From 2012 to 2016, the TUM hosted a total of 177 researchers receiving funding from the Humboldt Foundation. Because the recipients are able to freely choose their guest institute in Germany, the Humboldt Ranking serves as an indicator for the international reputation and the visibility of the universities featured. For its ranking, the foundation compares the number of funding recipients who were at a university for a research stay over the past five years to the number of professors.
The foundation's awards include the Alexander von Humboldt-Professorships, the most prestigious honor for researchers in Germany. Upon being awarded the Humboldt Professorship, the recipients are offered a chair at the nominating university. TUM is one of the most successful universities in this regard as well: since the introduction of the award, five outstanding scientists have already taken up a professorship at TUM.
Scientists who have spent time at the TUM for a research stay often remain closely linked to the university for a long time. TUM’s Research Alumni Program received a prize in an idea competition by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2012. One component of the program are the TUM Ambassadors, a title that the president of TUM confers upon selected guest researchers each year. For the very first time, there was also a scientific conference for research alumni this year: With support from the Humboldt Foundation, international alumni met in Singapore at the end of August to discuss the topic of “Living and Mobility in Smart Cities”.