Since 1994, the Leibniz Professorship has been awarded each semester to renowned international researchers and is one of the highest honors our university bestows.

Leibniz professors bring new innovative ideas for research, teaching and the training of early career researchers, and they enrich university life. Photo: Christian Hüller
Leibniz professors bring new innovative ideas for research, teaching and the training of early career researchers, and they enrich university life. Photo: Christian Hüller

Leibniz Professor in Summer Semester 2021: Peter Christen

We are very pleased to welcome Professor Peter Christen as Leibniz Professor at the University of Leipzig in summer semester 2021. As one of the leading experts on data science, Professor Christen teaches and conducts research at the School of Computing at the Australian National University in Canberra. There he holds a professorship in the College of Engineering & Computer Science and is also head of the Data Mining and Matching research group.

Research on privacy protection in the field of data matching

A particular focus of Professor Christen's research is in the area of data matching, the process of identifying data sets that correspond to the same real-world entities. His main interests lie in the areas of data integration and data protection–for example, of sensitive personal data. He is also an expert in data wrangling. The tasks of data cleansing, data pre-processing and data standardisation are of great importance in industry and government, but are often neglected by academia. After his doctorate and a position at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Basel, Professor Christen has been working at the Australian National University since 2001. His goal is to perform advanced data analysis in areas such as health, social sciences, censuses, and crime and fraud detection.

Multidisciplinary approaches to data cleaning, data preprocessing and data standardisation

Professor Christen has been active in the fields of data science and data mining for over twenty years and has published around 200 papers in these areas. His monograph Data Matching is widely regarded as the standard reference work on the subject. In Leipzig, his areas of specialisation offer connections in particular to research at the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (ScaDS.AI) as well as to other subject groups in the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. During his time as a Leibniz Visiting Professor, Professor Christen will offer teaching formats for students and doctoral researchers and, in addition to a public inaugural lecture, will also organise a discussion evening in the Science Café.

Events with the Leibniz Professors

10 June 2021: Inaugural Lecture

"Data, COVID, and LSD – or how LSD can help combat COVID"

to video of the event
Leibniz Professor Peter Christen in front of the Leibniz statue at the main campus of Leipzig University
Leibniz Professor Peter Christen, Photo: Christian Hüller

Our Future Leibniz Professors:

Professor Dr Sebastian Schmidt (Summer semester 2022)

University of Colorado Boulder, USA, Research Area: Atmospheric Science

Read more

Information about Leibniz Professorship Appointments

The Leibniz Professorship is for a W3 visiting professor who conducts interdisciplinary research and teaches classes for students and doctoral researchers. The aim is to stimulate partnerships, creating a foundation for academic innovation. We also hope to gain new ideas and input for the training of early career researchers. We would like to attract internationally renowned academics and researchers, primarily from countries outside Germany.

Preference will be given to researchers who contribute to research areas, research approaches and/or academic discourses that are not represented in Leipzig. The candidate must be proficient in one of the most widely used academic languages (English, German or French). We especially welcome nominations for outstanding researchers who are female and/or from outside Europe and the US as these minorities have to date been underrepresented in the Leibniz Professorship Programme.

The Leibniz Professor is offered a temporary employment contract (W3) that covers the semester for which a leave of absence from the primary place of employment is taken.  The Leibniz Professor will be provided with an office at the Villa Tillmanns.

The teaching hours are limited to four semester hours per week. We expect the Leibniz Professor to participate in the training of doctoral researchers at the host institution or the Research Academy Leipzig by giving lectures, workshops, and/or colloquia, leading field trips, and/or teaching at the summer or winter school. At the beginning of the semester, the Leibniz Professor holds an inaugural lecture that is open to all university members. We also offer a Science Café, where the Leibniz Professor discusses a topic with selected guests in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. University members are invited to attend.

Proposals for the Leibniz Professorship should be made well in advance of the appointment (the current waiting period is roughly three years from time of application to appointment) and can be submitted by any professor at Leipzig University. Representatives of the research areas and the major research alliances at Leipzig University are particularly encouraged to submit proposals. The Rectorate awards the professorship based on the recommendation of the Research Commission.

Proposals should include the following information:

  • justification of the proposal and expectations
  • academic career
  • current research areas and the connection to research in Leipzig
  • planned contribution to the doctoral programmes at Leipzig University
  • outstanding academic achievements
  • references to existing partnerships
  • list of publications
  • indication of preferred semester

The selection criteria include the following:

  • compelling teaching approach and research objectives
  • connection to the research profile areas and research foci at Leipzig University or to current events
  • added value for doctoral programmes at the Research Academy Leipzig
  • long-term benefits



Please send proposals to:

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Rödl

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Rödl

Head of Leibniz Programme

Wächterstraße 30
04107 Leipzig

You may also like

Past Leibniz Professors

Read more

Leibniz Program

Read more

Information for University Lecturers

Read more