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The Jürgen Ehlers Thesis Prize

Prof. Jürgen Ehlers
Prof. Jürgen Ehlers


In 2008, the Society instituted a Thesis Prize in memory of Professor Jürgen Ehlers (1929-2008), a distinguished relativist and a past President of the Society. Professor Ehlers made seminal contributions to foundations of general relativity, many of its mathematical aspects and cosmology. He was the founding director of the Albert Einstein Institute of the Max Planck Society of Germany and won the Max Planck Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the German Physical Society.

This prize is sponsored by Springer in honor of Professor Ehlers, who had a long and fruitful relationship with the publisher as one of the Founding Editors of the book series Lecture Notes in Physics and as author of several books. It will be given during the tri-annual international conferences of the Society for the best Ph.D. thesis in the areas of mathematical and numerical general relativity. The recipient will receive a cheque for US $ 1500 and a certificate. The prize for the current recipient (see below) was awarded at GR21 in New York. Nominations for the prize to be awarded at GR22 are now open (NEW!) and will close in 2018.

For the nominations to be evaluated in 2018: The nominator must be a member of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. The nominee need not be a member of the Society but the official defense must have taken place between the 30 September 2015 and 30 September 2018. The nomination package will consist of:

i) A nomination letter summarizing the main results and their importance and elaborating student's role in case of joint work.

ii) A PDF file or four hard copies of the thesis (one for each committee member). Copies of published papers that constitute the thesis can be submitted in lieu of the thesis.

iii) A CV and the publication list of the nominee.

iv) An official University document showing that the thesis was successfully defended in the period between the nomination dates of the previous and the current prize.

v) One or two letters in support from experts if the nominator is a supervisor of the Ph.D. thesis.

Electronic nominations are preferred.

The 2019 Jürgen Ehlers Thesis Prize selection committee will be determined in 2018. NEW: Nomination packages should be submitted electronically to Beverly K. Berger ( If electronic submission is not possible, please mail to INTL SOC GEN REL GRAV, P.O. Box 3388, Livermore, CA 94551, USA.

The complete rules for eligibility and selection of the recipient for this prize can be found here.

Ehlers Prize Recipients

2010, Nicolas Yunes , Thesis institution: Pennsylvania State University

2013, Aseem Paranjape , Thesis institution: Tata Institute

2016, William East , Thesis institution: Princeton University

In case of problems, contact: