An Offer You Can’t Refuse (Almost)

Thanks to the Humboldt Professorship, Germany has enticing things to offer international research luminaries. A review of the first five years.

“Germany’s Nobel Prizes awarded,” announced the Süddeutsche Zeitung on its front page when the Alexander von Humboldt Professorships were granted for the first time some five years ago. Germany’s Nobel Prizes? The comparison is both apposite and completely off the mark. On the one hand, ...  > more


When I think of Germany...

Reflections of an American scientist living in Göttingen

When I think of Germany I think of a place where it is still fun to do science! No kidding. Germany is a fun place, especially when it comes to Science. This hit me like a brick recently at the end of a hard week of work, Freitag Feierabend! I’m sitting in a nice Göttingen student Kneipe with ...  > more


“We Have to Explain What Makes a German Administration Tick”

KOSMOS: The interim evaluation of five years of the Humboldt Professorship is largely positive. But it does identify some critical areas which will need to be addressed in the 2015 evaluation. What are you concerned about? AUFDERHEIDE: One genuine concern is the low proportion of women, even ...  > more

The Anxiety Tamer

Jürgen Margraf developed a therapy for panic attacks that works incredibly fast. Now a Humboldt Professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the psychologist is investigating how people stay mentally healthy.

There are occasions when even anxiety researchers get anxious. Jürgen Margraf has experienced many such moments, and remembers one in particular. “It was my first dive in the sea,” relates the Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, sitting in his office on campus at ...  > more

There’s Still Room at the Top

Prominent female researchers are rare, amongst Humboldt Professors, too. What academia and the Foundation can do about it.

The IBM Research Centre in Zurich likes to showcase the successful physicist, Heike Riel. When TU München raised the possibility of a Humboldt Professorship a year ago, alarm bells rang in Zurich. They made her an IBM Research Fellow, the highest accolade the company grants. For five years, the ...  > more

Heading for the Big Leagues

Worldwide competition to attract the best researchers is fierce. German universities are increasingly joining the fray – and succeeding in recruiting vast numbers of top academics.

It was about a year ago that Hannes Leitgeb faced his big decision. Leitgeb, now 39, had been conducting research as a philosopher and mathematician in Bristol, UK, for five years; then his two children reached school age. “To be honest, we weren’t really sure about the school system in ...  > more