The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation presents up to six Georg Forster Research Awards each year to internationally outstanding researchers from developing and emerging countries in recognition of their academic record to date. The research award was named for renowned German ethnologist Georg Forster (1754–1794) and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- The award amount is €60,000. Award winners are also invited to conduct a research project of their choice at a research institution in Germany in cooperation with specialist colleagues there.
- The award enables a total stay of between six months and a full year, which can be split into multiple stays.
- If required, we will provide further funding of up to €25,000 to finance academic collaboration – in particular to cover the costs of attending academic conferences, of material resources such as specialist literature or scientific equipment at the home institution, or of including junior researchers.
- Nominations for a Georg Forster Research Award may be initiated by established researchers at research institutions in Germany.
- Humboldt Foundation award winners working abroad are also eligible to submit nominations jointly with a researcher working in Germany.
The individual nominated must additionally meet the following criteria:
- The nominee’s academic achievements must be internationally recognised and proven by corresponding successes in research.
- The nominee may not previously have received an award from the Humboldt Foundation for her/his academic work.
- The nominee must be a citizen of a developing or transition country
(excluding PR China and India, see list of countries (PDF)). The nominee must have lived and worked in one of these countries for at least five years at the time of nomination.
The nomination period usually ends on 31 October of each year. The independent Selection Committee comprised of researchers of all disciplines generally meets in the summer of the following year to select the award winner. The Committee’s decision is based on the independent peer reviews, the nominees’ academic qualifications and the significance of their research for the development of their home country.
The main selection criteria include:
- the nominee’s outstanding international reputation as a researcher
- research findings with a demonstrable impact that extends beyond the immediate field of work
- the significance of the awarding of a research prize in relation to the developmental relevance of the research (The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals can serve as a point of reference here.)
- the nominee’s multiplier effect in research, teaching, and science management and in other development-related processes outside the research field
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