Max Planck Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany

Excellent scientists and scholars of all nationalities who are expected to continue producing outstanding academic achievements in international collaboration – not least with the assistance of this award – are eligible to be nominated for the Max Planck Research Award.

On an annually-alternating basis, the call for nominations addresses areas within the natural and engineering sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences and humanities.

The Max Planck Research Award 2014 will be conferred in the area of natural and engineering sciences in the subject “Quantum Nano Science”.

113 years after the foundation of quantum theory by Max Planck, researchers succeed in controlling materials with ever higher precision to realize exotic quantum states. Thus nano structured materials and devices arise, that by exploiting the most bizarre features of quantum mechanics – take discretisation, superposition, entanglement and many body systems as examples – are designed for special purposes. Such phenomena form the focus of the relatively young experimental field of Quantum Nano Science that has emerged at the interfaces of nano science, quantum optics, photonics, materials technology and quantum information.

Every year, the Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society grant two research awards to one researcher working abroad  and one researcher working in Germany.

The Presidents / Vice Chancellors of universities and the heads of research institutions in Germany are eligible to make nominations. Direct applications are not accepted. As a rule, each award is endowed with 750,000 EUR and may be used over a period of three to a maximum of five years to fund research chosen by the award winner.


  • The nominee must be recognized internationally as an outstandingly qualified academic (e.g. awards, positive responses to publications, etc.).
  • Expectation of continued outstanding academic achievements in international collaboration – not least with the assistance of the award.
  • Nomination by a person entitled to make the nomination.
  • Expert reviews by important international and German collaborative partners and/or academics.
  • The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice during the application and sponsorship periods.

The deadline for nominations is 31 January 2014.

The deadline is not an exclusion date; however, it may not be possible to process nominations which arrive late or incomplete. The Selection Committee meeting will take place in spring/ summer 2013. Reviewing the applications takes four to six months.

It is the nominator’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents. Nominations not submitted as a single entity will take longer to process. The documents required in addition to the nomination documents, i.e. the confidential statements by the expert reviewers, can be submitted to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation directly, at the same time as the nomination.

An independent Selection Committee composed of academic peers makes the final decision on the nominations received. The Selection Committee makes its decision solely on the basis of the nominees’ academic qualifications.

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

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