Katja Bär, Head of Communications and Marketing at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, has been named Research Spokesperson of the Year 2022 in the category "Research Institutes and Universities". The award was presented on 29 November jointly by the three leading communications associations BdKom (German Association of Communicators), DPRG (German Public Relations Association) and GPRA (Association of Leading PR and Communications Agencies). The aim of the associations is to award exemplary science communication within the DACH region and taking into account all science disciplines.
In her laudation, the President of BdKom, Regine Kreitz, highlighted the "excellent communication in a challenging environment". She compared the numerous and diverse tasks that university communications and marketing at the University of Jena pursues to a juggling act. Katja Bär always keeps "all the balls in the air" in an exemplary manner.
The importance of communication has grownKatja Bär is pleased about the great recognition associated with the award and also sees it as an appreciation of the university’s communications and marketing team: "This is a great team effort. Over the past few years, we have built up and restructured the University Communications and Marketing Department under my leadership. This was possible because communication has a high priority in the Presidential Board and throughout the University, which has grown even more. This is shown, among other things, by my involvement in the Presidential Board, which made the connection of strategy and strategic university communication possible in the first place. I therefore also understand the award as confirmation of the path we have taken."
Katja Bär has been Head of University Communications and Marketing at Friedrich Schiller University since February 2019. Previously, she headed the Communication and Fundraising Department at the University of Mannheim for eight years. She studied history, communication science and languages in Heidelberg and Mannheim as well as Classics in Cambridge. With her teams, she has won several awards for her communication and fundraising campaigns. Since 2021, she has been responsible for political statements and strategic association development on the board of the German Association of University Communications.
The nominees in three categories were determined by an expert advisory board, the finalists by public vote. The award ceremony took place digitally as part of the "Treffpunkt Wissenschaftskommunikation", which was launched by its host Reiner Korbmann in 2008.