Anneliese Maier Research Award 2014 - The Award Winners

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Sebastian Kraußer
Lena Schnabel
Press, Communications and Marketing
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Georg Scholl
Head of
Press, Communications and Marketing
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Mary Esther Beckman

Language acquisition and change

Linguist Mary E. Beckman from the USA is recognised as a world leader in her subject and one of the pioneers of laboratory phonology. Her work investigates, for example, the systematic relationship between individual first language acquisition and long-term language change. Her insights into language acquisition in childhood have also helped to improve our understanding of speech processing in adults. Mary E. Beckman conducts comparative research in languages such as Korean, Japanese, Greek and English, tracking down cross-cutting phenomena. Her role in Munich will be to participate in and help initiate various national and, especially, international collaborations.

Nominating university: LMU Munich, Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing
Host: Prof. Dr Jonathan Harrington


Prof. Dr Mary E. Beckman,
born in 1953, has taught at Ohio State University, USA, since 1985 and been a professor of linguistics there since 1993. After completing her doctorate at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1984, she worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey in the Department of Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence Research. She was one of the initiators of the Association for Laboratory Phonology and has received numerous awards, such as the Ohio State University Harlan Hatcher Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011 and the Humanities Distinguished Professorship in 2003.

Geert E. C. Bouckaert

How successful administrations function

Geert Bouckaert from Belgium is acknowledged as being one of the world’s most eminent and internationally visibile public management researchers. He is an expert on the international comparison of administrative reforms and performance measurement, and has already advised a number of European governments. In Potsdam he will focus on generating new ideas in the key profile area of Public Policy and Management and help to consolidate Potsdam’s position as one of Germany’s leading universities in the field of administrative science.

Nominating university: University of Potsdam, Chair for Political Science, Administration and Organization
Host: Prof. Dr Werner Jann



Prof. Dr Geert Bouckaert,
born in 1958, has been a professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, where he also took his doctorate, since 1994. He has held many academic offices, including the directorship of the Public Management Institute at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the presidency of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA). He is currently President of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IlAS). Bouckaert has received a host of awards such as the 2013 ASPA International Public Administration Award of the American Society for Public Administration. He is a member of the editorial boards of the most distinguished journals in his field, for example, Co-associate International Editor of the Public Administration Review.

Maribel Fierro

Politics and religion in historic Islamic societies

The distinguished Spanish scholar of Islamic history, Maribel Fierro, is a leading expert on the pre-modern history of the western Islamic world. In her research she has elucidated, in particular, the interaction between politics, religion and science in al-Andalus, the part of today’s Spain that was under Muslim rule from the 8th to the 15th century. Her research reveals, for example, how closely the political and social developments in al-Andalus were intertwined with those of other Islamic countries. In Berlin she will cooperate with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

Nominating university: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
Host: Dr Sonja Brentjes


Prof. Dr Maribel Fierro,
born in 1956, has been a professor at the Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid since 2005, having held various academic offices there from 1987 onwards. From 1983 to 1986, she taught in the Department of Arabic Studies at Complutense University of Madrid where she had also taken her doctorate in 1985. Maribel Fierro has received numerous honours, including an ERC Advanced Research Grant in 2009. She has been a visiting professor at several universities abroad, such as the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She is on the editorial boards of several leading specialist journals, including the Journal Der Islam, lntellectual History of the lslamic World and AI-Masaq.

Kit Fine

From metaphysics to philosophy of language

British philosopher Kit Fine is considered one of world’s most famous and influential philosophers in logic, language and metaphysics. He has made ground-breaking contributions to metaphysics with his research on the neo-Artistotelian concept of essence and particulars, his theory of metaphysical grounding and his work on the metaphysics of time. The philosophy of language also has Fine to thank for crucial new input such as his concept of semantic relationism and his ideas on truthmaker semantics. With his outstanding, world-spanning networks, Fine will contribute to the internationalisation of the fields metaphysics, language and logic in Hamburg and involve junior researchers in his work.

Nominating university: University of Hamburg, Department of Philosophy
Host: Prof. Dr Benjamin Schnieder


Prof. Dr Kit Fine,
born in 1946, has been a professor in the Department of Philosophy at New York University since 1997. From 1967 to 1969, he worked at the University of Warwick, UK, where he had also taken his doctorate in 1969. He subsequently taught at various universities at home and abroad, including the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the University of Toronto, Canada. He is a member of various different academic organisations and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Kit Fine has been granted an array of prizes and honours, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Ulrike Elisabeth Hahn

The psychology of judgement and decision-making

German psychologist Ulrike Hahn, who has worked in the United Kingdom for many years, is a world-leader in the psychology of thinking, decision-making and judgement. In her research on decision-making she adopts a strongly interdisciplinary approach, utilising her broad research expertise, for example, in philosophy, computer science, mathematics and law. In Munich her role will be to enhance the international visibility of the cognitive sciences and mathematical philosophy. She is also due to be involved in the New Frameworks of Rationality priority programme.

