Winners chosen for 2016 Humboldt Alumni Awards – new call for applications open

Awards for the best network initiatives by Humboldtians this year went to Argentina, Australia, Great Britain and Russia. Applications for the 2017 Humboldt Alumni Award can be submitted until 30 November 2016.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation conferred its Humboldt Alumni Awards on 6 July at the Foundation's Annual Meeting. This year's awards went to Humboldtians from Argentina, Australia, Great Britain and Russia. With this award, the Foundation puts the spotlight on initiatives from its network that make a contribution to intensifying academic and cultural ties between Germany and the countries of the selected alumni and to strengthening the alumni networks in these countries. One of the awards is specifically meant to support and promote initiatives for networking female researchers. It is intended to strengthen the career paths of female scientists and scholars on a long-term basis and encourage more female researchers to take part in the Humboldt Foundation's support programmes.

Award Ceremony Humboldt Alumni Awards 2016

Award Ceremony Humboldt Alumni Awards 2016 (from left to right): Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation, Bertus De Villiers, Victoria Ellen Flood, Tomas Torsvik, husband of Irina Didenkulova, who accepted the award on her behalf, Irina Podgorny, Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation)
Photo: Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer


The following initiatives were selected for the award this year:

  • In the framework of her networking initiative “Museum Networks: People, Itineraries, and Collections (1770-1920)”, the anthropologist, social historian, and historian of ideas Irina Podgorny will establish a museum network in which the participants will focus on archaeological and ethnographic collections of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It is envisioned that female Humboldtians from Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico and numerous female scholars from Germany, Latin America, the USA and Europe will team up in this network. Together with the members of this network Irina Podgorny will develop, amongst other things, a Global Natural History Trade Database.
  • With his initiative “Comparative Institutional Law Network: Strengthening Links between Europe, Southeast Asia, and Oceania”, the constitutional law expert Bertus De Villiers wants to build a network of legal experts from Australia, Indonesia, and Germany with the aim of establishing legal dialogue on constitutional law amongst industrialised and developing countries. He intends to organise network meetings in each of the countries involved where practical and current constitutional law topics will be discussed. These meetings also offer an opportunity to pursue a dialogue with the judiciary, parliament, research institutes, and universities.
  • In her networking initiative “Crossing Borders in the Insular Middle Ages: Humboldt Alumni Network” the English studies researcher Victoria Ellen Flood brings together young as well as established researchers from several European countries who study the literature and languages of mediaeval Britain, Ireland, and Iceland. The aim of the networking activities is a pilot project that will produce a digital map containing information on the movement and translation of scientific and historical texts between the 13th and 16th centuries.
  • Through her networking initiative “Networking and Mobility of Excellent Women Scientists in Science, Engineering, and Technology”, the oceanographer Irina Didenkulova wants to actively support women who pursue a career in science. Together with female Humboldtians and others she aims to promote the mobility of women researchers in the natural sciences and engineering and, thus, to drive international research collaborations.

Applications for the next round of awards are already being accepted: alumni of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation have until 30 November 2016 to submit an application for the 2017 Humboldt Alumni Award. To support the winner's work on location, each award comes with up to €25,000 which are provided through funding from the Federal Foreign Office.

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