium Women in Higher Education Management Network. In the orbit of international gender conferences in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Austria and Australia, meetings will be held at which members of the network will strategically empower the scientific discourse.

Humboldt Research Fellow Kathrin Zippel is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston, USA.

This year’s successful initiatives were proposed by Humboldtians from Chile, Ethiopia, Indonesia and the United States.

With her Network of female academics and researchers in Ethiopia, Yalemtsehay Mekonnen has specifically set her sights on women researchers at Ethiopian universities. Recently, the country has invested significantly in its higher education sector and in training its students. The focus of activities in the country’s alumni network is capacity building in research and teaching for female junior researchers. The members of the network act as contacts for women academics in the natural sciences, health sciences, agriculture and engineering as well as in the humanities. Experienced Humboldtians support the younger mentees with discussions and advice.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Yalemtsehay Mekonnen is Professor of Cell and Human Physiology at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

 

With his Network for the study of contemporary social and political issues in Europe and Latin America: discussing and comparing our problems and responses (http://redlae.org/en/), Claudio Llanos Reyes is building a specialist network of historians, sociologists and economists focusing on the current social and political challenges facing Europe and Latin America. The members of the network swap perspectives: whilst those from Latin America investigate Europe’s historical experiential landscapes, European participants concentrate on the so-called “Third World”, especially Latin America, since the 1970s. Since that time, profound changes and rifts have emerged in western societies. As part of the networking initiative, two conferences involving numerous junior researchers will take place in Chile as well as smaller meetings and workshops.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Claudio Llanos Reyes is Professor in the Department of History at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Valparaíso, Chile.

In her ASEAN Urban Network: Understanding the Urban Society Leenawaty Limantara addresses growing urban societies worldwide. Urban development has engendered a new type of society: the urban society. Along with these come multidimensional social, economic, infrastructure and urban planning challenges. Thanks to Limantara’s initiative, multi-disciplinary specialist collaboration will be strengthened between Humboldtians in the ASEAN states and colleagues from Germany, who will also help to promote future generations of Humboldt research personalities. The network will communicate at online meetings, workshops, summer schools and international conferences. Part of the initiative will also involve developing an online platform as a research database and pool for ideas.

Georg Forster Research Fellow Leenawaty Limantara is the Rector of Universitas Pembangunan Jaya in Tangerang Selatan, Indonesia.

With his Virtual Humboldt Cluster on the Mechanics and Physics of Adhesion and Grip – MePAG, McMeeking is launching specialist collaboration in materials sciences amongst scientists at leading research institutions in the United States, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hungary and France. The cluster is conceived as a low-threshold platform to integrate young researchers at an early stage in their careers and introduce them to the Humboldt Network. The members of the network will be actively involved in workshops and symposia, short-term scientific exchanges and joint publications. Moreover, efforts will be made to scout for opportunities to integrate other interested parties, particularly women researchers, in the network.

Humboldt Research Award Winner Robert McMeeking is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

This year’s awards go to initiatives of Humboldtians from Belarus, Canada, Greece, Nigeria and Turkey.

As part of her network initiative Outstanding Young Women Scientists in Natural Science and Technology: National Mentoring Platform to Support Their Merit, Handan Arkin Olğar supports and fosters young and experienced Turkish women scientists through a mentoring programme. Every year, three outstanding women researchers are honoured at network events held at various Turkish universities; these women are then individually advised and assisted by Humboldt alumni with the planning of their scientific careers. In addition, all of the attendees at these events have the opportunity to speak and network with Humboldt alumni and other experienced women scientists, and scientists from Turkey and Germany.

The Humboldt Research Fellow Handan Arkin Olğar is a professor at the Department of Physics Engineering at Ankara University.

Using his Nature Time Responsibility initiative, Matthias Fritsch aims to expand a network of researchers from China, Japan, Canada and Germany which was set up during earlier research stays in Germany. The network constellates around the theme of moral, legal and political responsibility to nature and on behalf of future generations. As part of the initiative, online conferences and webinars will be conducted and assistance provided for student and postdoc trips taken to meet with members of the network.

The Humboldt Research Fellow Matthias Fritsch is a professor at the Department of Philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal.

