The main part of the “circle of excellence”
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Press info 430 » Press release (german) » Press & PR office
Bochum, 14.01.2009
No 430
The main part of the “circle of excellence”
Ten fellows are from the Ruhr-Universität
Three top RUB researchers newly appointed to the Junges Kolleg

Three outstanding young researchers from the Ruhr-Universität were among the eleven junior scientists who were ceremoniously admitted to the Junges Kolleg of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts today in the presence of the Minister of Innovation Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart. With Dr. Dr. Christian Tapp (junior professor for philosophical-theological border issues), Dr. Gottfried Vosgerau (postdoc at the department of philosophy of mind) and Dr. Cornel Zwierlein (junior professor for environmental history), the Ruhr-Universität now supplies ten of the twenty-eight fellows.

Support: academic, financial and ideational
With the Junges Kolleg, which is being funded by the Mercator Foundation from 2006 to 2012 to the tune of 3 million Euros, the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy for Sciences and Arts aims to achieve extensive funding of top research. The Kolleg provides outstanding young researchers with academic, financial and ideational support. For instance, they receive a research grant of 10,000 Euros per year plus additional support for a research stay abroad lasting several months.

New members: RUB dominates the humanities
The now twenty-eight fellows represent a broad subject range from the natural sciences and medicine (13) to the humanities (11) and engineering and economics (4). Five other fellows from the first two years have already accepted professorships and now teach at the Universities of Heidelberg, Erlangen and Paderborn. “Since the Ruhr-Universität has so far been strongly represented in the scientific spectrum at the Kolleg, we are particularly pleased with our three top researchers from the classical humanities in this third year of fellows”, stressed the RUB’s Rector Prof. Dr. Elmar Weiler.

Vita Christian Tapp
Jun. Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Tapp, born 1975, studied Catholic theology, philosophy and mathematics in Bonn, Münster and Freiburg. He graduated at the LMU in Munich in 2004 as a doctor of science, Dr. rer. nat. and in 2007 as a doctor of philosophy, Dr. phil. Christian Tapp started out as a research associate at the LMU in Munich, then at the philosophical institute of the University of Göttingen. Research trips took him to the CMU in Pittsburgh (USA) and the institute for Christian philosophy at the University of Innsbruck (A). Since May 2008, he has headed the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group on the subject “Infinitas Dei - infinite God and the finite world in the field of tension between theology, philosophy, mathematics and natural sciences” at the Ruhr-Universität. The dialogue between theology and the sciences are of especial interest to him.

Vita Gottfried Vosgerau
Dr. Gottfried Vosgerau, born 1978, studied philosophy, general linguistics and cognitive science at the Universities of Freiburg and Bonn. He wrote his doctoral thesis within the Junior Research Group “Self-consciousness and concept formation in humans” in Tübingen, then at the Ruhr-Universität. It was awarded the Dissertation Prize of the Bochum faculty of philosophy and education, and was among the eleven best dissertations of the “Deutsche Studienpreis” 2008, of the Körber Foundation. Since 2007, Vosgerau has been a postdoc at the chair of philosophy of mind at the Ruhr-Universität. In interdisciplinary projects, among other things, he is currently investigating cultural differences in self-representation and their effect on emotional experience, and is exploring the question of what mental representations are covered by the term “thoughts” and how they arise.

Vita Cornel Zwierlein
Junior Prof. Dr. Cornel Zwierlein, born 1973, studied history, German and law and received a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service. His dissertation was funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and was written with French-German double mentoring (LMU Munich / University of Tours). Cornel Zwierlein was a research associate at the LMU Munich, and came from there in April 2008 to the Ruhr-Universität, where he is a junior professor of environmental history. His new research project deals with the threat of urban fires in the transition from the early modern to modern age, and the emergence and significance of fire insurance companies as the first institutions monitoring natural disasters.

Further information  
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Tapp (Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät), Tel.: 0234/32-29388, E-Mail:

Dr. Gottfried Vosgerau (Fakultät für Philosophie und Erziehungswissenschaft), Tel.: 0234/32- 22271, E-Mail:

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Cornel Zwierlein (Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft), Tel.: 0234/32-24684, E-Mail:
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