Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023

Call for Nominations: Diseases of worldwide significance
Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023

In honor of the outstanding lifetime achievements of Else Kröner, the founder of the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, the foundation has established a major biennial research prize to be awarded in a specified field of biomedical science. The field chosen for 2023 is Diseases of worldwide significance.

The prize amounts to EUR 2.5 million, of which EUR 500,000 shall be awarded personally to the recipient and EUR 2.0 million dedicated to the award-winner’s future research.

The candidates must be researchers in basic medical sciences or clinical sciences who have made outstanding scientific contributions with regard to diseases that pose a major burden in low, middle, and high income countries. In addition, the candidate’s work in the coming years is expected to yield further groundbreaking discoveries or advances with respect to diagnosis or treatment that should be applicable globally. Nominations of younger and mid-career scientists are favored.

Candidate nomination – Candidates can be nominated by heads of research institutes or professional organizations. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Nominations need to be accompanied by at least two letters of recommendation from leading researchers in the field from two different countries.

The deadline for nominations for the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize 2023 is November 4th, 2022. A shortlist of candidates will be invited to submit a full research proposal. The award ceremony will take place in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on June 5, 2023.

Nominations should be sent to ekfprize23@ekfs.de along with a brief cover letter providing complete contact details for the candidate and include the following enclosures:

  1. Nomination letter describing the significant scientific discovery meriting the award and the candidate’s potential for continued outstanding productivity (max. two pages),
  2. Brief, two- to three-page CV,
  3. List of ten most significant publications, candidate’s name set in bold type,
  4. Short draft (max. three pages) on the future research program written by the candidate herself/himself,
  5. Two additional letters of support (from  two different countries, max. two pages each).
  6. Declaration of consent to the storage of data (for nominee and nominator, download below).


An international jury evaluates all nominations and finds the prize winner at the end of a two-stage selection process. Confirmed jury members (to be expanded): Stefan Endres (Munich), Lars Maier (Regensburg), Valerie Mizrahi (Cape Town), Ole Petter Ottersen (Stockholm), Peter Piot (Brussels/London).

Previous topics and winners

Previous winners of the prize have been Ruslan Medzhitov (2013, Immunology), Karl Deisseroth (2017, Biological Basis of Psychiatric Disorders), and Alessandro Aiuti (2020, Genome Editing and Gene Therapy).

For further details, please see www.ekfprize23.de

Time frame and procedural flow

  1. Extended nomination deadline: November 4, 2022
  2. Selection of a candidate shortlist: November 2022
    After formal prescreening of nominations by EKFS, an international award committee comprised of experts in the field will invite a maximum of 5 candidates to submit a full proposal, including a particular focus on the future experimental work intended.
  3. In-depth external reviews of full proposals: January 2023
    Submission of full proposals. External experts will be requested to assess the merits of the candidates’ contribution to their specific field of research and to evaluate the scientific potential of future work.
  4. Decision on winner: February 2023
    The jury shall propose the ultimate winner based on the reviewers’ assessments. This recommendation must be confirmed by the Foundation Board (“Stiftungsrat”).
  5. Award ceremony: June 5, 2023
    A festive formal award ceremony will be held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Portrait Dr. Alexander Lehmann
Dr. Alexander Lehmann
Scientific Funding: Graduate and Research Schools and International Research Prize

Else Kröner and the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS)

Else Fernau was born on May 15, 1925 and grew up in the household of Dr. Fresenius, a pharmacist in Frankfurt, Germany. In the immediate aftermath of World War II Dr. Fresenius had just begun to reorganize his business activities when he suddenly passed away in February 1946. The community of heirs, which included Else Fernau, decided that she should be trained as a pharmacist. After completing her studies in 1951 she assumed management of the Fresenius corporate enterprise. She was advised in business matters by a consultant, Dr. HansKröner, who later became her husband and joined the company as its managing co-director in 1972. Together they laid the foundation for the success of the global healthcare company we know today. Else Kröner remained managing director of the company until its conversion into a joint-stock company in 1981, then subsequently served in a capacity as chairwoman of the supervisory board until she died in June 1988.

The commitment Else Kröner displayed in building up the company was matched by her devotion to charitable and humanitarian work. EKFS, the foundation she established in 1983, became her sole beneficiary upon her death and is the largest shareholder of Fresenius, as well as the largest foundation of its type in Germany. It is dedicated to promoting medical research and equally supports medical aid/humanitarian relief projects in developing countries.

To date Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung has supported some 2,300 projects by means of a total of approximately EUR 520 million. Among the beneficiaries are numerous outstanding research projects in all fields of medical research. A special focus has been set on supporting the research careers of young scientists, in particular clinician scientists. Group research and individual fellowship programs offering training and advancement at all career stages have been readily established.

Besides providing immediate care for patients in need, medical aid/humanitarian relief at EKFS also focuses on supporting projects involved with medical training and education.

In 2013, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the death of Else Kröner, the foundation inaugurated an international research award, the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research. Each call for prize nominations is dedicated to a different field of medical research that promises particular progress in the near future. The award shall be presented to an outstanding scientist to honor his or her achievements in research, and to significantly support their future work in a promising field of medical research. The award is meant to mark the worldwide importance of Else Kröner’s lifetime achievements.