Presse Release, 10/17/2019

International Gerda Henkel Prize
Gerda Henkel Foundation announces call for proposals

The Gerda Henkel Foundation announces the Gerda Henkel Prize 2020. The Foundation invites scholars of universities worldwide, as well as renowned cultural and academic institutions, to nominate qualified candidates by January 17, 2020. With immediate effect, it is possible to nominate excellent and internationally acclaimed researchers who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement in the disciplines and funding areas supported by the Foundation and can be expected to continue to do so. The Gerda Henkel Prize is worth 100,000 euros and is awarded every two years. Last year the award went to the political scientist and historian Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Achille Mbembe from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Gerda Henkel Foundation primarily supports the historical humanities. The Foundation accepts proposals for researchers in the disciplines Archaeology, Art History, Historical Islamic Studies, History, History of Law, History of Science, and Prehistory and Early History. For a number of years, the Foundation has also increasingly addressed issues of great relevance to contemporary life and the future, above all as part of its special programme “Security, Society and the State”. As part of the Lisa Maskell Fellowship programme, the Foundation supports young scholars in the humanities in both Africa and Southeast Asia. With its “Patrimonies” funding initiative it promotes the preservation of the cultural heritage, specifically in regions experiencing crisis. Research that places current challenging issues in a greater historical context form the focus of the “Democracy as Utopia, Experience and Threat” and “Lost Cities. Perception of and living with abandoned cities in the cultures of the world” funding programmes.

The Gerda Henkel Foundation's Board of Trustees makes the final decision as to who should receive the prize based on a recommendation submitted by the jury. The following are members of the Board of Trustees: Julia Schulz-Dornburg (Chair, Barcelona, Spain), Prof. Hans-Joachim Gehrke (Deputy Chair, Freiburg), Martin Kobler (Adis Abeba, Ethiopia), Prof. Ulrich Lehner (Düsseldorf), and Andreas Schmitz (Düsseldorf). The jury, chaired by Prof. Peter Funke (Münster), consists of members of the Foundation’s Academic Advisory Council and independent persons: Prof. Ute Daniel (Braunschweig), Prof. Andreas Eckert (Berlin), Prof. Dr. Birgit Emich (Frankfurt/Main), Prof. Peter Geimer (Berlin), Prof. Martin Jehne (Dresden), Prof. Hermann Parzinger (Berlin), Prof. Sabine Schmidtke (Princeton, USA), Prof. Bo Stråth (Rhodt u. Rietburg) and Prof. Marcel van der Linden (Amsterdam, Netherlands).

The prize-giving ceremony will be held on September 28, 2020 in Düsseldorf. For further information please visit

Gerda Henkel Foundation press office
Dr Sybille Wüstemann
Telephone +49 211 93 65 24 - 19
Telefax +49 211 93 65 24 44