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Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, named after the physicist and former president of the DFG, is a distinction for early career researchers and provides further incentive for excellent achievements in their research work.

Information about the Programme

Type of Prize

Annual award


Since 1977 the prize is awarded by the DFG to early career researchers as a distinction for outstanding achievement. It is intended to assist in furthering their scientific careers. The prize is not to be seen simply as a distinction of the thesis alone. Rather, prizewinners will have already established an independent scientific career since having gained their doctorates.

Number and Value of Awards

Ten prizes of €20,000 each. The prize is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research.


The prize is awarded on the basis of nominations received in response to an invitation for recommendations from the DFG. Nominees may be put forward by: the elected members of DFG Review Boards, all Universities and other doctorate-granting higher education institutions in Germany, the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres, the Fraunhofer Society, and the Leibniz Association. Direct applications are not accepted.

Selection Criteria

The prize may be awarded to early career researchers who hold a doctorate and, at the time of nomination, serve in an academic or research role either at a research institution in Germany or a German research institution abroad. The award recognises outstanding research achievements, regardless of where the research was conducted. Nominations may be put forward for researchers who hold a "habilitation", junior professors, holders of an Emmy Noether Fellowship, leaders of independent junior research groups and other researchers of a comparable status. Tenured full professors, or those in industry with a commensurate salary and benefits package, will not be considered.

Selection of Prizewinners

The prizewinners are chosen by a selection committee appointed by the DFG and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Nomination Deadlines

The next call to submit nominations is scheduled for summer 2022. The individuals and institutions eligible to submit nominations will be informed in due time.

Documents Required

If possible, in German and English language: a one- to two-page testimonial, an academic CV, a current list of publications, and up to five important publications

Forms and Guidelines


For further information on the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize please contact