Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Research Career Development Award for Dylan Nelson

Dr. Dylan Nelson (private communication)

For the second time, the Hector Fellow Academy (HFA) has presented the Hector Research Career Development Award.  On 28 January 2022, the expert jury selected three young scientists from the applications, including astrophysicist Dylan Nelson, who heads  an Emmy Noether junior research group at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics.

Particularly talented young researchers who have already sharpened their scientific profile and taken their first career step can apply for the Hector Research Career Development Award once a year. Those who convince the jury will receive a one-time support of their research in the amount of 25,000 euros, the financing of a doctoral position, 9,500 euros for research funds per year and will be appointed as member of the Hector Fellow Academy for five years.

One of this year's three award winners is Dr. Dylan Nelson. Since 2020, he has headed  the new Emmy Noether junior research group "Computational Galaxy Formation and Evolution" at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA) at the Center for Astronomy at Heidelberg University (ZAH). "We want to understand how gas flows in, out of and around galaxies." In order to understand the evolution of cosmic structures over time, his research group is developing numerical simulations. "The Hector Research Career Development Award recognizes my group's innovative research and influence on science," says the award winner. "With the additional PhD position, we can explore new simulation techniques and applications of current machine learning methods."

The ZAH congratulates Dylan Nelson on this great success!


Dr. Guido ThimmCenter for Astronomy of Heidelberg University (ZAH)

Dr.  Dylan Nelson
Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA)


In 2013, Hans-Werner Hector, one of the founders of the software company SAP, launched the Hector Fellow Academy. His goal was to strengthen Germany as a location for research and science, to initiate forward-looking socio-political discourses and to contribute to solving global challenges. In the meantime, 25 outstanding researchers from the natural and engineering sciences as well as from medicine and psychology have received the Hector Science Prize, which is awarded once a year. The award winners were working at a German university or research institution at the time of their award. The Science Academy not only offers these Hector Fellows a platform for exchange and funding for joint interdisciplinary research projects. It has also set itself the task of passing on the wealth of experience of its members to the next generation. To this end, the Hector Fellow Academy finances doctoral positions for graduates with an above-average Master's degree and has launched the Hector Research Career Development Award (Hector RCD Award).

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