Investigation Award

The Peter Hans Hofschneider Investigation Award for Scientific and Medical Journalism is awarded by Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin. The object of the award is the promotion of special investigation achievements and projects in scientific and medical journalism.

The award is granted for journalistic work and planned investigation projects in the fields of science and research that are convincing on account of both a clear presentation of scientific facts and the investigation of political, scientific or societal backgrounds. Journalistic articles that shed light on the structure and function of self-monitoring and quality assurance in science in a constructive manner are expressly welcome.

To the laureates

Conditions of participation

Authors may submit a maximum of two works which were published in a German-language medium in Switzerland, Austria or Germany in 2020, 2021 or the current year. Works may be submitted by individual applicants or by investigation teams. Besides the investigation achievement circumscribed above, the decisive factor is an easily comprehensible and professional presentation of the issue. Besides the works that have already been published, the jury will also take into consideration the submitted investigation concept for a future publication (cf. also under Applications).


The Peter Hans Hofschneider Investigation Award for Scientific and Medical Journalism is worth CHF 20,000, which is paid in the form of a grant earmarked for an investigation project (including personal fee, as well as travel and material costs). The award of this prize is intended to provide winners with an opportunity to realise extensive investigation projects which could not be realised, or only realised with difficulty, in the generally customary time and cost frame of a newspaper or magazine or of a freelance journalist.


Contributions must be submitted in quadruplicate, as follows:

  • Articles from print media
    On a copyable original (no larger than DIN A3 format)
    Original excerpt from a newspaper/magazine, with the title of the newspaper/magazine, issue number and date of publication, or archive printouts with a copy of the published article
  • Articles from electronic media
    On a DVD with a copyable transcript of the verbal part that was broadcast
  • Further application documents required:
    Brief description of the background to the investigation of the works that have already been published (relevance of the topic, etc; 700 characters maximum)
    Brief CV
    As concise an outline of the investigation as possible and an equally concise description of a future investigation project (including time and cost schedule) that would be realised with the help of the investigation grant

Only works submitted in this form will be taken into consideration.
The time window for the submission of applications will end on 31 December 2021 (date of the postmark).


  • Julia Stein (President netzwerk recherche e.V.);
  • Volker Stollorz (long-standing author of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung/former board member of Wissenschaftspressekonferenz);
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Stürzl (Universitätsklinikum Erlangen);
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Werner (ETH Zurich);
  • Prof. Holger Wormer (Chair of Scientific Journalism, University of Dortmund).

In individual cases, the jury may consult further journalists and academics as assessors. The jury will support the award winners in the realisation and timely publication of the investigation project funded by the award together with further mentors of netzwerk recherche.

Announcement and award ceremony

The Peter Hans Hofschneider Investigation Award for Scientific and Medical Journalism is announced in spring/summer every year. The winners will be announced at an academic symposium of Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin or on the occasion of the annual meeting of netzwerk recherche in Hamburg.

Background of the award

The award is advertised by Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin (Zurich) in honour of Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Hans Hofschneider (14 February 1929 - 23 July 2004), the former Director of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, who throughout his life championed not only excellent science but also a critical public debate about possible errors and consequences of scientific research.

Send us your application

Any outlines of investigation projects submitted will of course be treated confidentially. The jury’s decision is final.

Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin
c/o Bratschi AG
Bahnhofstrasse 70
8021 Zurich

Tel.: +41 (58) 258 10 00


The foundation reserves the right to publish the award-winning projects on its website. By submitting the application documents, the applicant agrees to this.