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The University of Freiburg awards prizes for research, teaching, social commitment and start-up ideas

University Teaching Award, Young Scientist Award, Special Award for Student Commitment, Bertha Ottenstein Award and Pfiffikus Award

Freiburg, Oct 19, 2022

The University of Freiburg has awarded prizes for achievements in science and teaching, social commitment and start-up ideas: Young Scientist Award, University Teaching Award, Special Award for Outstanding Student Commitment, Bertha Ottenstein Award and Pfiffikus Award. The award winners were honored by the Rector Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein during the opening ceremony for the new academic year.

Young Scientist Awards

This year, the University of Freiburg has awarded sponsorship prizes to 80 young scientists. The awards are given for outstanding research work on the recommendation of the respective faculty. Since 1989, private individuals and institutions have provided the University with a total of 2.8 million euros in funding for young scientists.

Freiburg young scientist awards

University Teaching Award and special prize for outstanding student commitment

In 2022, the University of Freiburg will award the University Teaching Prize for extraordinary performance to Dr. Kathrin Drozella from the Institute of Forest Sciences at the University of Freiburg for the module area “Woody Plant Identification” in the modules “Flora and Fauna” and “Biology and Ecology.” The prize money for this award is 10,000 euros. The special prize for outstanding student commitment, which is endowed with 500 euros, is awarded to Stefanie Dumberger for her many years of extensive commitment to University self-governance and the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources.

Dr. Kathrin Drozella: Learn about woody plant identification online

Dr. Kathrin Drozella developed various online tools for her module area “Woody Plant Identification” of the basic modules “Flora and Fauna” and “Biology and Ecology,” with the help of which it was possible for students to learn how to identify plants at online materials and accessible geo-reference points in the Freiburg city area, despite the temporary closure of the teaching locations for woody plant identification. In doing so, she was instrumental in securing the teaching of hundreds of students during the time of the corona pandemic. In addition, it was available to students in interactive live sessions and promoted exchange among them, creating a study atmosphere close to that of face-to-face studies. In addition to the conception of the module, the award also recognizes her long-standing commitment to teaching forestry and environmental sciences.

Stefanie Dumberger: Long-standing commitment to students at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources

Stefanie Dumberger is being recognized for her many years of involvement in the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources' student council, boards and commissions. Dumberger has been involved with the Forestry-Hydro-Environmental Student Council since 2015. In this role, she has shaped many processes through her initiative and commitment that benefited students at the faculty, such as the welcome weeks for first-year students.

On the other hand, Ms. Dumberger advocated for student interests at the faculty in a variety of ways, representing the student status group in various committees such as the Faculty Council and Student Council, shaping the distribution of the student proposal budget of the Department of Forestry and Environment, and accompanying the course reforms for various bachelor's and master’s degree programs.

Bertha Ottenstein Award

The University of Freiburg annually announces the Bertha Ottenstein Award, endowed with 5,000 EUR. This prize recognizes special initiatives in the field of women's advancement and gender equality work as well as outstanding scientific achievements in gender and diversity research. This year, as part of the opening of the Academic Year, the award was presented in equal parts – that is, EUR 2,500 each, to Lisa Okroi and the Arbeitskreis Feministische TheorieN (Working Group Feminist Theories).

Lisa Okroi: Queer Histor(ies) Freiburg - an audio guide (not) straight through the City

The Bertha Ottenstein Award honors the audio guide “Queere Geschichte*n Freiburg - ein Audioguide que(e)r durch die Stadt” (Queer history(ies) Freiburg - an audio guide (not) straight through the city) developed by Lisa Okroi as part of her master’s degree at the Institute of Sociology. At 27 stations, the guide tells historical and current stories about local queer people, issues, events and places in Freiburg. For first-year students, the public audio guide makes it easier to get to know the city, and for queer students in particular, it helps them find their personal identity and discover the local queer scene. Okroi's guide is also used as multimedia teaching material in courses in gender studies, sociology, and history. Her work contributes to a queer-friendly university.

Arbeitskreis Feministische TheorieN (Working Group Feminist Theories)

The working group Feminist Theories, initiated in 2018 by students and doctoral candidates, has been committed to bringing gender issues to the university public on a voluntary basis since its founding. The events and open colloquia held are intended to stimulate gender equality-oriented awareness processes and offer, in various formats, opportunities for the scientific deepening of classical theoretical texts in gender studies, but also a platform for the discussion of current debates in the field of intersectionality theory. The Bertha Ottenstein Award recognizes the commitment and events of the working group as an enrichment of academic teaching and research.

Pfiffikus Award for Start-Up Ideas

The “Pfiffikus” Award for Start-Up Ideas, provided by the Bildungsstiftung Rhenania Freiburg through the Stifterverband, is awarded by three faculties at the University of Freiburg for marketable business ideas from students and doctoral candidates in the fields of economics and behavioral sciences, medicine and technology. The prize is endowed with a total of 3,500 euros and coaching by experienced tutors and alumni of the Bildungsstiftung (education foundation).

The first prize goes to the team of the spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems "PV2+": the researchers have developed a patented solution to reduce the cost of highly efficient solar cells while improving their performance and sustainability by using copper instead of silver for the solar cell contacts. PV2+ thus opens up a new ecological and economic dimension for the sustainable production of high-efficiency industrial solar cells.

In addition to the first prize, two recognition awards for worthy project ideas were given for the first time this year, each endowed with 500 euros:

The CYNUS team receives the recognition award for their development of their product Sphere. The spherical device allows users to control their software application on the computer with only one input device. The sphere has sensors inside that determine its position even without a base or external transmitters or sensors. The surface of Sphere is touch-sensitive all around and thus allows further control options that can be flexibly adapted to the respective applications. The jury sees Sphere as a promising approach to significantly simplify complex input processes.

The EduFarm team is honored for its idea of an educational platform for farmers. The group developed an app that provides farmers with teaching content for their work in an intuitive, personalized and simple way. The offering is supplemented by functions such as a pesticide calculator. The app is initially intended to improve the profitability of people's small farms in Africa and South America. Later, the offering will be scaled up for other regions.



Dr. Kathrin Drozella
Institute of Forest Sciences
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-3657

Stefanie Dumberger

Lisa Okroi

Arbeitskreis Feministische TheorieN

Dr. Katharina Braig

Delon Wagner

Anton Mittring

Franziska Becker
Office of University and Science Communications
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-54271