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Press Release No. 31 | 7 July 2021
Four New Members of the DFG Executive Committee

General Assembly elects Karin Jacobs, Matthias Koenig, Peter H. Seeberger and Andreas Voßkuhle

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has four new Vice Presidents: on Wednesday, 7 July 2021, the DFG General Assembly elected experimental physicist Professor Dr. Karin Jacobs, empirical macrosociologist Professor Dr. Matthias Koenig, biochemist Professor Dr. Peter H. Seeberger and political scientist and former President of the Federal Constitutional Court Professor Dr. Andreas Voßkuhle to the Executive Committee of Germany’s largest research funding organisation and central self-governing body for science and the humanities. As a result of the election, the General Assembly has increased the number of Executive Committee members by one. Mathematician Professor Dr. Marlis Hochbruck and legal scholar Professor Dr. Wolfgang Schön are now leaving the Executive Committee, while chemist Professor Dr. Roland A. Fischer is due to do so later on this year.

The new Vice President Karin Jacobs heads the Chair of Experimental Physics at Saarland University. She was a member of the DFG Senate Committee for Collaborative Research Centres from 2006 to 2012. She is also very familiar with the DFG through her activities as coordinator of a DFG Priority Programme (2004-2010) and due to having been on the board of a Collaborative Research Centre (from 2013). Jacobs has been a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities since 2016, where she chairs the Evaluation Commission, and she has been a member of the Expert Panel for the Excellence Strategy since 2017.

Matthias Koenig holds the Chair of Empirical Macrosociology at the University of Heidelberg. He is also a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Since 2017, Koenig has been a member of the selection committee for the DFG’s Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize. His current DFG-funded research projects focus on migration and integration as well as interreligious relations. He has also been a board member of the Human Rights Section of the American Sociological Association since 2020.

Peter H. Seeberger is Director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Free University of Berlin. He directs various projects under several coordinated programmes funded by the DFG. Seeberger is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and as the founder and co-founder of several start-up companies he is also involved in the practical application of research. He has received numerous awards, including most recently the Emil Fischer Medal of the German Chemical Society in 2020.

Andreas Voßkuhle is Director of the Institute for Political Science and Philosophy of Law at the University of Freiburg (Dept. I). Up until June 2020, he was President of the Federal Constitutional Court and Chairman of the Second Senate. A professor of constitutional law, he was elected Rector of the University of Freiburg in 2007. He held this office from April to May 2008, when he was appointed judge and Vice President of the Federal Constitutional Court. He has been a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2007, a member of the Senate of the Max Planck Society since 2012 and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences and Humanities Leopoldina since 2018.

After the elections, the retiring Executive Committee members were bid farewell with great appreciation. Roland A. Fischer, a member of the Executive Committee since 2016, is the Vice President for Equal Opportunities and heads the working group for “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Quality”. He represents the DFG on the Joint Committee with its Chinese partner organisation NSFC and on the Governing Board of Science Europe. Fischer is due to step down at his own request at the end of 2021.

As Vice President since 2014, Marlis Hochbruck has devoted herself in particular to supporting researchers in early career phases. For example, she chaired the selection committee for the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize and was involved in strategic issues of the Senate Committee for Research Training Groups as well as attending the regular meetings of funding recipients on the Emmy Noether and Heisenberg Programmes. She has also been involved in the new establishment and further development of the Walter Benjamin, Emmy Noether and Heisenberg Programmes as well as the creation of the Code of Conduct “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice”.

Wolfgang Schön, who has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2014, was Chair of the Statutes Commission and therefore instrumental in the amendment of the DFG’s Statutes. He has also contributed his extensive legal expertise on numerous occasions in connection with overarching institutional issues relating to the DFG. Last but not least, as a former Vice President of the Max Planck Society (MPG), he contributed significantly to the close cooperation between the DFG and the MPG on current issues relating to the research system and research policy.

Together with President Professor Dr. Katja Becker, the new Vice Presidents Karin Jacobs, Mat-thias Koenig, Peter H. Seeberger and Andreas Voßkuhle, and existing Vice President Roland A. Fischer, who will be retiring later this year, the DFG Executive Committee also includes the Vice Presidents molecular biologist Professor Dr. Axel A. Brakhage, English literature scholar Professor Dr. Julika Griem, engineering scientist Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans Hasse, computer scientist Professor Dr. Kerstin Schill and medical scientist Professor Dr. Britta Siegmund. The President of the Stifterverband, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Barner, is a member of the Executive Committee by virtue of his office and has an advisory vote. DFG Secretary General Dr. Heide Ahrens also participates in the meetings of the Executive Committee in an advisory capacity.

Further Information

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