Nominating university: LMU Munich, Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and the Study of Religion
Host: Prof. Dr Stephan Hartmann


Prof. Dr Ulrike Hahn,
born in 1963, has been a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, since 2012. Here she also heads Birkbeck’s Centre for Cognition, Computation and Modelling, which was founded in 2013. She took her doctorate at the University of Oxford in 1996, subsequently teaching at a number of universities in the United Kingdom, such as Cardiff University and the University of Warwick. She is a member of the Senior Editorial Board of Topics In Cognitive Science and has published in more than 30 international journals, such as the Psychological Review and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to the 2011 British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Prize, she received the Swedish Research Council’s Kerstin Hesselgren Professorship in 2013.

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

The roots of social inequality

American sociologist Donald Tomaskovic-Devey is one of the most eminent experts in workplace and labour market inequality, a field of research that is usually addressed by economists. His aim is to formulate an empirically verifiable theory of social inequality focussing on all the important factors like social environment, education, mobility and income, and identifying the causes as well as the individual and social consequences of social inequality. In Bielefeld Tomaskovic-Devey will be involved in expanding an international research network dedicated to analysing social inequality.

Nominating university: Bielefeld University, Faculty of Sociology
Host Prof. Dr Stefan Liebig


Prof. Dr Donald Tomaskovic-Devey,
born in 1957, has been a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts since 2005. He completed his doctorate at Boston University in 1984 and subsequently taught and conducted research at various universities and institutions, including North Carolina State University and the University of Massachusetts. From 2006 to 2010, he was the elected secretary of the American Sociological Association and has been the president of the Southern Sociological Society since 2011. In 2006, he was elected to the Sociological Research Association. Tomaskovic-Devey has received numerous awards, such as North Carolina State University’s 1989 Outstanding Social Science Research Award and the Provost’s Exceptional Merit Award from the University of Massachusetts in 2013.

Kathleen Vohs

Mastering self-control

Psychologist Kathleen Vohs from the USA is acknowledged as being an exceptionally innovative, international leader in the field of self-regulation and experimental consumer psychology. In her models she considers self-control as a limited resource, which is exhausted by use, but can be trained like a muscle. Her research is of relevance to all areas in which self-regulation is desirable, from teaching to health care. In Heidelberg she will be involved in the priority fields of self-regulation and behavioural regulation, working, in particular, with junior research groups.

Nominating university: University of Heidelberg, Institute of Psychology
Host: Prof. Dr Klaus Fiedler

Prof. Dr Kathleen Vohs,
born in 1974, has been a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota since 2005. She is also an honorary professor in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She took her doctorate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 2000, and subsequently conducted research at, amongst others, the University of Utah, USA, and the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is a member of several international associations and has received an array of awards and fellowships, including the University of Minnesota’s McKnight Land-Grant Professor (2007-2009) and McKnight Presidential Fellow (2008-2010). In 2011, she was named Land O'Lakes Professor of Excellence in Marketing by the Carlson School and recently awarded the Free Will Essay Prize.

Greg Woolf

Life in Ancient Rome and its provinces

British historian Greg Woolf is a world authority on the history of the Roman Empire. He connects archaeological and literary sources to investigate a broad spectrum ranging from Iron Age cultures at the edges or outside the Roman world via work on religion, warfare, economic history and migration to themes like alphabetisation, gender relations and the relationship between ancient cities and their provinces. In Erfurt Woolf will help to promote the international networking of German research on ancient religious history.

Nominating university:University of Erfurt, Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies
Host: Prof. Dr Jörg Rüpke

Prof. Dr Greg Woolf,
born in 1961, has been a professor of ancient history at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, since 1998. He took his doctorate at the University of Cambridge in 1990 and subsequently taught at the University of Oxford, initially at Magdalen College and, from 1993, at Brasenose College. He has also worked in France as a CNRS chercheur in the Laboratoire d'Archéologie at the École Normale Supérieure and in England at the University of Leicester and Christ's College Cambridge. He is a member of the editorial boards of Classica et Mediaevalia, Gallia, the International Journal of Euro-Mediterranean Studies and New Voices in Classical Reception Studies.