Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards: Seven international researchers to receive awards valued at up to €1.65 million each

BONN, 11-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Seven international researchers to receive awards valued at up to €1.65 million each. The young researchers will conduct research in Halle/Saale, Heidelberg, Jena, Mainz, Potsdam and Regensburg in the coming years.

This year, a total of seven young international researchers from abroad will receive the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, each of which comes with up to €1.65 million in funding. State Secretary Georg Schütte from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation, will present the awards at a special ceremony being held in Berlin at 7 pm on 15 November.

With this award money, the seven researchers (two women and five 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 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:
During the day of 15 November 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.

Time and date: Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 10 am – 5 pm
Venue: Arcotel John F Berlin (Werderscher Markt 11, 10117 Berlin)

Award ceremony:
Time and date:
Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 7 pm
Venue: Atrium, 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 noon, Friday, 11 November 2016 via e-mail addressed to

Contact on location: Kristina Güroff, Tel. 0151-14015796

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

  • Mazhar Ali, USA, Solid-state Physics, Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics, Halle/Saale (Host: Humboldt Professor Stuart Parkin)
  • David A. Egger, Austria/Israel, Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, Universität Regensburg
  • Michal P. Heller, Poland/Canada, Quantum Physics, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Potsdam-Golm
  • Francesco Neri, Italy, Molecular Genetics, Leibniz Institute on Aging, Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Jena
  • Faith Osier, Kenya, Medical Microbiology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Department of Infectiology
  • William Shepherd, USA/Denmark, Elementary Partical Physics, Mainz University, Institute of Physics
  • Safa Shoai, Iran/Australia, Organic Photovoltaics, University of Potsdam, Institute of Physics and Astronomy

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 54 Nobel Prize winners.

SOURCE: Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung/Foundation


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