• Six awards announced for Berlin scientists

Berliners win six high-ranking research awards: a total of five outstanding scientists received awards from the European Research Council. And Berlin Professor of Chinese Studies, Dr Dagmar Schäfer, was honoured with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize last week. This is considered the most important research grant available in Germany.  

The fact that Brain City Berlin is a city of cutting-edge research proves itself again and again as six high-ranking research prizes are won by Berlin-based researchers. As the European Research Council (ERC) announced in Brussels on Tuesday, five Berlin scientists will receive ERC Consolidator Grants.

These ERC research prizes, each endowed with an average of €2 million, are considered the most important European awards for outstanding scientific research. They are awarded over five years and are intended to enable particularly promising research projects. Most of the funding is used to finance positions for research staff. In the current selection round, a total of 2,453 applications were submitted across Europe. About 12% of the applicants were selected.

5 Berlin scientists were awarded ERC Consolidator Grants

  • Professor Dr Kevin Pagel (Free University of Berlin, Organic Chemistry), Project Title: "Unravelling Glycochemistry with Ion Mobility Spectrometry and Gas-Phase Spectroscopy"
  • Professor Dr. Philipp Adelhelm (Humboldt University of Berlin, Physical Chemistry), Project Title: "Solvated Ions in Solid Electrodes: Alternative routes toward rechargeable batteries based on abundant elements"
  • Professor Dr. Martin Rolfs (Humboldt University of Berlin, General Psychology), Project Title: "How visual action shapes active vision"
  • Professor Dr. Susanne Schreiber (Humboldt University of Berlin, Theoretical Biology), Project Title: "A new type of spike: Homoclinic spike generation in cells and networks"
  • Dr. Nitin Sinha (Humanities Centres of Berlin, Leibniz Centre for Modern Oriental Studies), Project Title: "Timely Histories: A Social History of Time in South Asia"

Professor Dr. Dagmar Schäfer receives the 2020 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize

And yet another Berlin scientist can look forward to a high-ranking award: The sinologist and technology historian Professor Dr. Dagmar Schäfer was one of two women to be awarded the 2020 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Bonn. The Leibniz Prize, endowed with €2.5 million, is considered the most prestigious German research prize. The recipients can use the prize money to fund up to seven years of work on a research project of their choosing. In its decision, the DFG referred to Dagmar Schäfer's groundbreaking contributions to a comprehensive, global, and comparative history of technology and science. "Her work on China has shed new light on the alleged stagnation of knowledge development diagnosed from the West and opened up new perspectives for a global history since the period called the 'Early Modern Era' from a European perspective."

Professor Dr. Dagmar Schäfer has been director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin since 2013, Honorary Professor of the History of Science  and Technology at the Technical University of Berlin, and Honorary Professor of the Free University of Berlin. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize winners will officially receive their prizes at a ceremony to be held at Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences on 16 March 2020. (vdo)

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