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Press release

New Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected

Ten top international researchers – including six who work in the AI field – have been chosen to receive Germany’s most valuable research award.

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Porträts der zehn im November 2022 ausgewählten Humboldt-Professor*innen
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The researchers selected in this round work in the areas: economic theory, bioinformatics, environmental humanities, neurosciences, cellular biology, computer science, AI ethics and machine learning. They will be coming to Germany from universities in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

An Alexander von Humboldt Professorship which comes with up to €5 million in funding offers not only optimal financial conditions but also maximum flexibility for conducting leading-edge research in Germany. With these ten new Humboldt Professorships, the participating German universities will be able to raise their international profiles and be internationally competitive. Humboldt Professorships are awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The following individuals were selected to receive a Humboldt Professorship:

  • The economic theorist Matthias Doepke will be switching to the University of Mannheim. Prior to his selection, he was a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, United States.
  • A specialist in bioinformatics, Bas E. Dutilh from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, will conduct research at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
  • The University of Cologne nominated the cell biologist Jan Karlseder from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, United States.
  • Kate Rigby, an environmental humanities expert, will be switching from Bath Spa University, United Kingdom, also to the University of Cologne.

The following researchers will receive a Humboldt Professorship for Artificial Intelligence:

  • Holger Hoos, an expert for machine learning at Leiden University in the Netherlands, was nominated by RWTH Aachen University.
  • The computer scientist Stefanie Jegelka, currently at Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), United States, was nominated by Technical University of Munich (TUM).
  • Ulm University nominated the computer scientist Sven Koenig, who currently conducts research at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States.
  • Vincent C. Müller, who studies the ethical foundations of AI at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, was offered a chair by Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).
  • The mathematician Suvrit Sra, who researches at MIT, United States, was also nominated by Technical University of Munich.
  • The neuroscientist Angela Yu, who has worked at the University of California San Diego, United States, to date, is slated to conduct research at TU Darmstadt in the future.

The new award winners will now embark on appointment negotiations with the German universities that nominated them. They will receive their awards in 2022 following the successful conclusion of their negotiations. The selections made in this round also included the climate researcher Pierre Gentine for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Gentine however decided to remain at Columbia University in New York, United States, where he will head a new, AI-based climate modelling centre.

Additional funding will be available until the year 2024 for Humboldt Professorships in the field of artificial intelligence. These Humboldt Professorships can also focus on the societal, legal and ethical aspects of artificial intelligence.

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The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

During its last meeting, the Selection Committee took decisions on 22 nominations. The first selection round for the 2022 Humboldt Professorship with the selection of six award winners was held in spring 2021.

Further information about the award winners is available here.

(Press release 36 /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 57 Nobel Prize winners.

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