Sergei Levchenko aims to establish a cross-border network of experts with his Initiative on Smart Energy and Network Technologies: Humboldtians on the way to a Smart Energy World (HISEN). Members of this network will use a virtual platform to discuss and find innovative solutions towards the advancement of smart energy. In addition, the initiative will support the transfer of knowledge in the areas of modern smart technologies for energy production, energy conservation, power transmission and consumption control. Looking to the younger generation of academics, particularly in Belarus and Eastern Partnership countries, the initiative also seeks to point out a perspective for the individuals’ own academic development.

The Humboldt Research Fellow Sergei Levchenko is a professor at the Luikov Heat & Mass Transfer Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Aderemi Raji-Oyelade will build a cross-border research network throughout Sub-Saharan Africa that will be dedicated to the development and dissemination of proverbs and “postproverbials” in African languages. As part of the initiative PACE Network: Postproverbial Africa – Building a Corpus of Wits in Texts, Media and Performance, proverbs and postproverbials of 13 local African languages will be collected in the course of interviews, focus group discussions and by the use of questionnaires. These proverbs and postproverbials, together with translations and explanatory notes, will be made available to members of the network in a database and as part of a web application. A multilingual publication is planned as well.

The Georg Forster Research Fellow Aderemi Raji-Oyelade is a professor at the Department of English at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

As part of her German-Mediterranean Network for Linguistics (“DeMiNeS”), Athina Sioupi has established a cross-disciplinary network of academics from the philology field in order to intensify cooperation between Germany and Mediterranean countries in and outside the European Union in the area of contrastive linguistic research and instruction. A website serves participants as a forum for cross-border discussion and exchange. Plans foresee among others an international symposium at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, a summer school at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a lecture series as part of the Erasmus+ programme reaching out for university students in Europe.

The Humboldt Research Fellow Athina Sioupi is a professor at the School of German Language and Literature at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The 2016 Humboldt Alumni Awards went to initiatives of Humboldtians from Argentina, Australia, Great Britain and Russia

In the framework of her networking initiative Museum Networks: People, Itineraries, and Collections (1770-1920), the anthropologist, social historian, and historian of ideas Irina Podgorny will establish a museum network in which the participants will focus on archaeological and ethnographic collections of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It is envisioned that female Humboldtians from Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico and numerous female scholars from Germany, Latin America, the USA and Europe will team up in this network. Together with the members of this network Irina Podgorny will develop, amongst other things, a Global Natural History Trade Database.

Professor Dr Dr Irina Podgorny
gained her doctorate at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina in 1994. She conducted research as a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Humboldt Universität Berlin from 2002 to 2003. Since 1995 she has been working at the CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council) and since 2001 at the Historical Museum Archive, which is part of the Faculty for Natural Science and Museology at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Irina Podgorny received the Humboldt Foundation's Georg Forster Research Award in 2013 and collaborated with the Institute for Latin American Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin until March 2016.

With his initiative Comparative Institutional Law Network: Strengthening Links between Europe, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, the constitutional law expert Bertus De Villiers wants to build a network of legal experts from Australia, Indonesia, and Germany with the aim of establishing legal dialogue on constitutional law amongst industrialised and developing countries. He intends to organise network meetings in each of the countries involved where practical and current constitutional law topics will be discussed. These meetings also offer an opportunity to pursue a dialogue with the judiciary, parliament, research institutes, and universities.

Professor Dr Bertus De Villiers
completed his doctorate in Public Law at the University of Johannesburg in 1989. He conducted research at the Institute of Public Law at the University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 1994 to 1995. The Humboldt Research Fellow Bertus De Villiers has been a member of the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia since 2005 and conducts research in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Australia and the Law Faculty of Curtin University in Perth.

In her networking initiative Crossing Borders in the Insular Middle Ages: Humboldt Alumni Network the English studies researcher Victoria Ellen Flood brings together young as well as established researchers from several European countries who study the literature and languages of mediaeval Britain, Ireland, and Iceland. The aim of the networking activities is a pilot project that will produce a digital map containing information on the movement and translation of scientific and historical texts between the 13th and 16th centuries.

Dr Victoria Ellen Flood
received her doctorate in Mediaeval Studies from the University of York, Great Britain, in 2013. She subsequently spent a research stay at the University of Marburg as a Humboldt Research Fellow from 2014 to 2015. Victoria Flood has been teaching and conducting research in the Department of English Studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom since 2015 and will be teaching Medieval and Early Modern Literature at the University of Birmingham starting September 2016.

