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Press Release No. 28 | 20 June 2012
Annual Meeting in Dortmund: DFG to Elect Successor to Kleiner and Welcome the German President

Funding Organisation to Meet from 2-4 July / Theme: "Time for Science" / Three Candidates in Election for Top Office / Address by German President

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) will hold its 2012 Annual Meeting from 2 to 4 July in Dortmund. During this time, the Executive Committee, the Senate, the Joint Committee and the General Assembly of Germany's central research funding organisation will meet. The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting is "Time for Science".

The focus of the DFG’s General Assembly on 4 July in the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund will be on the election of the successor to DFG President Professor Matthias Kleiner. The engineer, who, since 2007, has been at the head of the DFG as the first representative of his scientific discipline, leaves office at the end of the year after serving two terms. For the election to determine his successor, the DFG Senate has nominated three candidates at the recommendation of the General Assembly selection committee. These are, in alphabetical order: Professor Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus, chemistry, University of Bielefeld; Professor Martin Lohse, pharmacology, University of Würzburg; and Professor Peter Strohschneider, German Medieval Studies, University of Munich. The newly elected president will take office on 1 January 2013.

In addition to the election for president, two new elections and one re-election for the DFG Executive Committee as well as new and re-elections for the Senate, the most important science policy body of the DFG, will take place. In his final report to the member organisations, DFG President Kleiner will present the activities of the funding organisation since the 2011 Annual Meeting in Bonn.

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, a ceremony will take place at the Technical University of Dortmund (TU Dortmund), the hometown university of the outgoing DFG president. Here, the DFG and its guests from science and the humanities, politics and society will welcome German President Dr. h. c. Joachim Gauck as the guest of honour on Wednesday, 4 July at 4:00 p.m. in the main auditorium. Following a welcome by the DFG president and the rector of TU Dortmund, Professor Ursula Gather, the German president will hold a speech.

In his address, DFG President Kleiner will focus primarily on the principles of research funding by the DFG.

The keynote lecture will be given by Catholic theologian Professor Hubert Wolf from the Department of Medieval and Modern History at the Westphalian Wilhelm University of Münster. The church historian, who was presented the DFG's Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for his research as well as the Communicator Award of the DFG and Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany for conveying his work in the media and to the general public, will trace the story of an inquisition process from the 19th century. The title of his talk will be: "Sant’Ambrogio – a Convent and the Inquisition".

Following the ceremony, a reception will be held in the main cafeteria of the TU Dortmund, where the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Professor Annette Schavan, and the State Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate for Education, Science, Continuing Education and Culture, Ms. Doris Ahnen, will speak to the guests.

On the evening before the General Assembly, this year's Communicator Award will be presented by the DFG and Donors' Association. Receiving the award, worth 50,000 euros, is behavioural biologist Professor Jürgen Tautz from the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg for the many years of presenting his research work and bee research as a whole in a diverse and original manner in the media and to the general public. His speech at the award ceremony is a scientific homage to "the honey bees and their state – inexhaustible for research and instruction". The Communicator Award will be presented on Tuesday, 3 July at 7:00 p.m. in the RWE Forum in the Dortmunder U.


Information on accreditation and security information for the media:

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to the presentation of the 2012 Communicator Award on 3 July at 7:00 p.m. in the RWE Forum in the Dortmunder U as well as to the ceremony on 4 July 2012 at 4:00 p.m. in the main auditorium of the Technical University of Dortmund.

Special security precautions are in effect for the ceremony on 4 July. The following notices and information regarding the registration and schedule of the event must absolutely be observed:

Media representatives must accredit themselves by providing name, surname, date and place of birth and their medium and their function. This also applies for all accompanying members of television teams.

Registrations with the information listed above may be sent via e-mail to the DFG’s Press and Public Relations Office:

  • Jutta.Hoehn@dfg.de

Registrations must be received with all required information no later than Monday, 2 July at 12:00 noon. Registration is possible only with the DFG, as event organiser.

Reaccreditations are not possible – no access will be granted to media representatives who register after Monday, 2 July at 12:00 noon or who would like to be accredited on site.

A separate entrance desk for media representatives will be set up at the event venue. This will be located in the lower level of the main auditorium (main entrance to the auditorium below the H-Bahn, Vogelpothsweg entry). All media representatives are requested to come here first. Entry through the upper level (main entrance in the mathematics building) is not possible.

An access control will take place at the entrance desk. Please have photo ID ready. A functional inspection will be performed on technical devices, e.g., equipment of camera teams.


Information for photographers and film teams:

Two opportunities will be offered for photos and film recordings prior to the event:

Following the arrival of the German president, a group photo with the DFG president and the rector of the TU Dortmund and possibly other personalities will be possible. This will take place on the upper level of the auditorium in front of a DFG display wall. After registering on the lower level, media representatives may directly enter the upper level.

Following the group photo, photographers and film teams will be asked to go directly to the lower level and enter the auditorium through the entry there. It is not possible to enter from the upper level.

Immediately prior to the start of the event, opportunity will be given for a "first row photograph" of the German president.

Photographers and film teams who do not wish to remain for the entire event are asked to exit the auditorium immediately after the "first row photograph" through the exit on the lower level.

Seats are reserved in the middle seating section for photographers and film teams who wish to remain for the entire event. They are asked to photograph and film only from there.

Media contact for questions regarding accreditation, security precautions and programme:

  • Marco Finetti, Director,
    DFG Press and Public Relations
    Tel. +49 228 885-2230,

Information for local media and on the TU Dortmund (event venue) are also available from


Date announcement: annual press conference of the DFG:

The annual press conference of the DFG will be held on Thursday, 5 July at 11:00 a.m. in the WissenschaftsForum, Markgrafenstraße 37 (Gendarmenmarkt), 10117 Berlin. Participating in the conference will be, in addition to DFG President Matthias Kleiner and Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek, the next president of the DFG, to be elected on 4 July.

A separate invitation will be sent for this press conference.