17 December 2013, No. 31/2013

2014 Anneliese Maier Research Award Winners selected

Eight humanities scholars from abroad each receive a quarter of a million EUR to collaborate with German researchers.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has selected eight humanities scholars and social scientists from abroad to receive the Anneliese Maier Research Award. The award amount of 250,000 EUR is designated to finance research collaboration with specialist colleagues in Germany and the candidates are nominated by their collaborative partners at German universities and research institutions. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the award seeks to help promote the internationalisation of the humanities and social sciences in Germany.

The eight award winners (four women and four men) were selected from a total of 60 nominees from 17 countries. The largest number of nominees come from the USA (24) and the UK (7) as well as Israel (4), the Netherlands (4) and Spain (4).

Linguist Mary E. Beckman (60) from the USA is recognised as a world leader in her subject and one of the pioneers of laboratory phonology. Her work investigates, for example, the systematic relationship between individual first language acquisition and long-term language change. Her insights into language acquisition in childhood have also helped to improve our understanding of speech processing in adults. Mary E. Beckman conducts comparative research in languages such as Korean, Japanese, Greek and English, tracking down cross-cutting phenomena. Her role in Munich will be to participate in and help initiate various national and, especially, international collaborations.
Nominating university: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing

Geert Bouckaert (55) from Belgium is acknowledged as being one of the world’s most eminent and internationally visible public management researchers. He is an expert on the international comparison of administrative reforms and performance measurement, and has already advised a number of European governments. In Potsdam he will focus on generating new ideas in the key profile area of Public Policy and Management and help to consolidate Potsdam’s position as one of Germany’s leading universities in the field of administrative science.
Nominating university: University of Potsdam, Chair of Political Science, Administration and Organisation

The distinguished Spanish scholar of Islamic history, Maribel Fierro (57), is a leading expert on the pre-modern history of the western Islamic world. In her research she has elucidated, in particular, the interaction between politics, religion and science in al-Andalus, the part of today’s Spain that was under Muslim rule from the 8th to the 15th century. Her research reveals, for example, how closely the political and social developments in al-Andalus were intertwined with those of other Islamic countries. In Berlin she will strengthen the reputation of Freie Universität as an international centre for research into Islamic intellectual history and create an opportunity for junior researchers in the field to be integrated in an international research project at an early stage in their careers.
Nominating university: Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Islamic Studies

British philosopher Kit Fine (67) is considered one of world’s most famous and influential philosophers in logic, language and metaphysics. He has made ground-breaking contributions to metaphysics with his research on the neo-Artistotelian concept of essence and particulars, his theory of metaphysical grounding and his work on the metaphysics of time. The philosophy of language also has Fine to thank for crucial new input such as his concept of semantic relationism and his ideas on truthmaker semantics. With his outstanding, world-spanning networks, Fine will contribute to the internationalisation of the fields metaphysics, language and logic in Hamburg and involve junior researchers in his work.
Nominating university: University of Hamburg, Department of Philosophy

German psychologist Ulrike Hahn (50), who has worked in the United Kingdom for many years, is a world-leader in the psychology of thinking, decision-making and judgement. In her research on decision-making she adopts a strongly interdisciplinary approach, utilising her broad research expertise, for example, in philosophy, computer science, mathematics and law. In Munich her role will be to enhance the international visibility of the cognitive sciences and mathematical philosophy. She is also due to be involved in the New Frameworks of Rationality priority programme.
Nominating university: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and the Study of Religion

American sociologist Donald Tomaskovic-Devey (56) is one of the most eminent experts in workplace and labour market inequality, a field of research that is usually addressed by economists. His aim is to formulate an empirically verifiable theory of social inequality focussing on all the important factors like social environment, education, mobility and income, and identifying the causes as well as the individual and social consequences of social inequality. In Bielefeld Tomaskovic-Devey will be involved in expanding an international research network dedicated to analysing social inequality.
Nominating university: Bielefeld University, Faculty of Sociology

Psychologist Kathleen Vohs (39) from the USA is acknowledged as being an exceptionally innovative, international leader in the field of self-regulation and experimental consumer psychology. In her models she considers self-control as a limited resource, which is exhausted by use, but can be trained like a muscle. Her research is of relevance to all areas in which self-regulation is desirable, from teaching to health care. In Heidelberg she will be involved in the priority fields of self-regulation and behavioural regulation, working, in particular, with junior research groups.
Nominating university: University of Heidelberg, Institute of Psychology

British historian Gregory Woolf (51) is a world authority on the history of the Roman Empire. He connects archaeological and literary sources to investigate a broad spectrum ranging from Iron Age cultures at the edges or outside the Roman world via work on religion, warfare, economic history and migration to themes like alphabetisation, gender relations and the relationship between ancient cities and their provinces. In Erfurt Woolf will help to promote the international networking of German research on ancient religious history.
Nominating university: University of Erfurt, Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies

The award ceremony will be held in autumn 2014. The closing date for the next round of nominations for Anneliese Maier Research Awards is 30 April 2014.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 26,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 130 countries worldwide – including 50 Nobel Laureates.


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