Through her networking initiative Networking and mobility of excellent women scientists in science, engineering, and technology, the oceanographer Irina Didenkulova wants to actively support women who pursue a career in science. Together with female Humboldtians and others she aims to promote the mobility of women researchers in the natural sciences and engineering and, thus, to drive international research collaborations.

Dr habil. Irina Didenkulova
gained a doctorate in Fluid Mechanics at the Nizhny Novgorod State University, Russian Federation, in 2006 and a doctorate in Civil Engineering at Tallinn Technical University, Estonia, in 2008. She obtained her professorial qualifications (habilitation) in Oceanography from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanography in Moscow, Russian Federation, in 2013. She conducted research through a Humboldt Research Fellowship at the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel from 2012 to 2014. The Humboldt Research Fellow Irina Didenkulova currently works at the Marine Systems Institute at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia and at Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University in the Russian Federation.

The 2015 Humboldt Alumni Awards went to initiatives of Humboldtians from Bulgaria, Nigeria, Poland, Ukraine and the USA:

Nigeria's Oluyemi Akinloye wants to use his initiative Humboldtians’ Education Managers’ Network: Revitalising Higher Education Management and Research Linkage in Nigeria  to build a network of university managers in his country to encourage researchers who have worked many years in the university management field to share information and experience. At the same time, it is envisioned that they also pass their knowledge on to their younger colleagues. In addition, the network should enable more efficient use of the country's existing research infrastructure.

Professor Dr Oluyemi Akinloye
obtained his doctorate in 2003 in the field of Chemical Pathology at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He was subsequently a Georg Forster Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Münster from 2006 to 2007. Oluyemi Akinloye has been Professor of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of Lagos in Nigeria since 2013.

The Ukrainian mathematician Alexandra V. Antoniouk is planning to organise together with her colleague Sylvie Paycha from the University of Potsdam an exhibition titled Women Humboldtians in Mathematics around Europe. A gallery of portraits. The portraits of 13 successful mathematicians will be shown in ten European cities as part of her network initiative which Antoniouk wants to use to draw the public's attention to the large discrepancy between the number of men mathematicians and the number of female mathematicians and impel young women to embark on a career in mathematics. The initiative is also being designed to encourage its participants to network and share information.

Professor Dr Alexandra V. Antoniouk
obtained her doctorate from the Kiev Institute of Mathematics at Ukraine's National Academy of Sciences in 1993. She conducted research at Ruhr-Universität Bochum as a Humboldt Fellow from 1997 to 1998. Professor Antoniouk has been teaching at the Department of Nonlinear Analysis at the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev, Ukraine, since 1996.

The American chemist Judith Giordan wants to link up female scientists with one another through her network initiative Women in Innovation: Leveraging the power of the von Humboldt global network to aid women in realizing their potential as innovators and the value of their innovations to address global challenges.
The initiative will use online surveys to analyse the experiences gathered by female Humboldtians in their capacity as successful researchers, innovators and catalysts. The findings will be made available in a global online network which will be home to a forum where women can share views and information with one another and develop and realise new, innovative ideas.

Professor Dr Judith Giordan
earned her doctorate in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Maryland, USA, in 1980. She was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Goethe University Frankfurt from 1980 to 1981. Judith Giordan has been teaching at Oregon State University in the USA since 2014. She is the co-founder and vice-president of ecosVC, a consulting firm and the Chemical Angels Network, an investment group.

Przemyslaw Marciniak wants to use his initiative Byzantine Reception Network – Towards a new field of reception studies to develop a network where members can share information regarding the historiographical tradition of Byzantium and its reception in literature, in the theatre, and in popular culture of the modern age. The research methods used in this specialised field are also a focus. The findings shall be organised in a database and made available to the public via a website.

Professor Dr Przemyslaw Marcimiak
Marcimiak received his doctorate in Greek Philology from the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, in 2003. He conducted research at the Freie Universität Berlin as a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 2008 to 2009. Przemyslaw Marciniak has been head of the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Silesia since 2014.

The network initiative Humboldt Astroinformatics Networking created by the astronomer and computer scientist Milcho Kirilov Tsvetkov aims to network scientists from his home country and the neighbouring Balkan States as well as from Armenia, Germany and the Ukraine who conduct research in the astroinformatics field. Plans foresee members of the network developing research tools and sharing information about innovations in the IT field. The network is also to act as a platform for initiating collaborative research. A web portal will be set up for exchanging information and networking, also with an eye to young researchers.

