Humboldt Professorship

Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

International Award for Research in Germany

Academics of all disciplines from abroad, who are internationally recognised as leaders in their field and who are expected to contribute to enhancing Germany's sustained international competitiveness as a research location in consequence of the award, are eligible to be nominated for an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, which is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research through the International Research Fund for Germany and the Federal Government Strategy on Artificial Intelligence, enables award winners to carry out long-term and ground-breaking research at universities and research institutions in Germany. The award funds, totalling €5 million for academics in experimental disciplines and €3.5 million for researchers in theoretical disciplines, are made available for a period of five years.

Up to 30 additional Alexander von Humboldt Professorships in the field of Artificial Intelligence are to be filled in the years up to 2024. Through these professorships, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation intends to contribute to the German Government’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy which targets the establishment of new AI chairs in Germany.

In addition to researchers in technical disciplines, researchers who address the socio-economic, ethical or legal aspects of artificial intelligence may be nominated for the new Alexander von Humboldt Professorships in Artificial Intelligence.

Nominations may be submitted online by German universities; non-university research institutions may also submit nominations jointly with a German university.

Nomination requirements

  • The nominee must be recognised as a world leader in his or her field.
  • The nominee must be established as an academic abroad.
  • Nomination by a research institution entitled to make nominations.
  • Detailed statement on the nominee's academic qualifications and his/her compatibility with the nominating university’s strategic development by the institution in Germany making the nomination; in addition, for Artificial Intelligence applications: the university’s contribution towards implementing the Federal Government Strategy on Artificial Intelligence.
  • The nominating institution's strategic development plan, e.g., with regard to enhancing its capacity to compete internationally in the nominee's subject area as well as the nominee’s role as a catalyst in bringing about structural change.
  • Assurance that the position can be sustainably integrated in the structure of the research institution even after Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsorship has come to an end.
  • Observance of the Rules of Good Scientific Practice.

Selection procedure

Nominations may be submitted online to the Humboldt Foundation at any time.

The Humboldt Foundation will confirm receipt of the online nomination by email. It is the nominator’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents.

Subsequently, the nomination documents will usually be forwarded to independent peer reviewers in Germany and abroad for written review. Reviewing the nominations takes five to six months. Therefore, nominations should be submitted well before the meeting of the Selection Committee targeted. The closing dates for submitting applications are 15 April and 15 September.

An independent Selection Committee composed of academics from all disciplines makes the final decision on the nominations received. The competition between nominations is international and there are no quotas for countries or disciplines. The Selection Committee makes its decision on the basis of the nominee’s excellence and the persuasiveness of the concept for his or her involvement in and importance for achieving the nominating institution’s strategic goals. There are two selection meetings annually.

Nominees will be notified about the Selection Committee's decision immediately after the meeting.

Support during research stay

One of our hallmarks is the degree of support we try to provide for every single guest researcher. This is why we offer you extra benefits in addition to the award amount: from invitations to events to language courses.

The "Regulations on the Use of Funds" were modified recently: Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to use the administrative flat rate as a reserve for salary supplements after the funding period has come to an end.

Alumni programmes

Once a Humboldtian, always a Humboldtian: Even after your initial research stay has come to an end, we shall still maintain close contact with you. Our alumni sponsorship is flexible and designed to support every Humboldtian’s particular path in life and development as well as collaborations between individuals.

Additional information

This programme is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.