19 April 2012, No. 10/2012

New Alexander von Humboldt professors selected

Germany’s highest valued international research award goes to five researchers from abroad.

Two philosophers, a physicist, a medical scientist and a classicist are the new Alexander von Humboldt professors. The international award for research in Germany, worth up to five million EUR, is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. With the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, the Foundation honours world-leading researchers of all academic disciplines working abroad. In the long term, these researchers will then conduct cutting-edge research at German universities.

The selected award winners are currently entering into appointment negotiations with the German universities that nominated them:

  • Gregory Ralph Crane (54), at home both in classical philology and applied computer science, was nominated by the University of Leipzig. He currently works at Tufts University in the USA.
  • Philosopher Michael Neil Forster (54), currently working at the University of Chicago in the USA, is to conduct research at the University of Bonn.
  • Stephan Hartmann (44), science philosopher at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, was nominated by LMU Munich.
  • Physicist Michael Köhl (36), currently at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain, was also nominated by the University of Bonn.
  • Medical scientist Wolfram Ruf (54), currently working at the Scripps Research Institute in the USA, is to transfer to Mainz University.

The Humboldt Foundation’s selection committee had 16 applications to consider. Seven of the candidates currently work in the USA, three in Great Britain, two in the Netherlands and one each in France, Italy, Japan and Canada.

The award amount is earmarked for funding the first five years in Germany. The prize gives universities the opportunity to offer international top-class professionals competitive conditions and the prospect of long-term work in Germany as well as the opportunity to raise their profiles.

In all, up to ten award winners will be selected in 2012. The second selection meeting will take place in October.

The seven Humboldt Professors who were selected last year and have now concluded their negotiations will be presented with their awards on 15 May 2012 in Berlin.

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 25,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 130 countries worldwide – including 48 Nobel Prize winners.


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