Professor Dr Milcho Kirilov Tsvetkov
completed his doctorate in Physics and Mathematics at Yerevan State University, Armenia, in 1976. He conducted research as a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Münster from 1988 to 1990. Milcho Tsvetkov has been head of the Sofia Sky Archive Data Center and associate member at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria, since 2013.

Initiatives of Humboldtians from Poland, Cuba and Cameroon were selected as this year’s award-winners:

Interdisciplinary Network for the Adoption of the Ancient World in the Culture of Children and Youth

The Polish philologist Katarzyna Marciniak wants to develop a cross-border network and conduct interdisciplinary research on the adoption of the Ancient World in the culture of children and youth, with an examination that ranges from books, comics and films and extends all the way to computer games. Marciniak wants to bring together a very broad array of groups under one umbrella for her project “On the Trail Of Mythical Beasts. The Adoption of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in the Culture of Children and Youth as a Transformation Marker”: In addition to fellows of the Humboldt Foundation, researchers from Germany and international experts in the fields of classical philology, modern philology, psychology, philosophy, and animal studies, she also wants to involve junior researchers and artists. The project will include not only seminars and publications but also innovative comparative individual studies that take a regional perspective (Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australia).

Professor Dr Katarzyna Marciniak
obtained her doctorate in Literature Studies from the University of Warsaw under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Jerzy Axer in 2004. From 2006 to 2007 she conducted research at the Institute for Greek and Latin Philology under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Bernd Seidensticker at the Freie Universität Berlin as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Marciniak has been director of the Centre for Studies on the Classical Tradition (OBTA) of the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw since 2013.

Latin American Network for Neuroethology

The Cuban biologist Emanual C. Mora wants to improve the quality of education and research in the area of the neuronal basis of behaviour and sensory perception with the help of his network initiative “Latin American Network for Neuroethology”. Mora aims to create better conditions for teaching and research in this field at universities in Latin America through Latin American-German collaboration. As part of these activities, training and online courses are to be conducted and teaching materials are to be made available. The project will involve not only Humboldtians but also young researchers and experts in this field from Germany, the countries of Latin America, and the USA.

Professor Dr Dr Emanuel C. Mora
obtained a doctorate in Life Science at the Universidad de La Habana in 2001 and a doctorate in Neuroscience and Behavioural Biology from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla in 2010. He conducted research at the Zoological Institute of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main from 2003 to 2004. Mora has taught at the Biology Faculty of the Universidad de La Habana since 2004 and has been head of the research group for Bioacoustics and Neuroethology there since 2007.

African-German Mentoring Platform to Support Young Humanities Scholars

Cameroonian linguist Daniel Ategwa Nkemleke wants to reach young researchers in the humanities field with his network initiative “Intra-African/German Network of Academic Writing Excellence in the Humanities: Mentoring Junior Scientists for Successful Humboldt Applications”. His aim is to make information on funding options for research stays in Germany available to them. Using a new mentoring platform, he wants to advise junior researchers at events and on the internet in connection with applications for fellowships. The network will also use discussion forums to increase the sharing of information between specialists. The initiative plans to involve researchers in the fields Languages and Literature, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, German Philology, and the Performing and Visual Arts from five African countries and Germany. An international colloquium will be held in Cameroon to launch the initiative.

Professor Dr Dr Daniel Ategwa Nkemleke
was awarded a doctorate in English Language and Linguistics by the University of Yaoundé I in 2003. He conducted research at the Philosophy Faculty of the Technical University of Chemnitz from 2006 to 2008 with a Georg Forster Research Fellowship. Nkemleke has taught English and Linguistics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, University of Yaoundé I since 2000.

Three initiatives from Australia, Brazil and Egypt have been recognised this year as well as three additional ones from Sub-Saharan Africa in the context of the Neville Alexander Memorial Fund. They each receive 25,000 EUR. The funding for the initiatives from Australia, Brazil and Egypt is provided by the Federal Foreign Office; those from Sub-Saharan Africa fall within the German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013 and are financed by the Federal Ministry of Research (Humboldt Alumni Award to promote the African-German Network of Excellence in Science).
The award ceremony was held on 5 June 2013 during the Annual Meeting in Berlin.

