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Young MSDI researcher wins prestigious Green Talents award

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DLR-PT/Konvex Fotografie

MSDI’s Dr Shirin Malekpour has been recognised as one of the world’s outstanding young researchers in the field of sustainable development.

Shirin, was one of 25 researchers from 21 countries, and the only Australian researcher, to receive a Green Talents award – a prestigious award, hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) which recognises young researchers for their outstanding achievement in making our societies more sustainable.

Shirin, a Research Leader in Strategic Planning and Futures Studies at MSDI, was chosen from more than 736 applicants from more than 100 countries by a high-ranking jury of renowned German sustainability experts, who were impressed with her long-term scientific pursuit of infrastructure planning and policy.

The jury acknowledged Shirin’s success in connecting different research areas, as well as her specific focus on strategic planning and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

As an award winner, Shirin attended the ‘Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development’ - a two-week program, which ran from October 13 to 27.

The program gave awardees access to some of Germany’s most exciting sustainable development hotspots and the opportunity to meet some of the country’s leading sustainability researchers from world renowned research institutions and companies, including Dresden University of Technology, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the HEINZ-GLAS GmbH & Co. KGaA, the Energieavantgarde Anhalt and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.

The tour began in Dresden, in eastern Germany and also included Jena, Tettau, Leipzig and Berlin, where the Green Talents Award was presented to awardeesduring an official ceremony on October 22.

During the second week, the awardees had the opportunity to meet up with leading German experts of their choice, to discuss their research and lay the foundations for future collaborations.

The tour concluded in Frankfurt at the Institute for Social-Ecological Research – a world-leading centre for transdisciplinary sustainability research.

Established in 2009, and operated under the patronage of the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, Green Talents provides up-and-coming scientists the opportunity to establish contacts within the German science community and exchange ideas with its key innovators, laying the foundations for future cooperation.

The 25 awardees, including Shirin, have been invited to return to Germany in 2019 for a fully-funded three-month research sabbatical at an institution of their choice.