29 August 2016, No. 18/2016

Great thinkers for German universities:
Federal Minister Johanna Wanka to present Anneliese Maier Research Awards to winners

Top researchers from the humanities and social sciences to receive €250,000 each to fund international collaboration. Award ceremony to be held in Berlin on 8 September

The economy, financial markets, new media, history, and the effects of music: humanities scholars and social scientists deal with subjects that are on people’s minds and are of fundamental importance to society. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards the Anneliese Maier Research Award – one of the most sought-after international awards in the humanities and social sciences – with the aim of fostering international collaboration in these important disciplines.
The awards will be presented by Johanna Wanka, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Helmut Schwarz, the President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Award ceremony
Thursday, 8 September 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Auditorium Friedrichstraße - Quartier 110, Friedrichstraße 180, 10117 Berlin 

This year, six outstanding researchers will receive the Anneliese Maier Research Award along with €250,000 for each recipient to fund their collaborative research activities with a German host for up to five years. The winners will work together with colleagues at universities in Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Heidelberg, Frankfurt am Main and Münster.
The award ceremony will be held as part of a three-day symposium (7-9 September) to integrate junior researchers and scholars . Some 120 German and international humanities scholars and social scientists will also be in attendance, alongside this year’s award winners and their collaborative partners in Germany.

Note to journalists:
The entire event is open to the press; there will be opportunities to take photographs and make video or audio recordings. Please send your accreditation, including a copy of your valid press ID, by e-mail to presse@avh.de or fax using the accreditation form by Tuesday, 6 September 2016, 12:00 noon.

Contact at the venue: Lena Schnabel, Tel.: 0160-97287564

The award winners at a glance:

  • Ève Chiapello from France is a leading international economic sociologist. She explores, for example, the effects of economising social policy. The focus of her work at Universität Hamburg will include the financialisation of the ecological crisis that can be seen in the markets for greenhouse gases. She is also investigating social impact investing in which investors put money into social projects.
  • Glenn W. Most from Italy ranks among the world’s preeminent classical scholars. His wide-ranging works on the Ancient World deal with topics such as anger and rage in Homer’s writings and include new editions of Greek tragedies. He will be working with colleagues in the TOPOI excellence cluster at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and take part in projects conducted by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  • Daniel Müllensiefen from Great Britain is considered to be one of today’s most innovative music psychologists. His achievements include developing a test to measure musicality and his work on what makes a song catchy caused a sensation. Müllensiefen’s research work at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media will examine how involvement with music affects the development of children and adolescents.
  • Sumathi Ramaswamy from the USA is one of the most many-sided experts for Asian studies and Indian history. For instance her work includes research on the interplay between language and nationalism in India during and following the colonial period. While at Heidelberg University she will strengthen the Asia and Europe in a Global Context excellence cluster and help raise the profile of Asian studies in Germany.
  • For decades now Marti G. Subrahmanyam from the USA has shaped the scholarly discourse on the development of financial markets. Most recently he has been directing his attention to liquidity and market regulation by central banks. At Goethe University Frankfurt he plans to focus his research on Germany and Europe, strengthen Frankfurt as an international location for financial market research, and bring European perspectives together with American perspectives.

Unfortunately the following award winner will not be at the award ceremony:

  • E. Tory Higgins from the USA is one of the most influential social psychologists on the international stage. His works on social perception and human motivation have become classics. While at the University of Münster he will study views shared by groups, also known as shared realities. He aims to find out what influence social media have on these views and what role shared realities play in the development of prejudices. 

The Anneliese Maier Research Award is financed with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and named after German philosopher and science historian Anneliese Maier (b. 1905 in Tübingen, d. 1971 in Rome).

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 27,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 52 Nobel Prize winners.


Alexandra Hostert
Lena Schnabel
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-257/-144
Fax: +49 228 833-441

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