Forum for the Study of Popular Culture

Randa Abou-Bakr’s networking initiative “Forum for the Study of Popular Culture” aims to establish a forum for research into popular culture which will provide resources and expertise for academics working in this field. The network seeks to create opportunities for individual researchers, research initiatives and those working in culture and the arts from the Arab region, Germany and other countries to share experiences.
The initiative will also generate opportunities for junior researchers from Egypt and the Arab region to travel to Germany for short periods of research. In the long term, the initiative hopes to develop an independent research centre with its own specialist library entitled to award degrees.

Prof. Dr. Randa Abou-Bakr
took her doctorate in Comparative Literature at Cairo University in 1998. From 2007 to 2009, she was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. Since 2009, Randa Abou-Bakr has taught English and Comparative Literature in the Faculty of English and Literature at Cairo University.

Establishing a Humboldt Network in Ghana

The networking initiative “Towards the Establishment of an Effective Humboldt Network in Ghana”, submitted by agricultural scientist Samuel G.K. Adiku, seeks to help researchers to build their careers and apply for fellowships for a research stay in Germany. The initiative is faced by the challenge that application figures for Humboldt Research Fellowships have dropped significantly in Ghana and ever fewer junior researchers are taking doctorates. Thus the networking initiative aims to enhance the long-term quality of research and increase the number of qualified applications for Humboldt Research Fellowships. To achieve this, mentors are tasked with advising young scientists and scholars on their research work and publications. At monthly seminars the members of the network will have the opportunity to share their ideas and improve their networking.

Prof. Dr. Samuel G.K. Adiku
took his doctorate in Environmental Science at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia in 1996. From 1997 to 1998, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Technische Universität Berlin. Since 2005, Samuel G.K. Adiku has taught Soil Science at the University of Ghana’s College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences in Legon, Accra. He is also the Director of the Academic Quality Assurance Unit. He has worked in an honorary capacity as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Ambassador Scientist in Ghana since 2010.

Developing an East African network in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics

Hamadi I. Boga’s initiative "A Network for Capacity Building in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics in Eastern Africa" aims to develop a German-African network in Biology. The network will help to familiarise researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa with the latest research methods and make them internationally competitive. Furthermore, Hamadi I. Boga would like to open up opportunities for junior researchers to cooperate with research institutions in Germany.
To achieve this, the members of the project want to develop collaborations with regional science organisations, expert associations and governmental organisations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia and consolidate their cooperation by intensive contact using social media.

Prof. Dr. Hamadi I. Boga
completed his doctorate at the University of Konstanz in 2000. From 2005 to 2006, he had a Georg Forster Research Fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation and conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg. Since 2012, he has been the Director of Taita Tayeta University College at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Voi, Kenia. Hamadi I. Boga has worked in an honorary capacity as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Ambassador Scientist in Kenya since 2010.

“Dignitas Humboldt” – human dignity in Germany and Brazil: specialist network in philosophy and law

The aim of the networking initiative “Dignitas Humboldt” is to extend German-Brazilian-Argentinian collaborations in the Humanities. Draiton Gonzaga De Souza is thus founding a network involving philosophers and legal scholars which will focus on “human dignity”. In order to achieve visibility, an international, interdisciplinary specialist conference on human dignity will be organised.
In the context of the project a Dignitas Humboldt website will be created and language and regional studies courses will be offered which relate to Germany. De Souza also plans to set up an advisory centre for potential fellowship applicants, hold lectures on sponsorship opportunities in Germany and establish a seminar/working room for visiting researchers.

Prof. Dr. Draiton G. De Souza
took his doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Kassel in1998. From 2003 to 2005, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow in the Hegel Archives at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB). Since 2005, he has been the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. De Souza was the President of the Porto Alegre Humboldt Club from 2005 to 2008 and has worked in an honorary capacity as one of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Ambassador Scientists in Brazil since 2008.

3rd national mentoring programme to promote young Australian researchers

Kay L. Double’s “Research Ambassadors and Mentoring Program (RAMP): A National Mentoring Scheme to Support Young Australian Researchers” aims to continue developing a national mentoring programme for young Australian scientists and scholars of all disciplines designed to help them achieve their career goals, and to disseminate information on Germany as a destination for research.
The mentoring programme was launched in 2010 as a collaboration between the Humboldt Foundation’s Alumni Association in Australia and the branch office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Sydney. It already has a growing database which brings together appropriate mentors and mentees. Kay L. Double is developing the programme into a sustainable, effective tool for junior researchers in Australia and for promoting Germany as a research location.

