Research alumni are international scholars and scientists who have previously conducted research at a German university and are now continuing their academic activities in another country. With its new proposal, Freie Universität aims to involve its research alumni more closely in its other alumni work. The university aims to develop services for this target group. Plans include guest stays for junior researchers from abroad at Freie Universität and at the alumni's own institutes. In addition, subject-specific workshops for research alumni and further consultancy and networking opportunities are to be offered.
The vice president of Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Michael Bongardt, thanked the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the award. At the awards ceremony, Bongardt said the award is an honor as well as an incentive for Freie Universität. “It is equally important for the university, which was selected in the German national Excellence Initiative for the development of its international network strategy, as it is for the research alumni themselves, to continue collaborating after their time in Dahlem is over.” This type of collaboration facilitates, for example, research visits by junior researchers at the home institutions of research alumni and at Freie Universität Berlin.
The competition is part of the international research marketing project of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Research Foundation, and the Fraunhofer Society. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is part of the Ministry’s “Research in Germany” initiative.