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Press release

Awards for researchers from developing and transition countries

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to present its Georg Forster Research Awards, each valued at €60,000.

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Portraits of the 2021 Georg Forster Research Award winners
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Ten researchers – four women and six men – have been chosen to receive this year’s Georg Forster Research Awards, which are granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award honours researchers from developing and transition countries who have earned international recognition for their research work and seek to solve development-related issues. The award winners are nominated by specialist colleagues from Germany and are invited to establish or expand collaborative projects with them. Valued at €60,000 each, the Georg Forster Research Awards are financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The recipients of the 2021 Georg Forster Research Awards:

  • Rajapaksha Liyanarachchige Rohana Chandrajith is a professor of geology at the University of Peradeniya in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, he will work together with colleagues specialising in Medical Geology at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • Yanina Fasano has a doctorate in physics and works as an independent researcher in the field of Experimental Physics of Condensed Matter for the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission) at the Centro Atómico (Bariloche Atomic Centre) in Bariloche, Argentina. In her capacity as a Georg Forster Research Award winner, she will collaborate with specialist colleagues at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW Dresden).
  • Gabriel Kessler is a professor of sociology at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (IdIHCS-CONICET) of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (National University of La Plata) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, he will collaborate with specialist colleagues from the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.
  • Babak Karimi is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences in Zanjan, Iran. The chemist will work as a Georg Forster Research Award winner together with colleagues in the Department of Chemistry at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern.
  • Juanita Bornman is a professor of augmentative and alternative communication in the area of special education at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, she will work together with specialist colleagues from the Institute of Special Education at Leibniz University Hannover.
  • Zurina Hassan is an associate professor of pharmacology at the Centre for Drug Research of the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia. She will work as a Georg Forster Research Award winner together with colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen.
  • Professor of Economic and Social Policy Juliana Martìnez Franzoni conducts research on social inequality in Latin America at the Universidad de Costa Rica in San José, Costa Rica. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, she will work together with specialist colleagues from the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.
  • Charles Harb is a professor of social and political psychology at the Department of Psychology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, he will work together with specialist colleagues from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Jacobs University in Bremen.
  • Yemataw Wondie Yehualashet is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Gondar in Gondar, Ethiopia. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, he will work together with specialist colleagues from the Independent Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the University of Leipzig Medical Center.  
  • Hassan Azzazy is a professor of chemistry at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. As a Georg Forster Research Award winner, he will work together with specialist colleagues from the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology in Jena.

Georg Forster Research Award 

The Humboldt Foundation is currently accepting nominations for the next round of the Georg Forster Research Award. The closing date for nominations is 31 October 2021.

This research award is named after the naturalist, travel writer and journalist Georg Forster (1754–1794), a friend of Alexander von Humboldt.

(Press release 16/2021)

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time conducting research in Germany. The Foundation maintains an interdisciplinary network of well over 30,000 Humboldtians in more than 140 countries around the world – including 56 Nobel Prize winners.

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