Prof. Dr. Kay L. Double
gained her doctorate at Flinders University, South Australia in 1993. From 1996 to 1997, she was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Würzburg. Since 2012, she has been the Alumna Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sydney’s Medical School. Kay L. Double has worked in an honorary capacity as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Ambassador Scientist in Australia since 2010.

Cross-border network on biodiversity research in South Africa, Namibia and Germany

South African Zoologist Heather G. Marco’s "Tri-Nations Network to Promote Modern Approaches to the Study of Biological Diversity: South Africa, Namibia, Germany" aims to rejuvenate research collaboration between researchers in South Africa, Namibia and Germany and to extend cross-border academic and cultural exchange between young academics from South Africa and Namibia. To achieve this, modern, interdisciplinary research methods in biodiversity research will be taught and opportunities will be created to exchange experiences at workshops, seminars and visits to each other’s institutes.
Furthermore, Heather G. Marco wants to publicise information on sponsorship opportunities in Germany within the network which those involved can then disseminate in their own personal and professional networks at a later stage. She hopes to generate many synergies in this way.

Dr. Heather G. Marco
took her doctorate in Zoology at the University of Cape Town in 2000. From 2002 to 2003, she was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Hamburg. Heather G. Marco has taught in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town since 2001 and has supported the Humboldt Foundation in an honorary capacity as an Ambassador Scientist in South Africa since 2011. In 2012, she also became the Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Association of Southern Africa.

The projects selected for the 2012 Humboldt Alumni Award for innovative networking initiatives are:

Gender and agricultural sciences in Nigeria

The aim of Olanike Deji’s networking initiative “Gendered Agriculture in Humboldt (GAH) Network for Sustainable Food Security and Development in Nigeria” is to help utilise the potential of Nigerian women academics and their gender perspective on issues such as food security and the alleviation of poverty to better effect.

The initiative therefore seeks to promote the academic careers of female agricultural scientists in Nigeria and improve their international networking. The award funding will, for example, be used to finance a specialist journal in which junior researchers can publish their research results. In order to ensure that more Nigerian women academics can benefit from the Humboldt Foundation’s funding and networking programmes, seminars will be offered on writing fellowship applications in addition to online guidance on research proposals and online German language courses.

Dr. Olanike Deji
gained her doctorate in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Nigeria, in 2002. From 2009 to 2011, she received a Georg Forster Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and conducted research at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. Dr. Deji has taught at Obafemi Awolowo University since 1995, and is currently an associate professor.

Mathematics network in Cameroon

Mathematics are the foundation of large parts of our lives – this is the conviction that underlies Mama Foupouagnigni’s plan to establish an “African-German Network in Mathematical Sciences and Applications”. The network is to be publicised to a wider audience at an international mathematics symposium that will take place in Cameroon in 2013. To promote networking, a seminar room will be set up at the University of Yaoundé I for teaching, research and as a workplace for guests. The initiative is to have its own website, and an online database containing mathematics teaching materials and examination questions is to be compiled for use by students and teaching staff at the universities. Alongside African Humboldtians, German academics will also be involved in the initiative.

Prof. Dr. Mama Foupouagnigni
has been an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Higher Teachers' Training College of the University of Yaoundé I in Yaoundé, Cameroon, since 2006. He completed his Habilitation in 2006 at the University of Kassel in Germany, where he had previously conducted research as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellow from 2001 to 2002. Prof. Foupouagnigni has been working in an honorary capacity as an Ambassador Scientist for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and as the President of the Humboldt Club Cameroon since 2008.

Transatlantic promotion of junior researchers in the field of electronic materials

Matthew Allen Grayson aims to set up a transatlantic "Electronic Materials Gateway Network" in the field of engineering sciences. The purpose of his initiative is to spark the interest of young talents and junior researchers in the USA and Germany in research careers in these subjects. The award amount will facilitate reciprocal visits between faculty researchers from the USA and Germany; with their lectures broadcast live to graduate and undergraduate audiences at all participating research institutions. In addition, a total of three students studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the USA and Germany are to be given the opportunity to spend eight weeks conducting research for their final papers in the respective other country.

