Hanns-Christoph Nägerl

Austria’s most highly endowed research award

With nominees named by the scientific community, winners selected by an international jury of experts, and a €1.5 million endowment that exceeds all other individual funding awards in Austria, the FWF Wittgenstein Award is unique in every respect. With this award, the FWF not only honors exceptional academic careers, but also offers researchers the resources they need to advance their own research work at the highest international level.


Gruppenbild der FWF-START und Wittgenstein-Preisträger
Setting the stage for outstanding research: The researchers accepting their awards at the formal award ceremony © Daniel Novotny/FWF

Target group

The funding program is aimed at outstanding researchers from all disciplines.

Funding goals

The program provides both recognition and support to excellent researchers (up to 60 years of age) who have already produced exceptional work and who occupy a prominent place in the international scientific community.

Funding period and funding amount

  • 60 months
  • €1.5 million

Hanns-Christoph Nägerl 2017

The 2017 prize was awarded to the German experimental physicist Hanns-Christoph Nägerl (*1967). He is one of the world's leading researchers in the field of ultracold quantum matter. Nägerl’s research focuses on atomic and molecular quantum gases at temperatures near absolute zero. A better understanding of these processes should pave the way to new quantum technologies such as superconductivity. In 2017, the physicist established his own research group at the Center for Ultracold Atoms and Quantum Gases at the University of Innsbruck, which conducts internationally acclaimed cutting-edge research.

Experimental physicist Hanns-Christoph Nägerl
Award winner 2017: Hanns-Christoph Nägerl, University of Innsbruck © Martin Lusser/FWF

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