The Peter Gänßler Fund was established in 2023 through a generous donation to the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows (AAvHF) by Professor David Pollard. David is a PhD Graduate from the Australian National University who, as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, was mentored by his host at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Professor Peter Gänßler. That experience laid the foundation for his subsequent career as a Professor of Statistics (and later, Data Science and Statistics) at Yale University. David is extremely grateful for all the help and advice he received during his stay in Bochum.
Professor Gänßler (1937-2015) subsequently moved to the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich. The aim of the Peter Gänßler Fund is to provide support to promising and aspiring Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvHF) postdoctoral fellowship applicants from the Oceania region outside Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), focussing on Micronesia, Melanesia, and western Polynesia (with specific inclusion of independent territories, particularly Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands, but exclusion of American Samoa, the Hawaiian islands and French Polynesia).
The Fund is administered by the AAvHF Awards Sub-Committee (reporting to the Executive).
AAvHF Peter Gänßler Awards
The aim of the Fund is to give encouragement and support to intending AvHF postdoctoral fellowship applicants with worthy track records from a region whose researchers have previously had difficulty in gaining access to AvHF schemes. To this end, the Fund provides up to two (2) AAvHF Peter Gänßler Awards within each biennial conference period with financial support (each valued up to AUD$1,500) to enable early career researchers from the region to attend the biennial conference of the AAvHF as well as to assist with appropriate mentorship towards an AvHF postdoctoral fellowship application.
Awards under the Fund will cover the cheapest return economy airfare with an additional amount towards accommodation and expenses. Any registration fee for the particular biennial conference would also be included.
Applications are open to all researchers within the designated parts of Oceania, who are eligible to apply for an AvHF postdoctoral fellowship award (potential applicants should consult the relevant eligibility requirements at https://www.humboldt-foundation.de). Applications should be made using the Application Form available on the AAvHF website and will be assessed by the AAvHF Awards sub-committee according to both academic potential and prior academic performance. Some consideration may be given to the availability of other resources to the nominee where appropriate. The emphasis will thus be on junior researchers and researchers who otherwise have more limited access to funding.
An Expression of Interest process for potential applicants will begin in January of the year of each biennial conference, with a deadline for submission of applications being 31st March of that year. Assessment of applications will take into consideration evidence of an interest to undertake research at a German institution (a brief specification of the potential project, including likely institution and potential academic supervisor, is to be supplied with the application) and especially the academic quality and potential of the applicant. Application should be made using the relevant form (available on the AAvHF website) and should include a current curriculum vitae (with an up-to-date list of research publications) and two references from senior colleagues in the research field of the applicant. Successful applicants can expect to be notified by the end of May for attendance at the subsequent biennial conference, the latter normally being held in November. Successful applicants will be connected with potential mentors in their particular research fields from amongst the membership of the AAvHF.
The AAvHF publicises the Award through the existing Humboldt networks, through direct communication and publicity addressed to universities across the region, and through any other connections that may be available to the AAvHF.