Dr. Matthew Grayson
gained his doctorate in electrical engineering at Princeton University, USA, in 1998 and has been teaching electrical engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA, since 2007. From 2000 to 2002, he conducted research at TU München, supported by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The projects selected for the 2011 Humboldt Alumni Award for innovative networking initiatives are:

Information on Germany for junior researchers in Japan

The aim of the networking initiative proposed jointly by Seigo Hirowatari and the Humboldt Associations in East and West Japan is to establish an information and advisory network for junior Japanese researchers interested in a research stay in Germany. This would facilitate their access to the offers made by the Humboldt Foundation. The main media channels for the planned network are a website and a comprehensive database providing information on research locations in Germany as well as on advisory and contact points. The website will be available in both Japanese and German.

Prof. Dr. Seigo Hirowatari
teaches German law and comparative legal sociology in the School of Law at Senshu University in Tokyo. He is the chairman of the humanities and social science section of the Science Council of Japan. He was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Justus Liebig University Giessen from 1980 to 1982, and was awarded the Humboldt Foundation’s Heisenberg Medal in 2009. In the course of his career, he held the office of Vice Rector of Tokyo University where he is still an emeritus. Since 2007, Hirowatari has been president of the Humboldt Association of East Japan. He was also president of the Japanese Association of Sociology of Law and the Japanese Association of German Studies.

Humboldt journal in Russia

Tatjana Ilarionova would like to use the Humboldt Alumni Award to publish a magazine with the title "Russland und Deutschland. Eine wissenschaftliche Humboldt-Zeitschrift" (Russia and Germany. A Humboldt journal). This magazine will connect Humboldtians in Russia and the Community of Independent States (CIS). It will also serve as a platform for exchange between Russian researchers and German industry, whereby the thematic focus will be placed on scientific cooperation between Russia and Germany. The magazine will publish articles by Russian Humboldtians of all disciplines as well as doctoral candidates, representatives of German-Russian interests and Russian-speaking Humboldtians from CIS nations.

Prof. Dr. Tatjana Ilarionova
began her career as a journalist with the paper “New Life”. She has worked at the State Academy of Management in Moscow since 1989 and was appointed to a professorship in the Institute of State Service and Personnel Policy in 2001. In both her doctoral and habilitation theses she addressed the history of the German minority in Russia. From 1995 to 1996, she was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Bonn and has returned to Germany on research visits several times since.

Humanities scholars in environmental research

Sabine Wilke plans to use the Humboldt Alumni Award to establish a transatlantic network of researchers focusing on aspects of environmental research that pertain to the humanities. This cross-disciplinary network is designed to connect researchers working on literature, culture, history and philosophy with a reference to environmental issues. Conferences, exchanges, research collaborations and a virtual platform will facilitate research into how the humanities can make a productive contribution to the debate on environmental change.

Prof. Dr. Sabine Wilke
has been teaching modern German literature in the Department of Germanics at the University of Washington since 1989. From 1986 to 1989, she taught at Stanford. She was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz from 1996 to 1997 and spent autumn 2000 as a visiting professor at Harvard University.

The projects selected for the 2010 Humboldt Alumni Award for innovative networking initiatives are:

German-Asian cooperation on age research

Makato Arai is planning to establish a German-Asian network in the field of age research focusing on more humane treatment and better social integration for dementia sufferers. Arai wants to use the Humboldt Alumni Award to organise workshops and a seminar involving German and Asian academics from various disciplines like law and medicine, as well as civil servants, practitioners and other relevant groups. They will draw up concepts for the sustainable improvement of care for dementia sufferers.

Prof. Dr. Makoto Arai
teaches law and is Dean of Tsukuba University Law School in Tokyo, Japan. From 1991 to 1993, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow at LMU München. He was granted the Humboldt Research Award in 2006, which took him to Munich to cooperate with the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law. Arai is President of the Japan Adult Guardianship Law Association.
Kosmos Article „New Rules for an Ageing Society“

Researcher network for the prevention of natural hazards

Claudio Borri wants to make use of the Humboldt Alumni Award to create a transdisciplinary network. Starting in Italy, the object is to integrate many of the countries around the Mediterranean in a transdisciplinary network involving Humboldtians, junior researchers and other academics. They will focus on themes relating to risk management for the prevention of natural hazards. Their results will benefit urban planning concepts, for example, as well as structural and civil engineering.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Claudio Borri
teaches computational mechanics of structures and construction statistics at the Universita degli Studi di Firenze in Italy. From 1987 to 1988, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and returned there on a further research visit in 1992. In 1994, he was granted the Max Planck Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society. He is the co-founder and, since 2004, director of the Research Centre for Building Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering by UACEG Sofia, Bulgaria, and an Ing-Paed. IGIP Honoris Causa by Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, in 2006. From 2005 to 2007, Borri was President of the European Society for Engineering Education and from 2006 to 2008, founding President of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies in Washington DC. He has been President of the Italian Humboldt Association since 2007.

