The association has launched the Helmholtz International Fellow Award with the aim of enhancing existing cooperation between Helmholtz Centres and international research institutes and strengthening links with brilliant scientists abroad. The award is targeted at outstanding researchers and science managers outside Germany who have excelled in fields relevant to the Helmholtz Association. Six researchers – three men and three women – have now received the first Helmholtz International Fellow Awards.
“The awards allow us to work with experienced researchers from all over the world. Their wealth of experience enriches our research activities. What’s more, these researchers serve as ambassadors promoting cooperation between their country of origin and the Helmholtz Association,” said Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, the association’s president. “The award winners are invited to work for a period of time at Helmholtz Centres that they have already collaborated with or where such collaboration might be useful and beneficial in the future.” This makes it possible to pursue joint research projects effectively and to extend or intensify existing cooperation.
Outstanding performance in a relevant scientific field is the most important criterion for the award. The scientists’ projects must complement the activities of the specific Helmholtz Centre that nominates them. Up to 15 Helmholtz International Fellow Awards, each of which provides funding of €20,000, can be awarded each year. German or international researchers who are based abroad and who do not already have an employment contract with a Helmholtz Centre are eligible.
The following researchers received a Helmholtz Fellow Award in this first round:
Prof. Persis S. Drell, director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (nominated by Deutsches Elektronen-System DESY)
Prof. Steven E. Koonin, Under-secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy until November 2011 (nominated by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research)
Prof. John Mendelsohn, Co-director of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy (nominated by the German Cancer Research Centre)
Prof. Lorne A. Babiuk, Vice-president of the University of Alberta (nominated by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research)
Prof. Nirmal Kumar Ganguly, President of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (nominated by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research)
Prof. Amotz Agnon, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (nominated by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – German Research Centre for Geosciences)
The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Key Technologies; Structure of Matter; and Aeronautics, Space and Transport. With almost 34,000 employees in 18 research centres and an annual budget of approximately €3.4 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).
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Angela Bittner | Source: Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
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