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Press release

08.12.2020

Einstein Award for Promoting Quality in Research

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Charité researcher and founder of BIH QUEST Center to head Awards Office

The Einstein Foundation Berlin has launched its new ‘Award for Promoting Quality in Research’. This international, first-of-its-kind award aims to recognize researchers and institutions that have made major contributions to improving the quality of research and the robustness of research results. The Awards Office will be headed by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, founder of the BIH QUEST Center and Head of the Department of Experimental Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The award’s monetary prizes, which total € 500,000 a year, will be funded by the ‘Damp Stiftung’ foundation. The award receives endorsement from the Nature Research publishing group, which is assisting with its promotion and call for submissions. It will be awarded for the first time in November 2021 in Berlin.

Evidence-based research, reliable standards of quality and unrestricted access to new research findings are more important to scientific practice than ever, a fact that has been thrown into particularly stark relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Which hypotheses, methods and data sets are selected, how these are used, and whether a particular study can be built on with further research – all of these issues must be verifiable and robust. There is also increasing public interest in and awareness of the issues surrounding research quality.

Acknowledging this development, the Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research will reward measures and projects from any of the scientific disciplines which help to improve research standards. “The award seeks to raise awareness of the need to promote and maintain transparent research standards as a prerequisite to reinforcing public trust in science and research. This is particularly relevant in a knowledge society with an increasingly fast-paced research environment,” says Günter Stock, Chair of the Einstein Foundation’s Executive Board. The Award can be given in three categories: individual researchers, institutions, and early career researchers.

The Award Office will be headed by neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, who is the Founding Director of the QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). “This generous award is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the work of researchers, initiatives and institutions that help make research more trustworthy, useful and ethically sound. It is unique in the world and, hopefully, will inspire others to engage with measures which aim to promote quality in research,” says Prof. Dirnagl. The first award ceremony will be held in November 2021 in Berlin. Nominations and applications can be submitted via www.einsteinfoundation.de/award until 31 March 2021.

The Einstein Foundation Berlin is an independent, science-led, not-for-profit organization established in 2009 as a foundation under civil law. For over ten years, the foundation has been working across disciplinary and institutional boundaries to promote world class science and research in and for Berlin. To date, it has provided funding for a total of 172 researchers (among them three Nobel laureates), 71 projects and six Einstein Centers.

The ‘Damp Stiftung’ foundation was established by the former majority owner of ‘Klinikgruppe Damp’, Dr. Walter Wübben. The foundation primarily supports medical education and research, alongside social projects. The ‘Damp Stiftung’ foundation also supports the Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research and the Einstein Foundation’s Strategic Professorship Program. Einstein Strategic Professorships enable the targeted recruitment of outstanding international researchers whose move to Berlin is of supreme strategic importance to the city’s research landscape.

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Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl
Einstein Foundation Award Secretary
Department of Neurology with Experimental Neurology
QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 450 560 134



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