Press release

Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards for 2020 presented

Eight researchers from abroad will each receive up to €1.65 million in prize money to be used to set up their own research groups in Bochum, Giessen, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Mainz, Munich, Oberpfaffenhofen and Tübingen.

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updated on 21 September 2020

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award 

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has selected eight international researchers aged 29 to 36 to receive one of Germany’s best endowed science awards. The winners will receive up to €1.65 million each.

With the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, young researchers receive risk capital for innovative projects during an early stage in their careers. They conduct research at a German university or research institute for a period of up to five years and develop their own research groups for this at their host institutes. The award is financed by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
A virtual networking meeting for the new award winners and their hosts will be held on 11 and 12 November. There they will have the opportunity to discuss specialist topics and share their experience with Germany as a location for conducting research. Journalists interested in conducting interviews can meet the award winners in individual chatrooms on 11 November between 2:45 pm and 6 pm. Please contact presse(at) where you will receive access information. It is planned to hold a formal award ceremony at a later date in Berlin, prospectively in November 2021.

The recently selected award winners, their respective home country, last country of residence, research focus and host institute are:

Marcia de Almeida Monteiro Melo Ferraz: Improving artificial insemination
Brazil/ USA, Cell and Developmental Biology, LMU Munich, Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology

Danila Barskiy: New paths to more cost-effective Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans
Russia/ USA, Physical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Institute of Physics, Quantum, Atomic and Neutron Physics research group (QUANTUM)

Agnieszka Golicz: Decoding complex plant genomes
Poland/ Australia, Plant Breeding, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding I

Gregory Maurice Green: A 3D map of our Milky Way
Canada/ USA, Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Galaxies and Cosmology Department

Anna-Lena Horlemann: Making data quantum-proof
Germany/ Switzerland, Mathematics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Institute of Communications and Navigation

André F. Martins: Understanding the tumour
Portugal/ USA, Imaging Procedures, University of Tübingen, University Hospital, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy

Mar Rus-Calafell: Psychotic symptoms in young people
Spain/ United Kingdom, Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Mental Health Research and Treatment Center (MHRTC)

Torben Schiffner: Computer-assisted vaccine development
Germany/ USA, Structural Biology, Leipzig University, Medical Faculty, Institute for Drug Development

(press release 17/2020)

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 61 Nobel Prize winners.

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