DFG Awards First Early-Career Prize to a German Lawyer after 20 Years

March 08, 2022

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has just announced that Senior Research Fellow Hanjo Hamann is among this year's recipients of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most prestigious award for early career researchers in Germany. The prize is awarded annually to researchers across all academic disciplines as an early distinction for successfully establishing an independent scientific career following a research doctorate.

Since 1978 when the prize was first awarded, 407 researchers have been honored; among these, Hamann is only the third scholar of civil law, after 1997 recipient Peter Mankowski, who recently passed away, and Belgian legal historian Wim Decock, who left Germany after receiving the prize in 2014. The only other lawyers to receive the award since 1990 were Hungarian health law researcher Fruzsina Molnár-Gábor in 2020, and public law professor Gabriele Britz in 2001, who is now a justice at the German Constitutional Court (BVerfG).

According to the German Research Foundation, the prize, which is named after its late president, should provide a further incentive for excellent research achievements and is endowed with a sum of € 20,000 from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The award is highly competitive on a nomination-only basis: The 2022 selection committee, comprising 15 German professors from various disciplines (excluding law), selected 10 laureates from among 155 nominees.

This year's Maier-Leibnitz Prizes will be officially awarded in a ceremony on 3 May 2022.

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