The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards the KU with the Henriette Herz Award. The award honors an innovative concept for the recruitment of international early-career researchers with which the KU was able to convince the selection committee in a nationwide competition. The prize is endowed with 125,000 euros per university. In addition to the KU, the universities in Bochum and Bonn, the Technical University of Dresden as well as the universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Constance, Potsdam and Stuttgart are also awarded with the prize. A total of 44 strong research universities had applied for the prize.
With this award, the Foundation promotes novel ideas on how universities can attract international talents for their institutions and in general for Germany as a research location. "The targeted scouting of suitable people, as has long been customary in sports or business, is becoming increasingly important in this context", emphasizes the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award is part of an initiative that the Foundation had already started last year with the Henriette Herz Scouting Program. With this program, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is opening up an alternative approach to the renowned Humboldt Research Fellowship, which enables selected scouts to quickly recruit particularly sought-after talents. The Henriette Herz Scouting Program and the Henriette Herz Prize are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
In recent years, the KU has already successively expanded its offers in the field of internationalization and the promotion of early-career researchers – for example, by establishing a Welcome Center that can respond to the needs of guest researchers on an individual basis. The fundamental and most important success factors for the recruitment of advanced and established international researchers are above all personal networks and contacts. The KU therefore now wants to use the Henriette Herz Award to integrate questions of talent and potential development as well as the active recruitment of "high potentials" from academia into the continuing education of executives. The starting point for a corresponding pilot project will be the KU research group on cultures of dialog within academic spaces for reflection in connection with cultural and social sciences (“Dialogkulturen. Wissenschaftliche Reflexionsräume für Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften”), in which well-networked national and international researchers of the KU participate.
Background information on Henriette Herz
Henriette Julie Herz (* September 5, 1764 in Berlin; † October 22, 1847 in Berlin), writer and organizer of the first literary salon in Berlin. Henriette Herz and her husband organized discussion groups on scientific and philosophical topics. The participants, including the von Humboldt brothers, came from different social classes. Henriette Herz stands for topics such as emancipation, networking and exchange as well as the promotion of talent. She had a lifelong friendship with Alexander von Humboldt. Henriette Herz was born as Henriette de Lemos on September 5, 1764, in upper-class social conditions. Her father was a doctor and director of the Jewish Hospital in Berlin. It was completely untypical at his time that he provided his inquisitive daughter with a comprehensive education. From 1785, she led the first literary salon in Prussia. She inspired numerous imitators to found their own salons.
Further information about the Henriette Herz Scouting Program can be found on the website of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.