POLiS Award of Excellence


The POLiS Award of Excellence for Female Researchers is given annually to an outstanding female early and mid-career researcher working in one of the scientific topics of the POLiS Cluster. It entails up to 70,000 € for one or several research stays at one of POLiS participating institutions (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ulm University, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and University of Giessen) to establish and strengthen international collaborations.





Previous Awardees

Award of Excellence
María Arnaiz

Awardee 2023

This year's recipient of the award is María Arnaiz, Associate Researcher at CIC energiGUNE in Spain. Until the end of July 2023, María Arnaiz is a visiting scientist at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). Her work at ZSW focuses on the aqueous processing of positive electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.

Further information can be found here

María Arnaiz will mainly collaborate with the research groups of Dr. Sonia Dsoke and Dr. Fabian Jeschull at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Guiomar Hernández

Awardee 2022

POLiS is proud to announce the awardee for the POLiS Award of Excellence for Female Researchers 2022. The board of POLiS and a selection committee has selected Dr. Guiomar Hernández from Uppsala University, Department of Chemistry. Dr. Hernández is an excellence researcher working in the field of of fluorine-free electrolytes for lithium and sodium-based batteries and carbonyl-based solid polymer electrolytes to understand the transport properties and coordination strength between polymers and different cations, in particular lithium, sodium and magnesium.

Dr. Guiomar Hernández works closely with the research group of Dr. Fabian Jeschull at Karlsruhe Institute of Technolgy (KIT). Already in 2022, the collaboration started with a stay abroad of Anna Khudyshkina, during which she investigated polymer electrolytes for K-ion batteries at Uppsala University. 

As part of the collaboration, Isabell Johansson, PhD Student at Uppsala University, will spend nine months at KIT. Watch a short video of Isabell. 

Furthermore, it is planned to start experiments on polymer electrolytes for Mg and Ca batteries, this will be done together with Dr. Zhirong Zhao-Karger (Institute of Nanotechnology INT; electrolyte salts/Mg & Ca) and Prof. Dr. Patrick Théato (Institute of Technical Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry ITCP; polymer synthesis).

Kelsey Hatzell

Awardee 2021

Dr. Kelsey Hatzell, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University, received the award in 2021. She is working on the ion transport in all solid state sodium batteries and works mainly with the research groups of Dr. Marcus Rohnke and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Janek at the Justus Liebig University Giessen.

Ellen Matson

Awardee 2020

The first awardee of the POLiS Award of Excellence for femaie researchers was given to Dr. Ellen Watson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Ellen Matson is working on organofunctionalized polyoxovanadate materials energy storage. 

As part of the award, an exchange of doctoral students took place in the research group of Dr. Montaha Anjass at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry I at the Ulm University.


The POLiS Award of Excellence for Female Researchers is given annually to an outstanding female early and mid-career researcher (with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD. For maternity leave, this is extended by 18 months per leave) with outstanding record of scientific achievements related to the topics of the Cluster on new battery materials and technology concepts based on sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, aluminum and chloride ions to improve energy storage, safety, and cost-effectiveness for stationary and mobile electrochemical storage. The application and all submitted documents must be in English. POLiS members and affiliates as well as candidates from POLiS participating institutions are excluded. Applicants are asked to upload the following documents:

  • Formal application letter
  • CV including scientific achievements
  • Two-page description of planned joint research during the stay at POLiS
  • Publication list (incl. five most relevant publications as pdf files)
  • Two recommendation letters

Application deadline is April 15th, 2024.

Selection Process

The candidates will be evaluated with respect to following selection criteria:

  •  Significance of research in the research areas of post-lithium energy storage
  •  Publications or patents, awards
  •  Potential for future collaborations in the POLiS Cluster
  •  Role model function of the candidate with regard to pursuing her own career development

An award selection committee consisting of a POLiS Presiding Spokesperson, one Leader of each POLiS Research Unit, and members of the Equal Opportunity committee will evaluate all criteria in relation to the scientific career level.

For questions please contact apl. Prof. Dr. Christine Kranz (christine.kranz@uni-ulm.de).

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