31 October 2014, No. 29/2014

Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards to be presented in Berlin
on 11 November

Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka to present young international researchers the awards that come with funding of up to €1.65 million each.

This year, a total of 11 young international researchers from abroad will receive the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, each of which is endowed with up to €1.65 million in funding. Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka and Helmut Schwarz, president of the Humboldt Foundation, will present the awards at a special ceremony being held in Berlin at 7 pm on 11 November.

With this award money, the 11 researchers (three women and eight men) can conduct research free from administrative constraints at a German university or research institute of their choice for a period of up to five years and develop their own research group for this at their host institute. The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award is one of Germany’s best-endowed research awards. It is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. With this award, the young researchers who are between 29 and 41 years of age receive risk capital during an extremely early phase in their careers to conduct innovative projects and, in the process, are given the opportunity to work independently and bear responsibility.

Notice to the press:
On the day of the ceremony a working meeting will be held which will also be attended by this year’s award winners and their hosts. Specialist topics will be discussed and experience shared with regard to Germany as a location for research work. Journalists are welcome to attend. We will be happy to arrange interviews. The detailed programme is available here.

Time: Tuesday, 11 November 2014, 10 am - 5 pm
Venue: Novotel Berlin Mitte (Fischerinsel 12, 10179 Berlin)

Award ceremony with Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka
Time: Tuesday, 11 November 2014, 7 pm
Venue: Atrium of Deutsche Bank (Charlottenstraße 37-38, 10117 Berlin)

It will be possible to conduct interviews and to film, photograph and make audio recordings at both events. Please register by 12 pm, Friday, 7 November 2014 at presse(at)avh.de

Contact on location: Mr Sebastian Kraußer, Tel.: 0160-97287564

The recently selected award winners, their home countries, countries of residence, their research areas and their host institutes are:

  • Kamal Asadi, Iran / Netherlands, Electrical Engineering, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz
  • Gregory Brennecka, USA, Cosmochemistry, University of Münster, Institute for Planetology
  • Elizabeta Briski, Croatia / Canada, Ecology, GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
  • Pierangelo Buongiorno, Italy, Roman Law, University of Münster, Institute for the History of Law
  • Jason Dexter, USA, Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching
  • Katja Dörschner-Boyaci, Germany / Turkey, Psychology, Gießen University, Department of General Psychology
  • Roland Donninger, Austria / Switzerland, Mathematics, University of Bonn, Mathematical Institute
  • Fernando Febres Cordero, Venezuela, Elementary Particle Physics, University of Freiburg, Institute for Physics
  • Helen May-Simera, Great Britain / USA, Cell Biology, Mainz University, Institute of Zoology
  • Christian Straßer, Germany / Belgium, Formal Logic, Ruhr University Bochum, Institute for Philosophy II
  • Alexander Tsirlin, Russia / Estonia, Solid State Chemistry and Solid State Physics, University of Augsburg, Center for Electronic Correlations and Magnetism (EKM)

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 140 countries worldwide – including 50 Nobel Laureates.


Sebastian Kraußer
Nina Hafeneger
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-257/450
Fax: +49 228 833-441

Georg Scholl
Head of
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-258
Fax: +49 228 833-441