Call for nominations: Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

International Award for Research in Germany

On the strength of an endowment from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the context of the International Research Fund for Germany, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants awards to academics of all disciplines from abroad, who are internationally recognised as leaders in their field, allowing them to pursue ground-breaking research at universities and research institutions in Germany. Virtually unaffected by administrative constraints, they will enjoy a high degree of freedom in creating their own working conditions.

Academics from abroad are eligible to be nominated for this International Award for Research in Germany if they are at the forefront of their discipline and are expected to contribute to enhancing Germany’s sustained international competitiveness as a research location in consequence of the award.

The award funds, usually totalling 5 million EUR for academics in experimental disciplines and 3.5 million EUR for researchers in theoretical disciplines, will be made available for a period of five years. Even by international standards, they allow award winners to profit from competitive general conditions that create the basis for a long-term academic future in Germany. This applies both to their personal income and the financial resources for their research work.

Nomination entitlement

The award is granted on the recommendation of others. Nominations may be submitted by German universities; non-university research institutions may also submit nominations jointly with a German university. Nominations must be forwarded to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through the rector or president of the respective university or, where applicable, the academic director or head of the non-university research institution.

Nomination requirements

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of top-rank researchers of all disciplines working abroad who are eligible to be appointed to full professorships in Germany. Academics of German nationality are also eligible to be nominated provided that they have established their academic careers abroad. Academics working in Germany may not be nominated for this award.

Selection procedure

Visit the website for detailed information on the selection procedure or contact the Humboldt Foundation by telephone or email with further enquiries or case specific questions.

Applications should be completed online. The application deadlines are 15 April and 15 September of every year. The completed application form, including the necessary additional documents, should be submitted online by the application deadline. Visit the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s website for further information on the online nomination process and all necessary documents as well as access to the online nomination system. A confirmation of receipt will be issued after the application has been submitted.

Nominators are responsible for ensuring that their documents are complete. Incomplete nominations might be excluded from the selection procedure.

Up to ten award winners will be selected annually by an independent selection committee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation which will usually meet six to seven months after the closing date, i.e. in April and October. Selection will be based on an independent, peer review.

Use of award funds

The award funds are made available for a period of five years to finance the award winner’s research in Germany. A ward winners may take up to 180,000 EUR p.a. from the award funds for their personal incomes. Other income, especially additional salary payments made by the receiving institution or from third parties, will not be set against this.

The Humboldt Foundation particularly welcomes measures on the part of the nominating institution to promote equal opportunities for women academics.

Success rate

Only those applications that leave no doubt whatsoever about the academic excellence of the candidate and the persuasiveness of the university concept will ultimately be approved. In the past, this applied to about one in four applications on average.

Application date
Up to 5 years
Social sciences