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Anneliese Maier Research Award in 2014 for Visiting Researcher at Freie Universität Berlin

Spanish Islam Historian Dr. Maribel Fierro Was Granted a Quarter of a Million Euros for Cooperation with Prof. Dr. Sabine Schmidtke from the Institute of Islamic Studies

№ 394/2013 from Dec 17, 2013

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has granted the highly regarded Spanish Islam historian Dr. Maribel Fierro the coveted Anneliese Maier Research Award for a collaborative project at the Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Institute of Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin in 2014. Dr. Fierro’s host at Freie Universität is the scholar of Islamic Studies, Prof. Dr. Sabine Schmidtke, as announced by the Humboldt Foundation in Bonn. It is anticipated that Maribel Fierro will contribute to strengthening Freie Universität’s reputation as an international center of research on Islamic intellectual history as well as to giving young researchers of Islamic studies an opportunity to become involved in an international research project at an early stage in their career. The Anneliese Maier Research Award is valued at 250 million euros. This year a total of eight humanities scholars and social scientists from outside Germany were selected for these awards. Maribel Fierro is the only award winner to be cooperating with a Berlin university.

Maribel Fierro is a leading expert on the pre-modern history of the western Islamic world. In her research she has elucidated, in particular, the interaction between politics, religion, and science in al-Andalus, the part of today’s Spain that was under Muslim rule from the 8th to the 15th century. Her research reveals, for example, how closely the political and social developments in al-Andalus were intertwined with those of other Islamic countries.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation receives funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to finance this award, with which the foundation aims to promote the internationalization of the humanities and social sciences in Germany. The eight award winners (four men, four women) were selected from among 60 nominees from 17 countries. Most of the nominees are from the USA (24) and Great Britain (7), Israel (4), the Netherlands (4), and Spain (4). The award ceremony will be held in the fall of 2014. The nomination deadline for the next selection round for the Anneliese Maier Research Award is April 30, 2014.

Annually, the Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time doing research in Germany. The foundation maintains a worldwide network of more than 26,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in 130 countries - including 50 Nobel Prize winners.

Further Information

  • Lena Schnabel, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Tel.: +49 228 833-144, Email:
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Schmidtke, Institute of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-52487, Email: