Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme awards prizes to scientists and academics for their outstanding achievements in the field of research.

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the most important research award in Germany. The Leibniz Programme was established in 1985.

Type of Prize

The most important research award in Germany


The programme aims to honour outstanding scientists and academics, expand their research opportunities, and help them employ particularly qualified early career researchers.

Number and Value of Awards

Up to ten prizes are awarded annually with a maximum of €2.5 million per award.


Direct applications are not accepted.

Nominees may be put forward by: all Universities and other doctorate-granting higher education institutions in Germany, all members of the DFG, the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, the elected spokespersons of the DFG’s review boards, previous Leibniz prizewinners, and former members of the Leibniz Selection Committee.

Selection Criteria

Awards are conferred to individuals who, with regards to the stage of their careers, have demonstrated superior achievements in their research areas both in a national and an international context and who show exceptional promise for future top-level accomplishments that will have a sustainable impact on the German research landscape. The prizes are not limited to certain research areas; the scientific quality of the previous work is the sole criterion for nomination. The prize may be awarded to individuals or research teams working at a research institution in Germany or at a German research institution abroad.

Selection of Prizewinners

Prizewinners are selected by the DFG’s Joint Committee on the basis of recommendations made by the Selection Committee for the Leibniz Programme.

Announcement/Call for Proposals

The prize is announced annually with a submission deadline. Nominations must usually be submitted by the middle of January for the award ceremony in the following year.

Documents and formalities to submit nominations

To be submitted in German and in English, if possible: a scientific and personal appraisal, approx. one to two pages in length, justifying the nomination, a curriculum vitae of the researcher's scientific career (without photos of the candidates), an up-to-date list of publications by the nominee. Any other letters of recommendation or further documents are not welcome. Note the recommendations “Dealing with Risks in International Research Cooperation” when looking for suitable candidates. Nominations are to be submitted via the DFG’s electronic proposal and review system elan (, “proposal submission” > “prize nominations”).

Forms and Guidelines


Dr. Christina Elger
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-3117