Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, named after the physicist and former president of the DFG, is an accolade for early career researchers and provides further incentive for excellent achievements in their research work. The prize has been awarded since 1977.

Type of Prize

Annual award, open to all fields of research.


Besides honouring excellent research achievements at an early career stage the prize is intended to assist in furthering scientific careers.

Number and Value of Awards

Ten prizes of € 200,000 each. The prize money can be spent for research purposes only up to three years.


The prize is awarded solely on the basis of nominations. Nominees may be put forward by: the elected members of DFG Review Boards, all Universities and other doctorate-granting higher education institutions in Germany, further members of the DFG, the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, all previous prizewinners of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize und previous members of the Selection Committee. Direct applications are not accepted.

Selection Criteria

The funding is intended for researchers in a development and probationary phase for remaining in academia/for a permanent professorship. Since obtaining their doctorate, they have established a distinctive profile early on and the results of their research have attracted attention within the subject-specific community, suggesting that excellent performance can be expected of them in the future. The award is not only to be understood as being in recognition of the dissertation; nominees should also have established a distinctive academic profile after obtaining their doctorate. Generally speaking, this requires the presentation of documented research results, in particular in the form of publications above and beyond the dissertation. The award can go to academics 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 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize.

Here you can find a list of the Selection Committee’s current members.

Nomination Deadlines

The individuals and institutions eligible to submit nominations will be invited to identify the prizewinners and submit their nominations. For the 2025 prizewinners, nominations have to be submitted until 31 May 2024.

Documents Required

If possible, in German and English language: an appraisal justifying the nomination an academic CV, a current list of publications, and up to five important publications (full text in its original language).

Forms and Guidelines


Dr. Christina Elger
E-mail: christina.elger@dfg.de
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-3117
Katharina Magerkurth
E-mail: katharina.magerkurth@dfg.de
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-2728