Help shape the future
10 Years Hector Fellow Academy

Vision and devel­op­ment of the academy

The Hector Fellow Academy celebrates its tenth anniver­sary. It was founded in Decem­ber 2013 as a Scien­tific Academy for outstand­ing top scien­tists in the natural sciences, engineer­ing, psychol­ogy and medicine.

The Academy was estab­lished with the aim of facil­i­tat­ing inter­dis­ci­pli­nary cutting-edge research between researchers who have been awarded the Hector Science Award. It was the contin­u­a­tion of an idea that Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector and his wife Josephine Hector (found­ing couple of the Hector Founda­tions) have been pursu­ing with the award since 2008. The Hector Science Award recog­nizes outstand­ing profes­sors in research and teach­ing in Germany.

Since then, the Hector Fellow Academy has grown contin­u­ously.  Currently, the Hector Fellow Academy has over 100 active members. These include 30 Hector Fellows, 14 Hector Research Career Devel­op­ment Awardees and 57 early career researchers. In addition, over 30 alumni have already joined the HFA alumni network.


Creat­ing added value for research

Through network­ing within the Academy, it promotes completely new research approaches and innov­a­tive projects between Hector Fellows, which develop solutions to impor­tant issues facing our society beyond the bound­aries of disci­plines and univer­si­ties. In the research fields of physics, chemistry, biology and medicine, several joint inter­dis­ci­pli­nary projects have already been success­fully imple­mented by members of the HFA in recent years.

At the same time, the Academy's funding formats have been contin­u­ously expanded in order to support promis­ing young scien­tists at differ­ent career stages in their research careers. In addition to funding doctoral projects of excel­lent early career researchers in the working groups of the Hector Fellows, the creation of the Hector Research Career Devel­op­ment Award was also an impor­tant and consis­tent further devel­op­ment of the Academy. Since 2020, outstand­ing junior research group leaders have been supported by the HFA with the aim of strength­en­ing their indepen­dent research. The award is intended to pave the way to a professorship.

“From our original idea of honoring outstanding researchers for their special contribution with the Hector Science Award, something wonderful has emerged: A vibrant network of top scientists who not only pass on their knowledge to the next generation in the Hector Fellow Academy, but also face the challenges of our time together. With its diverse formats, the Academy not only focuses on the holistic promotion of young talent, but also contributes to the transfer of knowledge to society. We have been following the development of the Hector Fellow Academy for 10 years with great pleasure and are sure that the future holds many more success stories.”

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Josephine und Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector

founder of Hector Fellow Academy

Knowl­edge trans­fer to society

The Hector Fellow Academy aims to make the research topics of its members acces­si­ble to a broad public. This is achieved through annual science evenings at differ­ent locations of the Hector Fellows. The HFA sees itself as a platform for dialog between research and the public and offers citizens the oppor­tu­nity to discuss with experts in their field. In an exten­sive series of video portraits, the research areas of the Hector Fellows are also explained in simple terms and placed in an overall socio-polit­i­cal context.

“The award and support from the Hector Foundation is not only a great honor and support for my research. The membership in the Hector Fellow Academy is also extraordinarily inspiring, as the Foundation's meetings and public symposia facilitate an exchange with excellent colleagues from other disciplines.”

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Prof. Dr. Katrin Amunts

Hector Fellow since 2021

“The Hector Fellow Academy offers a unique framework for interdisciplinary exchange and getting to know completely new scientific fields at the highest level. The promotion of young scientists is a particularly important aspect that helps to carry this knowledge into the future and develop it further.”

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Prof. Dr. Immanuel Bloch

Hector Fellow since 2012

“10 years of the Hector Fellow Academy means a decade of promoting, challenging and celebrating deep, surprising and innovative scientific knowledge. The Hector Fellows come from such different disciplines that there is always something new to learn. For me, the promotion of young researchers with their very own ideas for projects with us Fellows is a particular highlight of the Academy.”

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Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius

Hector Fellow since 2013

“The HFA facilitates the realization of the potential of exceptional thinkers and researchers through mutual inspiration. It thus transcends the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and establishes a novel dimension of research and education that is inextricably linked with the pursuit of sustainable ethical reflection.”

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Prof. Dr. Thomas Elbert

Hector Fellow since 2009

“It is a pleasure and an honor to be part of the Hector Fellow Academy. With its focus on excellence and interdisciplinarity, the HFA has been very successful in enabling new, innovative research projects that would otherwise not have been possible. A special highlight are the HFA’s valuable and very successful career support measures for outstanding young researchers. The enormous interest in the HFA’s outreach events underlines the high quality of the Academy’s very effective science communication with the general public.”

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Prof. Dr. Eva Grebel

Hector Fellow since 2014

“The Hector Fellow Academy combines cutting-edge research with the promotion of early career scientists in an outstanding way. The unbureaucratic support of exciting scientific ideas and the interdisciplinary networking of researchers at different career levels are particularly noteworthy.”

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Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Nikolaus Pfanner

Hector Fellow since 2011

“Lively, interdisciplinary and inspiring - the Hector Fellow Academy is a great gift for our research landscape.”

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Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf

Hector Fellow since 2018


Our vision is to be a world-leading insti­tu­tion for cutting-edge inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research that fosters ground­break­ing scien­tific discov­er­ies and inspires a new gener­a­tion of scien­tists. We strive to develop innov­a­tive solutions to the press­ing challenges of our time through close collab­o­ra­tion and network­ing among our members.

With the sustained support of the Hector Founda­tion II, we are creat­ing a dynamic platform that supports excel­lent research and outstand­ing young scien­tists. Through inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approaches and the promo­tion of creative think­ing, our goal is and remains to achieve signif­i­cant scien­tific advances that have a positive impact on society and the global community.

The Hector Fellow Academy is a beacon of scien­tific excel­lence and an impor­tant bridge between science and the public. Through our work, we strive to shape an inspir­ing and innov­a­tive research landscape that creates, shares and sustains knowledge.

Hector Fellows Gruppenbild
HFA Gruppenbild 2023