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Lower Saxony Science Awards for Research Staff Member and Student of Leibniz University Hannover

Lower Saxony Science Awards for Research Staff Member and Student of Leibniz University Hannover

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Minister Björn Thümler honours eleven personalities from universities in Lower Saxony

Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler presented eleven personalities from universities in Lower Saxony with the Lower Saxony Science Award 2018 on Wednesday 21 November in Hannover. For the first time in twelve years, only women were honoured, including junior researcher Dr Xiaoying Zhuang and Sahra Ghalebikesabi, a student at Leibniz University Hannover. Denise Hilfiker-Kleiner, who holds a professorship in molecular cardiology at Hannover Medical School, received a prize in the category "outstanding researcher at a university". The distinction encompasses award money amounting to 25,000 euros.

"The Lower Saxony Science Award honours personalities who have made outstanding contributions to university development in Lower Saxony. In addition to awards in "Research" and "Studies", we included "Teaching" as a new category this year. Teaching is a key responsibility of universities when it comes to educating junior researchers - we would like to acknowledge this with the introduction of the new category", says Björn Thümler.

Two professors, two junior researchers, and five students (including a team) were awarded prizes in "Research" and "Studies". In the newly established category "Teaching", the minister honoured a professor and a research staff member as a team. All award winners come from universities in Lower Saxony.

Dr Xiaoying Zhuang (Leibniz University Hannover) and junior professor Dr Jannika Mattes (Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg) received a prize in the category "Junior Researcher", which encompasses award money amounting to 10,000 euros each. Xiaoying Zhuang has been a junior research group leader at the Institute of Continuum Mechanics at Leibniz University Hannover since 2015. Her research focuses on computational mechanics. In this context, she developed and implemented innovative and robust techniques for solving partial differential equations. She already received numerous accolades for her work, including the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the ERC Starting Grant (both in 2018). The European Research Council awards Starting Grants of up to 1.5 million euros to outstanding early-career researchers with excellent and visionary project ideas.

Sahra Ghalebikesabi received 3,500 euros for her achievements at Leibniz University Hannover. She is currently enrolled in the bachelor''s degree programmes Economics and Management (since 2014) and Mathematics (since 2015) at Leibniz University Hannover. Her overall average grades are excellent. Previously, Sahra Ghalebikesabi received an award from Leibniz University Hannover for her remarkable achievements after the fourth semester. She completed a semester abroad at the University of Bristol with outstanding grades and has been a grant holder of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation since 2014. Her supervisor and professor describes Sahra Ghalebikesabi''s seminar paper as an outstanding assignment at an advanced research level. Sahra Ghalebikesabi has been a member of research staff at the Institute of Statistics since 2015 and shows exceptional commitment in research and teaching. Furthermore, she is involved in organisational and social activities both at the institute and at department, as well as on an international level.


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