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Ernst Reuter Prize


Every year since 1985, Freie Universität has awarded the Ernst Reuter Prize, endowed by the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft der Freunde, Förderer und Ehemaligen der Freien Universität e.V., on December 4, the anniversary of the university’s founding, in 1948. The prizes are awarded to young scholars and scientists at Freie Universität Berlin for outstanding, groundbreaking dissertations. Each dissertation selected by the committee receives a cash prize of 5,000 euros. To date, these awards have gone to more than 110 recipients. The Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft would like to thank its members for their contributions and generous donations and the members of the prize committee for their dedicated volunteer work in selecting the recipients of the awards.


The members of the committee are appointed by the president, who nominates three to five representatives for each of the groups of disciplines listed below:

  • Human and veterinary medicine

  • Law, economics, business, education, psychology, and political science

  • History and cultural studies, philosophy and the humanities

  • Mathematics and computer science, physics, biology, chemistry, pharmacy, and Earth sciences

The first step in the process is an advance decision made by the departments. The departments themselves are the only bodies authorized to nominate a dissertation for the award, and they may submit up to four dissertations for consideration.


The primary objective is to grant awards to four outstanding dissertations each year at Freie Universität Berlin. Wherever possible, one prize should be granted to each group of disciplines.


The award-winning dissertations must have been graded “summa cum laude.” Formalities related to applying: together with two copies of each dissertation, a detailed proposal submitted by a member of the faculty of Freie Universität, via the office of the dean of the department, to the pertinent body responsible for the Ernst Reuter Prize (see above). Each department is only permitted to submit a limited number of dissertations, so the departments carry out a pre-selection process. Each department makes its own decisions and sets its own procedures for this pre-selection stage.


5.000 € per prize

Application Deadline

May 15 of each year

Prize Winners

For a list (German) of all winners of the prize from 1985 to 2015, please click here.

For further information on the Ernst Reuter Prize, please visit the office of the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft.