2015 Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives

This year marks the seventh time the Humboldt Foundation has singled out innovative network ideas of Humboldt alumni for a Humboldt Alumni Award with the aim of fostering academic and cultural ties between Germany and the Alumni's home countries and strengthening their collaboration in the respective regions. Each award comes with up to €25,000 and is funded by the German Foreign Office. The Humboldt Alumni Awards were presented to this year's winners on 10 June 2015 at the Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting in Berlin.

The 2015 Humboldt Alumni Awards went to initiatives of Humboldtians from Bulgaria, Nigeria, Poland, Ukraine and the USA:


Nigeria's Oluyemi Akinloye wants to use his initiative Humboldtians’ Education Managers’ Network: Revitalising Higher Education Management and Research Linkage in Nigeria  to build a network of university managers in his country to encourage researchers who have worked many years in the university management field to share information and experience. At the same time, it is envisioned that they also pass their knowledge on to their younger colleagues. In addition, the network should enable more efficient use of the country's existing research infrastructure.

Oluyemi Akinloye
Photo: private

Professor Dr Oluyemi Akinloye
obtained his doctorate in 2003 in the field of Chemical Pathology at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He was subsequently a Georg Forster Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Münster from 2006 to 2007. Oluyemi Akinloye has been Professor of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of Lagos in Nigeria since 2013.


The Ukrainian mathematician Alexandra V. Antoniouk is planning to organise together with her colleague Sylvie Paycha from the University of Potsdam an exhibition titled Women Humboldtians in Mathematics around Europe. A gallery of portraits. The portraits of 13 successful mathematicians will be shown in ten European cities as part of her network initiative which Antoniouk wants to use to draw the public's attention to the large discrepancy between the number of men mathematicians and the number of female mathematicians and impel young women to embark on a career in mathematics. The initiative is also being designed to encourage its participants to network and share information.

Alexandra V. Antoniouk
Photo: private

Professor Dr Alexandra V. Antoniouk
obtained her doctorate from the Kiev Institute of Mathematics at Ukraine's National Academy of Sciences in 1993. She conducted research at Ruhr-Universität Bochum as a Humboldt Fellow from 1997 to 1998. Professor Antoniouk has been teaching at the Department of Nonlinear Analysis at the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev, Ukraine, since 1996.

The American chemist Judith Giordan wants to link up female scientists with one another through her network initiative Women in Innovation: Leveraging the power of the von Humboldt global network to aid women in realizing their potential as innovators and the value of their innovations to address global challenges.
The initiative will use online surveys to analyse the experiences gathered by female Humboldtians in their capacity as successful researchers, innovators and catalysts. The findings will be made available in a global online network which will be home to a forum where women can share views and information with one another and develop and realise new, innovative ideas.

Judith Giordan

Photo: ecosVC, Inc.

Professor Dr Judith Giordan
earned her doctorate in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Maryland, USA, in 1980. She was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Goethe University Frankfurt from 1980 to 1981. Judith Giordan has been teaching at Oregon State University in the USA since 2014. She is the co-founder and vice-president of ecosVC, a consulting firm and the Chemical Angels Network, an investment group.

Przemyslaw Marciniak wants to use his initiative Byzantine Reception Network – Towards a new field of reception studies to develop a network where members can share information regarding the historiographical tradition of Byzantium and its reception in literature, in the theatre, and in popular culture of the modern age. The research methods used in this specialised field are also a focus. The findings shall be organised in a database and made available to the public via a website.

Przemyslaw Marcimiak

Photo: private

Professor Dr Przemyslaw Marcimiak
Marcimiak received his doctorate in Greek Philology from the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, in 2003. He conducted research at the Freie Universität Berlin as a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 2008 to 2009. Przemyslaw Marciniak has been head of the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Silesia since 2014.

The network initiative Humboldt Astroinformatics Networking created by the astronomer and computer scientist Milcho Kirilov Tsvetkov aims to network scientists from his home country and the neighbouring Balkan States as well as from Armenia, Germany and the Ukraine who conduct research in the astroinformatics field. Plans foresee members of the network developing research tools and sharing information about innovations in the IT field. The network is also to act as a platform for initiating collaborative research. A web portal will be set up for exchanging information and networking, also with an eye to young researchers.

Milcho Kirilov Tsvetkov

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Professor Dr Milcho Kirilov Tsvetkov
completed his doctorate in Physics and Mathematics at Yerevan State University, Armenia, in 1976. He conducted research as a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Münster from 1988 to 1990. Milcho Tsvetkov has been head of the Sofia Sky Archive Data Center and associate member at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria, since 2013.