Dr. Hans Riegel Awards

Prizes for Scientific Papers by School Students

With the Dr. Hans Riegel Awards, we recognize particularly outstanding pre-scientific papers submitted by students in upper secondary education. The prizes are awarded in cooperation with 15 German universities. Depending on the university, the students can submit papers in the natural sciences, computer sciences, and mathematics. We honor around 200 excellent achievements each year.

The competition for the Awards is a link between the schools and universities in the individual regions: The winners receive feedback from the universities' lecturers about their science paper, thus establishing first contacts with the university. They feel appreciated because of their independent research work. For this reason, the competition includes the possibility of submitting papers without the involvement of the school.

The professors in the fields of the natural sciences, computer sciences, and mathematics in turn get an overview of the students' level of knowledge and can promote their fields. The highlight is always the award ceremony at the individual universities, where foundation and university representatives hand over the prizes.

The recognition and support of these students involved in natural sciences, computer sciences, and mathematics also bring about a positive change in the perception their classmates have of these subjects. They get to see how diverse, interesting, and closely related to real life the school papers are and that effort pays off beyond school.

As part of the competition, teachers at some locations also receive welcome support through training on scientific papers. In addition, we provide student teachers in the natural science, computer science, and mathematics fields with the opportunity to support and assist the evaluation process.

Online Guide on Scientific Papers

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has published a guide on Writing a scientific paper on their Hamburg education server.

Extensive Tips From a Scientist

Identifying and formulating the subject are particularly important for scientific papers. This is an aspect our panel also evaluates very carefully. Werner Stangl of the University Linz provides guidance on the collection, structuring, and formulation of ideas as well as the creation of texts.

Guidance from Unicum Abi

Unicum Abi sums up the most important instructions on the preparation of scientific papers at school in a concise and easy to read manner.

Research Meets School

Teacher Training on the Supervision of Scientific Propaedeutical Student Papers and on Particle Physics

Together with the universities in Potsdam, Bochum, and Cologne, we offer free training and exchange opportunities for teachers. The online events aim to enable teachers to guide students as they write research papers/seminar papers and to facilitate the communication between the university and the teacher on a technical and educational level. The events feature different formats, while emphasizing the inclusion of the teachers’ school expertise so that their students will be even more prepared for scientific work at the university in the future. As part of the Dr. Hans Riegel Awards, the project is geared towards teachers who themselves also supervise research or seminar papers on a STEM subject. 

The training measures focus on the following areas:

•   Application of the knowledge about school performance based on the evaluation through the Dr. Hans Riegel Awards

•   Discussion of the expectations of new university students and required skills

•   Optimization of the learning units required to teach the scientific propaedeutical content

•   Early communication on excellent school performance and the corresponding university support programs

•   Insights into current university research for teachers

Information on partners and events:

Together with the Professional School of Education, the Academy of the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) offers three online seminars through the RUB Teachers Academy. These seminars provide teachers in mathematical and natural science subjects with training and optimal preparation to support school students in writing papers in mathematics and physics class. The seminars address general and subject-specific aspects regarding the identification of the subject, scientific work and quality criteria, assistance during the writing process, and the development of a scientific writing style. The events are held from December to February 2021 in the afternoons in 150-minute units each. We start all events together using a multidisciplinary format before beginning with the subject-specific part (mathematics and physics respectively) after about an hour.

Once the current edition has been evaluated, the program is continued in the following school year.

You will find more information about the program here.

With their research papers, school students learn the first steps of scientific work. Both students and teachers are faced with the challenge of finding an interesting topic and a relevant issue in everyday school life. At the same time, they have to select a methodology and analyze suitable data, and the basics of scientific writing, research, and work have to be taught. It's a process that can be challenging for everyone involved. One way to meet this challenge is through the collaboration between universities and schools.

The free training series "Science@School" is heading into its next edition! The series is sponsored by the Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation and takes place as part of the school network in the ZfL Center for Teacher Education. Under the motto "Inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation at school", we focus on teaching scientific methodology over two days. Based on the issue of climate change, we will examine and discuss how we can facilitate and shape interdisciplinary cooperation in student research papers. The training is aimed at (trainee) teachers and teacher candidates in the STEM subjects on secondary school level II.

You will find more information about the program here.