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Humboldt Foundation Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award 2017, Germany

Publish Date: May 30, 2017

Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award

Scientists and scholars from abroad, internationally renowned in their field, who completed their doctorates less than 18 years ago and who in future are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements which will have a seminal influence on their discipline beyond their immediate field of work, are eligible to be nominated for a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award.

Award winners are honoured for their outstanding research record and invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. The stay may be divided up into blocks.

The Humboldt Foundation grants about 20 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Awards annually.

Nominations may be submitted online by established academics in Germany. Nominations may also be initiated by award winners of the Humboldt Foundation working abroad, provided that the nomination is made jointly with a colleague working in Germany. Direct applications are not accepted. The award is valued at €45,000.


  1. The nominee must be recognised internationally as an outstanding researcher in his/her field (e.g. awards, positive responses to publications, etc.).
  2. Expectation that the nominee will continue to produce cutting-edge achievements which will have a seminal influence on the discipline.
  3. Doctorate completed less than 18 years ago.
  4. Detailed expert opinion by an academic working at a research institution in Germany who would like to invite the nominee to spend time researching in Germany.
  5. The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice during the application and sponsorship periods.

Selection procedure

Nominations may be submitted online to the Humboldt Foundation at any time.

The Humboldt Foundation will confirm receipt of the online nomination by email. It is the nominator’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents.

Subsequently, the nomination documents will usually be forwarded to independent peer reviewers for written review. On the basis of these independent peer reviews a selection committee composed of approximately 22 academics from all disciplines will decide on the submitted nominations.

The competition between nominations is independent of discipline. There are no quotas for countries, research areas or the gender of the nominated individuals. The Committee makes its decision based exclusively on the nominated researchers' academic qualifications.

Selection criteria include:

  • Previous outstanding academic achievements,
  • Individual recognition as especially qualified experts in their field who have already shaped their discipline,
  • A well-founded expectation of future outstanding achievements that will have an impact beyond the nominee's immediate research area.

The Selection Meetings take place twice a year – currently at the beginning of spring and in the early autumn of each year.

Nominees will be notified about the Selection Committee's decision immediately after the meeting.

In the event that a nomination is rejected, our colleagues in the Selection Department will provide information on the competitive situation and the selection criteria on request.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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