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EUR 1.64 Million for Depression Research

The psychologist Fritz Renner receives the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award for 2018

Freiburg, Aug 30, 2018

EUR 1.64 Million for Depression Research

Fritz Renner. Photo: private

The psychologist Dr. Fritz Renner has received the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award for 2018. Issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, it comes with one of the largest sums of prize money in Germany. This year, the award is being handed out to six outstanding international junior researchers. Renner’s share of the prize money is €1.64 million. With these funds, the researcher from the University of Cambridge, England, will spend the next five years building up a working group and focusing on his research at the Department of Psychology of the University of Freiburg.

Renner researches serious forms of depression. He is interested in the ability of mental imagery to stimulate changes in our behavior. He has demonstrated how people suffering from depression can become motivated if they are able to picture positive future events in their minds. However, it is often difficult for them to conjure up mental images of such events, which is why they often associate them with less positive expectations. At the University of Freiburg, Renner will study whether this deficiency can be treated using imaginative methods and how, while also focusing on the mechanisms underlying reward systems and the ability to conjure up mental images. By relying on clinical psychological research combined with neuroscientific methods, Renner hopes to develop new therapeutic approaches.

The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation provides young researchers with vital funding that can be used as risk capital for innovative projects in the early stages of their career. The award is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Dr. Fritz Renner
Department of Psychology
University of Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0)761 / 203 – 9446