Outstanding individual research

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In addition to numerous top placements in national and international rankings and steadily increasing third-party funding income from industry and from the funding programs of public institutions, the prizes, honors and awards received by our scientists in particular also demonstrate the outstanding research strength of the Faculty of Engineering.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (DFG) is the most important research award in Germany. The Leibniz Programme, established in 1985, aims to improve the working conditions of outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly well-qualified young researchers. The prize is endowed with up to 2.5 million euros. There are currently five winners of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize working as researchers and lecturers at FAU, four of them at the Faculty of Engineering:





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DFG Reinhart Koselleck funding

The German Research Foundation (DFG) provides funding for the Reinhart Koselleck Projects which aim to give researchers the opportunity to pursue exceptionally innovative projects. The funding is provided for a period of five years and is intended for staff, scientific equipment, consumables, travel and publication costs. The total funding received during this period is between 500,000 and 1.25 million euros.

Two professors at FAU’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering currently receive funding as part of the Reinhart Koselleck Projects: Patrik Schmuki, Chair of Corrosion and Surface Technology, and Peter Greil, former Chair of Glass and Ceramics.



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Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is Germany’s most prestigious prize for international researchers. The professorship recognises the achievements of leading researchers from all disciplines who are working abroad. It is designed to enable them to carry out long-term research at a German university. The prize money provides funding for the winners’ first five years in Germany. Up to ten professorships are awarded each year.

The Faculty of Engineering currently has a Humboldt Professor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Schober, Chair for Digital Communications (IDC).


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The European Research Council (ERC) was set up by the European Commission. It provides funding for top researchers in order to promote basic research and visionary projects, and to enable new interdisciplinary fields to be explored.

ERC Starting Grants

The ERC awards Starting Grants to promising young researchers to give them the chance to establish their own research groups and to independently pursue research projects with great innovative potential.

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ERC Consolidator Grants

ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to promising young researchers at the start of their independent careers.

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ERC Advanced Grants

The ERC awards Advanced Grants for excellent ground-breaking research projects. More information on Advanced Grants







ERC Synergy Grant

ERC Synergy Grants are awarded to teams of between two and four promising researchers. Synergy Grants are aimed both at excellent young researchers and at established, active researchers who have already achieved outstanding research results.

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Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

The German Research Foundation (DFG) awards the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, named after the physicist and former DFG president, to ten young researchers each year in recognition of outstanding achievement. The prize was first awarded in 1977 and comes with 20,000 euros in prize money. For the young researchers who receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize it is a form of recognition and further motivation for their academic work. The prize money is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.



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Alfried Krupp Prize

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung (Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation) has been awarding the Alfried Krupp-Förderpreis für junge Hochschullehrer (Alfried Krupp Prize for Young University Lecturers) on an annual basis since 1986. The prize is aimed at young engineers and scientists who have outstanding academic qualifications and have already conducted excellent research. The prize is worth 1 million euros. Prize winners can use the funding flexibly in order to create a working environment to suit their needs without having to use state funds. For example, they can set up and improve workspaces (also in laboratories), take part in symposia or conferences or finance research associates and special research groups.


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Highly Cited Researchers

Clarivate Analytics annually publishes an overview of the “Highly Cited Researchers” in which the leading scientists of the natural sciences and the humanities are named as world-class researchers selected for their outstanding research performance. This exceptional achievement is documented by the production of several highly cited papers.
Highly Cited Papers” are defined as publications that rank among the top 1% due to the number of citations in the respective subject area and publication year in the “Web of Science“.

Highly cited researchers at the Faculty of Engineering in 2021