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Janika Spannagel awarded with International Prize for Fundamental Academic Values

The postdoctoral researcher at SCRIPTS won first place in the first-ever awarded "Fundamental Academic Values Award" of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The award recognises three young European researchers for their outstanding academic contribution to the promotion of fundamental academic values.

News from Nov 29, 2022

According to the DAAD, the new "Fundamental Academic Values Award" to young academics is intended to focus on the importance of basic academic values such as academic freedom, integrity and university autonomy in the European Higher Education Area.

Janika Spannagel has convinced with the publication "The Perks and Hazards of Data Sources on Academic Freedom: An Inventory", in which she dealt with new data sources on academic freedom. In particular, she looked at the Academic Freedom Index and the growing demand for qualitative case studies on the situation of academic freedom in individual countries. Her publication provides an inventory of the most important data sources available on the state of academic freedom, said the award organisers.

In addition to Spannagel, Dr Elizaveta Potapova from the Public Policy and Management Institute in Lithuania (second place) and Dr Milica Popović from the Central European University in Austria (third place) received the €5,000-€7,000 prize. The prize is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Janika Spannagel is currently pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Freiburg with a thesis on the international protection of human rights defenders. In parallel, she is continuing her excellent research, which deals with the dissemination and contestation of norms of academic freedom, at SCRIPTS in the project "Science Friction: Patterns, Causes and Effects of Academic Freedom Contestations". The three-year research project analyses the increasing challenges to academic freedom around the world, with the aim of assessing and explaining them.

She is also a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute, where she co-developed the Academic Freedom Index prior to her position at FU Berlin. For her work and studies she has received various scholarships from the German National Academic Foundation, the DAAD, and the Mercator Foundation. A few days ago, the book she co-authored, "University Autonomy Decline - Causes, Responses, and Implications for Academic Freedom", was published by Routledge.