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Press Release No. 16 | 22 May 2019
Europa-Preis: DFG Recognises Selected ‘Jugend forscht’ Competition Winners

Mentoring prize prepares young researchers for European contest in Sofia, Bulgaria

The winners of the Europa-Preis with DFG-Vice President Prof. Dr. Katja Becker
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The winners of the Europa-Preis with DFG-Vice President Prof. Dr. Katja Becker


The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has awarded its Europa-Preis to selected winners of the national “Jugend forscht” competition. Five young researchers were presented with the prize at the finals of the Jugend forscht competition in Chemnitz, in addition to their national wins in various categories of the competition. The aim of the DFG's Europa-Preis is to prepare the pupils for the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), which will be held in September in Sofia.

This year, the DFG’s Europa-Preis was awarded to two research teams and one individual researcher. Two young Bavarian researchers, Paul Kunisch (17) and Thomas Derra (16), received the Europa-Preis in addition to their national award in chemistry. They developed a novel, cost-efficient binding agent to fight oil spills on water. This involved impregnating pulp, cotton, sawdust and non-woven fabrics with a sizing agent from the paper industry, which allowed them to achieve a higher sorption capacity than that offered by traditional oil binding agents.

In the area of technology, Felix Sewing (18) and Alex Korocencev (18) from Baden-Württemberg impressed both the jury of Jugend forscht and the jury of the Europa-Preis. The two young researchers designed a hoverboard with four rotating discs which produce a strong opposing magnetic field in an underlying metal plate.

Constantin Tilman Schott (16) from Lower Saxony, who won in the area of mathematics/computer science, also received the Europa-Preis. He programmed software that can be used to measure important datum points at the base of the cranium in X-ray diagnostics. His programme uses artificial intelligence and achieves a very high level of accuracy.

The Europa-Preis was presented to the five Jugend forscht award winners in Chemnitz by DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Katja Becker. They also receive prize money of €1,000 per team/individual researcher.

The aim of the prize, created by the DFG in 2010, is to emphasise the importance of internationalisation for a successful research career. The young researchers will therefore participate in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), which will take place this year from 13 to 18 September in Sofia. In the lead-up, they will be tutored and accompanied by mentors who are selected by the DFG from a pool of early career researchers supported by the organisation, for example from its Emmy Noether Programme. This has the additional aim of facilitating the development of lasting networks between generations of researchers.

Further Information

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Further information on the Europa-Preis can be found at:

Additional information on the 2019 Jugend forscht award winners, in German only, is available at: