The first award ceremony in 1985 at Hamburg city hall

The selection process

(c) Historical archives of Körber-Stiftung

The Körber European Science Prize is awarded annually, alternating between the fields of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. Renowned scientists from the respective disciplines from all over Europe form two international Search Committees.

The role of the Search Committees is to identify and nominate outstanding scientists in Europe whose research shows future promise and international relevance. Their work is supported by international experts who give their independent opinions on the candidates and their research proposals. The Search Committee recommends a maximum of five candidates to the Trustee Committee which ultimately determines the prize winner based on a summary of expert assessments, previous publications and career achievements.

The Trustee Committee

The Trustee Committee is composed of ten scientists working in different scientific disciplines in Europe. The committee is chaired by the current President of the Max-Planck-Society, Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer.

The most important task of the Trustee Committee is the final selection of the awardees. The decision of the committee is based on the discussions held in the Search Committees, the documentation submitted by the candidates and the independent expert opinions of scientists from all over the world.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer
President of the Max-Planck-Society, Munich, Germany
Prof. Dr. Sir Anthony Kevin Cheetham
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, Großbritannien
Prof. Dr. Sir Richard Friend
Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prof. Dr. Alain Fuchs
President Université Paris Sciences & Lettres, France
Prof. Dr. Gerald Haug
President of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, German National Academy of Sciences, Halle, Germany
Prof. Dr. Edith Heard
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Bert Meijer
Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Prof. Dr. Felicitas Pauss
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Maciej Zylicz
President of the Board, Polish Foundation of Science, Warsaw, Poland

“Europe needs excellent science to keep up with the USA and Asia. That’s why the Körber Prize honours outstanding researchers working in Europa who have demonstrated remarkable achievements and are expected to make further breakthroughs in the future.”

Dr. Thomas Paulsen

Member of the Executive Board, Körber-Stiftung

The Search Committees

The Search Committees have the task of identifying the best European scientists with the most innovative research as potential candidates for the Körber Prize. The nominees are each required to submit a comprehensive research proposal, which is then discussed within the Search Committee. The shortlisted candidates are submitted to Trustee Committee for the final decision.

Search Committee Life Sciences

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Wehner (Chair)
University of Zurich, Institute for Brain Research, Zurich, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Baumeister
Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
Prof. Dr. Pascale Cossart
Institute Pasteur, Department of Cell Biology and Infection, Paris, France
Prof. Dr. Daniel Louvard
Institut Curie, Centre de Recherche, Paris, France
Prof. Dr. Edvard Moser
Kavli Institute for Systems, Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway
Prof. Dr. Nadia Rosenthal
Imperial College London, UK; The Jackson Laboratory, USA

Search Committee Physical Sciences

Prof. Dr. Sir John O’Reilly (Chair)
Formerly Director General Knowledge and Innovation Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, London, Great Britain
Prof. Dr. Frede Blaabjerg
Aalborg University, Denmark
Prof. Dr. Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni
LIP6 – Sorbonne University, Paris, France
Prof. Dr. Klaus Ensslin
Dep. of Physics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Claudia Felser
Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden, Germany
Prof. Dr. Daniela Jacob
Director, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Hamburg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Rosa Menéndez
Instituto Nacional del Carbon, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain


Guidelines of the Körber European Science Prize