Cornelia Betsch receives Thuringian Research Award

With the Thuringian Research Award, the Free State has been honouring top scientific achievements of Thuringian universities and non-university research institutions once a year since 1995. In 2022, the award in the category "Applied Research" goes to Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch, holder of the Heisenberg Professorship for Health Communication at the University of Erfurt, and her team for the project: "Understanding and Changing Infection Protection Behaviour".

Team photo at award ceremony
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch (3rd from right) with members of her team (Photo: TMWWDG/ScheerePhotos)

The University of Erfurt nominated Cornelia Betsch for the Thuringian Research Award because of her outstanding scientific achievements in the field of health communication in general and her contribution to the management of the Corona pandemic in particular. "With her work, she has not only contributed to the advancement of the state of research in her discipline. Rather, she has also been able to clearly demonstrate the extraordinary relevance of her research and its results for society and politics," reads the justification.

Cornelia Betsch's scientific achievements consist of comprehensive findings, some of them outstandingly well published internationally, firstly on infection control behaviour in general and secondly on health behaviour in the Corona pandemic. The scientist is also able to communicate both to society through comprehensible and at the same time innovative presentation formats for research communication and thus make them socially effective. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cornelia Betsch and her team have dedicated themselves to the topic of "Understanding and Changing Infection Protection Behaviour" in several studies. In a very short time, she set up a highly efficient monitoring system that very soon became a reference study for journalists, the public and politicians, for example, when it came to questions about how people perceive various aspects of the crisis or how the measures to combat the Corona virus are accepted. Internationally, this type of monitoring was recommended by the World Health Organisation with reference to the Thuringian study and with the employee of Professor Betsch. 

At the award ceremony, which took place online due to the pandemic, Cornelia Betsch thanks the sponsors of her work and especially her dedicated team:

These young people have made all of the work being recognized today possible. More than 20 scientific employees and students were involved in COSMO, our COVID19 Snapshot Monitoring. As a team, we have - conservatively estimated - invested over 12,000 working hours to draw a psychogram of the crisis.

Thuringian Research Award (segment starting at 5:55 min)

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