Bioethics forum for Latin America

Victor Fernando Lolas Stepke would like to use the Humboldt Alumni Award to develop international cooperation to enhance the ethical principles of biomedical and psychosocial research in Latin America. He intends to organise a symposium, bringing together academics who can relate German anthropological traditions to American bioethics. This should lead to the establishment of a permanent forum for the research and monitoring of ethical issues in the medical and bioscientific fields. Plans are afoot for meetings, publications, Internet forums and student exchange between Latin American countries, the United States and Germany.

Prof. Dr. Victor Fernando Lolas Stepke
is an expert in psychosomatics and teaches physiology and psychiatry at the Universidad de Chile. He is director of the Pan American Health Organization’s bioethics programme, director of the Centre for Bioethics at the Universidad de Chile and a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee. In 1980, Lolas Stepke received a Humboldt Research Fellowship which took him to Heidelberg University. Since then, he has frequently made return visits to Germany on research.

The following initiatives are now being granted the very first Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives:

Humboldt-Alumni-Preis 2009 Preisverleihung in Berlin

Network for West Africa’s researchers

Adjai Paulin Oloukpona-Yinnon would like to utilise the Humboldt Alumni Award to build up a West African, cross-border Humboldt Network for sustainable academic cooperation within Africa, able to offer systematic linkages to Germany. The network is also designed to embrace countries in which there are no Humboldtians at present. He is planning to run a conference in Lomé in 2011 in the context of the “German Cultural Weeks in Togo” to which academics and representatives of universities, research institutions, multilateral funding agencies and others will be invited. By 2012, it is hoped that 15 countries in the "Economic Community of West African States" (ECOWAS) will be fully networked.

Prof. Dr. Adjai Paulin Oloukpona-Yinnon
is a Professor of German Literature at Lomé University. In 1987, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Bayreuth University and has fostered contacts with academics in Germany ever since. He is President of the "Alexander von Humboldt Network in Africa" and represents the continent of Africa in the International Association of German Scholars.

Revitalising contacts between researchers in Central Asia

Bakhtyjar Karimov has set himself the goal of renewing and intensifying contacts between Humboldt alumni in Central Asia. He is planning an interdisciplinary, supra-regional network for science, education, culture and business.
Karimov will be involving other Humboldt alumni from Central Asia in the project as well as Humboldt hosts from Germany. A website and a web forum intended to embrace Humboldt Alumni Associations, universities, international research institutes, funding organisations as well as development aid agencies across the world are designed to promote closer networking amongst researchers.

Prof. Dr. Bakhtyjar Karimov
is a Professor of Ecology in the Laboratory of Hydroecology at the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences in Tashkent. From 1995 to 1997, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow in the Zoological Institute at Hamburg University and has repeatedly spent time researching in Germany since then. He is a member of the Council for Scientific and Technical Development and has been President of the Humboldt Association of Uzbekistan since 2003.

Better opportunities for Nigeria’s junior researchers

Odunayo C. Adebooye would like to build up the "Scientific and Humanities Research Information Network" (SHRINET) in Nigeria. The aim of the network is to abolish the information deficit amongst Nigerian junior researchers, which results from inadequate access to the Internet and international publications, and thus reduce the concomitant handicaps to their academic work. Experienced Humboldt alumni will advise promising young Nigerian researchers and help them prepare applications for fellowships offered by organisations like the German Academic Exchange Service and the Humboldt Foundation.

Dr. Odunayo C. Adebooye 
works in the field of plant breeding and plant genetics in the Department of Plant Science at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. He was granted a Georg Forster Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2006 and has remained in close contact with his host, Prof. Dr. Georg Noga of the Institute of Horticultural Sciences at Bonn University, since then; he is still currently working there on the strength of sponsorship provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Together with other Humboldtians, the two researchers have initiated an African-German Research Network.