Press release

Henriette Herz Awards granted for innovative recruitment concepts

Eight universities to each receive €125,000 to implement their concepts

  • from

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has chosen eight German universities to receive the Henriette Herz Award. The universities of Bochum and Bonn, the Technische Universität Dresden and the universities of Eichstätt-Ingoldtstadt, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Konstanz, Potsdam and Stuttgart will each receive €125,000 to implement concepts for recruiting international junior researchers. A total of 44 universities submitted applications for the award.

Using this award, the Foundation promotes ideas for how universities could recruit international talents for themselves and for Germany as a location for conducting research. Scouting persons who are a good match on a targeted basis – a long-standing practice in sports and the business world – is becoming increasingly important in this area as well. The response was accordingly strong among the research-intensive universities in all of Germany’s federal states that submitted concepts.

The award-winning concepts make use of a wide range of instruments, including many digital instruments. With their help, matching platforms are to produce an ideal fit between candidates and career opportunities at the respective university. Algorithms for searching online for talented individuals are also to be specifically developed for this.  In a number of cases, digital methods are combined with traditional face-to-face instruments such as workshops and career fairs. Many concepts also focus on training and supporting researchers at their own institutions who will then be active as scouts. Another element of numerous submissions is a regional focus, such as a focus on the Global South, or a focus on individual disciplines.

Henriette Herz Scouting Programme 

The award is part of an initiative that the Foundation launched last year with the introduction of the Henriette Herz Scouting Programme. With this programme, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is opening up an alternative path to the prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship, a path that enables selected scouts to quickly recruit highly sought-after talented individuals.

The Henriette Herz Scouting Programme and the Henriette Herz Award are financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Who was Henriette Herz?

Henriette Herz, porträtiert von Anton Graff
Henriette Julie Herz, author and organiser of the first literary salon in Berlin, was born in Berlin on 5 September 1764 and died there on 22 October 1847.

Together with her husband, Henriette Herz hosted regular gatherings to discuss scientific and philosophical subjects. The attendees, who included the von Humboldt brothers, came from various social strata. Henriette Herz is the embodiment of emancipation, networking, sharing ideas and information, and fostering talent. She and Alexander von Humboldt were lifelong friends.

Henriette Herz was born as Henriette de Lemos into an upper middle-class family on 5 September 1764. Her father was a doctor and served as the director of the Berlin Jewish Hospital. Going against the conventions of the time, he afforded his inquisitive daughter a broad education. Beginning in 1785, she hosted the first literary salon in Prussia. She inspired many other women to establish salons of their own.

(Press release 23/2020)

Jährlich ermöglicht die Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung über 2.000 Forscher*innen aus aller Welt einen wissenschaftlichen Aufenthalt in Deutschland. In weltweit über 140 Ländern pflegt die Stiftung ein fächerübergreifendes Netzwerk von mehr als 30.000 Humboldtianer*innen – unter ihnen 61 mit Nobelpreis.

Previous Press Release Bonn Declaration marks important step for freedom of scientific research
Next Press Release New Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected