Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: 500,000 EUR in additional funding for research in Africa

Sponsorship made possible by the Neville Alexander Memorial Fund

13-12-2012 — / — To strengthen collaboration between outstanding African and German academics, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has initiated the “Neville Alexander Memorial Fund” with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013.

Funding of approximately half a million EUR has been made available for the following measures:

  • A German-South African institute partnership will enable the rapid development and expansion of the “African-German Network of Excellence in Science” (AGNES). AGNES is intended as a central point of contact for policy-makers. The network is designed to help researchers connect with each other and with German cooperation partners, and to facilitate expert exchange among them. In addition, AGNES hopes to acquaint especially promising young African researchers with Germany as a location for research.
  • 15 African postdocs will be selected by AGNES for the “AGNES Grant for Junior Researchers” and will in addition to a financial award be able to avail themselves of the advice of experienced academic mentors.
  • The “Humboldt Alumni Award to promote the African-German Network of Excellence in Science” will reward three innovative networking ideas from Humboldtians from Sub-Saharan Africa with 25,000 EUR each.
  • Three researchers will receive the “Humboldt Research Award in Memory of Neville Alexander”: South African psychologist Soraya Seedat, South African elementary particle physicist Cesareo Augusto Dominguez and Kenyan environmental toxicologist Joseph Owuor Lalah. All three are researchers whose work has had a major impact on their respective disciplines, and who are expected to provide important research-based impulses in the future to solving the great challenges faced by developing and transition countries. The Humboldt Research Award is valued at 60,000 EUR, and the award winners are invited to conduct research in Germany and cooperate with colleagues here.

The initiative is dedicated to renowned South African linguist Neville Alexander, a political associate of Nelson Mandela. Over more than half a century, until his death in August 2012, he maintained close ties with Germany through several research stays funded by the Humboldt Foundation and as an initiator and point of contact for the development of education and science in Africa.

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 49 Nobel Prize winners.


Regine Laroche
Barbara Wieners-Horst
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-455/144
Fax: +49 228 833-441

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


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