GERMANY, Berlin. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has nominated the first Werner Baltes fellows.
The fellowship programme enables committed young scientists from the new member states of the EU and outside Europe to stay at the BfR to conduct research for several months. “Our goal is to bring together young scientists from all areas of consumer health protection with experienced colleagues at the BfR so that they can use the knowledge they gain here in their future work areas,” says BfR Vice-President, Professor Dr Reiner Wittkowski.
The first three Baltes fellows are nutritionist Marcela Prada (Costa Rica), chemist Dr Darejan Dughashvili (Georgia) and agricultural technician Inés de Aurrecoechea Aldabalde (Uruguay). They worked in the Food Safety, Exposure and Biological Safety departments at the BfR. They were each awarded a fellowship certificate by BfR Vice-President, Professor Dr Reiner Wittkowski, and Dr Michael Baltes, son of the namesake of the programme. Other fellowships are to be awarded in the course of 2018.
Every year, within the scope of the promotion of up-and-coming scientific talent and international networking, the BfR offers ten qualified and committed young scientists from the new EU member states, as well as outside Europe, the opportunity to come and stay at the BfR as a guest for three months (Werner Baltes Fellowship). The stay allows the guests to gain a detailed insight into the research work done at the BfR and the work results achieved in the field of consumer health protection. The fellows are also encouraged to acquire further qualifications within the BfR promotion scheme for young scientists.
The fellowship programme was named after Professor Dr Werner Baltes. The food chemist was an internationally renowned scientist and university lecturer whose main lines of research interconnected in many areas with the work of the BfR in the field of consumer health protection. In addition to this, Baltes can be seen as the ideal namesake for the BfR young talent promotion programme, as he served as a mentor to generations of undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral students. The promotion programme has been offered by the BfR since 2014 (previously known as Scientific Career) and was renamed the Werner Baltes Fellowship to mark the 15th anniversary of the BfR in 2017.
The BfR is currently offering two fellowship programmes: in addition to the “Werner Baltes” junior fellowship programme, there is also the “Maria Sibylla Merian” senior fellowship programme. The latter promotes the transfer of knowledge between internationally renowned scientists and the researchers at the BfR. Since June 2018, the first Merian Fellow has been Malcolm Macleod, Professor for Neurology and Translational Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh.