Press release

Six new Alexander von Humboldt Professors selected

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

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Second selection 2023: Six new Alexander von Humboldt Professors
Portraits f.l.t.r: Robert Raußendorf, Miki Ebisuya, Dieter Schmalstieg, Daniel J. Müller, Marcus Rohrbach, Hector Geffner

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 six 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 selected researchers work in the fields developmental and cell biology, quantum information, computer graphics and various aspects of artificial intelligence. They will be coming to Germany from research institutes in Spain, Austria, Canada, the USA and Switzerland.

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The following individuals were selected to receive a Humboldt Professorship:

  • The developmental biologist Miki Ebisuya will move from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Barcelona to TU Dresden.
  • Heidelberg University nominated the cell biologist Daniel Jobst Müller, who has conducted research at ETH Zurich to date.
  • The quantum information scientist Robert Raußendorf will conduct research at Leibniz University Hannover in future. He previously was a professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada.
  • Dieter Schmalstieg, an augmented and virtual reality expert, will move from TU Graz, Austria, to the University of Stuttgart.

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

  • Hector Geffner, who specialises in artificial intelligent and machine learning, will move from Barcelona to RWTH Aachen University,
  • Marcus Rohrbach, an expert in computational linguistics and computer graphics, was nominated by TU Darmstadt. Rohrbach currently conducts research at Meta AI Research in the USA.

The new award winners will now embark on appointment negotiations with the German universities that nominated them. They will receive their awards in 2023 following the successful conclusion of their negotiations.

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.

During its most recent meeting, the Selection Committee took decisions on 16 nominations. The first selection round for the 2023 Humboldt Professorship with the selection of ten award winners was held in spring 2022.

Further information about the award winners is available at

(Press release 36/2022)

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 59 Nobel Prize winners.

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