Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award for Jeroen Schillewaert

Jeroen Schillewaert

In March 2024, Jeroen Schillewaert has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. This award is given  annually to internationally renowned academics in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in research.

Jeroen’s research is in Pure Mathematics. It centers around geometric group theory. This area of Mathematics studies the interaction between geometric and topological properties of various mathematical objects and their symmetries.

The award is named for German astronomer and mathematician Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784–1846) and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

More information on Jeroen’s and Eamonn O’Brien‘s success can be found on this press release by the University of Auckland.

Humboldt Research Award for Eamonn O’Brien

We are very happy to report that Eamonn O’Brien has received a Humboldt Research Award from Germany’s Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. The award is given in recognition of his academic record to date; it is one of the most prestigious awards administered by the Humboldt-Foundation.

Eamonn’s research interests are in Mathematics, in particular in computational group theory. He has made important contributions to group theoretical algorithms which have found their way into several computer algebra systems.

More information on Eamonn’s and Jeroen Schillewaert‘s success can be found on this press release by the University of Auckland

Peter Gänßler Award

The Australian Association of Alexander-von-Humboldt Felows has established the Peter Gänßler Fund. The aim of the Fund is to encourage and support intending AvHF postdoctoral fellowship applicants with worthy track records from a region whose researchers have previously had difficulty gaining access to AvHF schemes.

For more information, please refer to the AAvhF website here.

Biennial Conference of AAvhF and NZAvHF

The 2024 biennial conference of the Australian and New Zealand Associations of von Humboldt Fellows will be hosted by the University of Otago in Dunedin and will take place on 15-17 November 2024. Please mark the dates!

As you are aware, the Biennial Conference of our Associations is a broad academic conference aiming to bring the sciences and humanities into conversation. Another aim is to showcase research and funding opportunities in Germany.

Nancy November elected Ngā Ahurei Fellow

NZ AvHF vice president Nancy November was elected as a Fellow to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in this year’s selection. Congratulations, Nancy.



Nancy November is among the most innovative and eminent figures in the field of musicology. Combining interdisciplinarity and cultural history, her research centres on chamber music of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, probing questions of historiography, canonisation, and genre. Her work in historical musicology achieves impact through deepening knowledge, critical thinking, and challenging the traditional view of music and its context. Through her work in critical pedagogy, she continually strives to help develop other peoples’ historical perspectives, skills and awareness—not just for the maximum impact of her own research, but to develop tomorrow’s ‘critical beings’. Her scholarship is based on an expansion and critique of the western classical musical canon, by means of multiple lenses: historiography, theory, gender studies, performance practice and aesthetics. Her work is recognised for challenging traditional pedagogies, grounded in western worldviews, with new, culturally-sustaining ways of teaching and learning history that are empowering, especially for Indigenous students.