Dossier Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

With a value of five million euros, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most highly-endowed research award in Germany and draws top international researchers to German universities.

Humboldt Professorship: International researchers at German universities

Michaela Mahlberg | Applied linguistics

Language is the key to the world. Michaela Mahlberg uses computer-aided, quantitative linguistic methods to study huge bodies of text, not least with regard to the social function of language. At the new centre of Digital Humanities and Social Studies she will explore the social dimension of the datafication and algorithmisation of culture and society. more

Fatih Ömer İlday | Physics & materials science

F. Ömer İlday has played a seminal role in developing ultrafast laser technology, transforming the field of non-linear laser-matter interactions in the last few years. He is now invited to join Ruhr University Bochum to explore new research fields in materials science and establish a world-class research centre. more

Ariel Dora Stern | Health economics

Germany has a highly efficient health service but is not in the international vanguard according to health system research. Ariel Dora Stern, one of the few researchers with a global reputation in the field, is now invited to Potsdam to drive this highly relevant and promising field of research, which has been underrepresented in Germany to date. more

Suvrit Sra | Mathematics and machine learning

When mathematics meets AI, and optimisation, machine learning: mathematician Suvrit Sra’s fundamental works on methods of optimisation have made a seminal and incomparable contribution to the theoretical understanding and continued development of learning systems. The Technical University of Munich wants to harness the Humboldt Professorship for Artificial Intelligence to expand its leading position in the field of artificial intelligence. more

Arnim Wiek | Sustainability research

Arnim Wiek is a world leader in sustainability science and has played a seminal role in shaping its development. At the University of Freiburg, Wiek is invited to establish a Center for Sustainable Food Economy that will create synergies between existing research activities both there and at other universities in the tri-national Upper Rhein region. He will also help to reinforce efforts to internationalise sustainability research in Germany. more

Coming to Change: About the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship
Best Of Award Ceremony Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2022

About the Humboldt Professorship

How many Humboldt Professorships are being awarded? What is the purpose of the award funds? Can Germans receive the award? Who can nominate candidates? When are decisions made, negotiations conducted and awards granted?


Porträts der vier Alexander von Humboldt-Professor*innen: Karen Radner, Giuseppe Caire, Aimee van Wynsberghe und Jens Meiler

A Boost for Germany as a Science Base

More than 100 Humboldt Professors are now working at German universities and research institutions – four of them report on their experiences

Podcast cover: AI and Us - what Artificial Intelligence means for our lives

AI and Us – what artificial intelligence means for our lives

In the ten-part podcast “AI and Us”, AI experts talk about their research field and answer the most important questions on artificial intelligence.

Position paper

Recommendations on Artificial Intelligence

Seven recommendations to the Government of Germany were developed during "Future of AI" summit of Alexander von Humboldt Professors in the field of AI (September 2023, Aachen) and were unanimously approved by the professors present.


Coming to Change: Humboldt Professors

Great flexibility, exemplary freedom of research and, last but not least, a vast amount of money: since 2008, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship has been attracting top international researchers to Germany.

Binnenflüchtlingscamp Hasan Sham
Close up on research

The hidden costs of violence

The Humboldt Professor Anke Hoeffler studies the causes of violence – whether in civil wars or people’s own homes – and what it eventually costs.


We Need Fearless Universities

A conversation with Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation, on recruiting research luminaries and the benefits they bring German universities.

Multimedia report

Humboldt Professor Margaret Crofoot

The behavioural ecologist Margaret Crofoot describes her research methods and talks about her role as a model for women in science.

Brief Enquiries

Humboldt Professor Jochen Guck

The Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light emphasises: "In my experience, academia is the ideal environment for diversity. Research continuously scrutinises established patterns of thought."


Humboldt Professor Sharon Macdonald

“Museums are extremely important for our societies because that is where people decide which things will play a role in the future,” says British ethnologist Sharon Macdonald.