Baylor Researcher Receives Prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship

Caleb D. Martin, Ph.D., receives the honor of being a “Humboldtian.”

February 14, 2024
Dr. Martin in a lab with Alexander von Humboldt Foundation logo

Contact: Kelly Craine, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-297-9065
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WACO, Texas (Feb 14, 2024) – Caleb D. Martin, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Baylor University and a leading researcher in synthestic boron chemistry, has received a prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Martin is the second professor from Baylor to receive the honor of being a “Humboldtian.” William Weaver, Ph.D., director of the Great Texts program and professor of literature in the Honors College, received a Humboldt research fellowship in 2014.

Established 1953 by the Federal Republic of Germany, the Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between German universities and excellent scientists and scholars from around the world with the goal of creating a global collaborative network of excellence. 

“The Humboldt Fellowship is a meaningful honor and an exciting opportunity to practice collaborative research abroad. Top global scientists across all disciplines compete for this fellowship, and only 20 to 25% are selected,” said Kevin Chambliss, Ph.D., vice provost for research at Baylor. “Dr. Caleb Martin is very deserving. He has established himself at Baylor as a leading researcher marked by creativity and impact, and it will be exciting to see the work that results from his time in Germany.” 

Fellowship recipients work with a German host and collaborative partner on their proposed research project and become part of the Humboldt network – a group of more than 30,000 researchers in 140 countries, including 61 Nobel Prize recipients, that provide greater opportunities for continued research and collaboration. In addition, Martin was awarded a Siebold-Collegium Fellowship from the University of Würzburg, which will provide housing in a restored 18th century building with 17 other international fellows while he is in Germany.

“The fellowship enables me to interact and work with the top researchers in Germany to elevate our research program,” Martin said. “The benefits of being a Humboldt Fellow are not only for the three-year period that I’ll spend time in Germany but are lifelong in being part of the Humboldt Network. I’m grateful to the Humboldt Foundation for this honor and to the German government for supporting this organization.” 

Through the Humboldt Fellowship, Martin will be researching new boron compounds and their photophysical properties alongside world-leading researchers in the field, Todd Marder, Ph.D., and Holger Bauschewigh, Ph.D., of the Institute for Sustainable Chemistry & Catalysis with Boron at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. The institute is the international epicenter for boron research providing access to a cohort of boron experts that Martin would not have without the Humboldt Fellowship.

“It will be a great pleasure for my colleague, Prof. Dr. Holger Braunschweig, and me to host Prof. Caleb Martin,” Marder said. “These prestigious and highly competitive Fellowships are awarded only to excellent researchers who have already established a strong reputation in their respective fields. As a previous recipient of a Humboldt Research Award and having hosted a number of Humboldt Fellows and Award winners over the past 12 years, I can personally attest to the excellence of the Humboldt Foundation and its outstanding support for those who achieve the honor of receiving one of their Fellowships or Awards.”

For John L. Wood, Ph.D., department chair and The Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Baylor, the significant appointment will impact Dr. Martin and Baylor for years to come.

“The Humboldt Award is a fantastic and well-deserved recognition of Professor Martin’s contributions to the field of boron chemistry,” Wood said. “Professor Martin’s stay in Germany will not only add to Baylor’s increasing international reputation in cutting-edge research but also, through the auspices of the Humbolt Foundation, enable future Humboldt Fellows to spend time on our campus.” 


Caleb D. Martin, Ph.D., is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Baylor University and the principal investigator for the Martin Research Group.   

Dr. Martin’s research explores the synthesis and properties of organoboron compounds. He is focused on developing new bonding arrangements around the boron center and subsequently exploring the chemistry of these novel compounds. The targeted compounds have unusual properties and have utility in optoelectronic devices and Lewis acid mediated catalysis for the degradation of toxic fluorocarbons to environmentally benign substances. 


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