Walter Heinz receives award for achievements in life course studies › view all


The 2023 John Bynner Distinguished Scholar Award from the SLLS goes to Walter Heinz

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of longitudinal and life course studies, Walter Heinz will be honored with the coveted John Bynner Distinguished Scholar Award 2023 from the multidisciplinary, international Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS). The award will be presented to him during a ceremonial event at the SLLS annual conference at Ludwig Maximilian Universität in Munich in October.

Congratulations, Walter Heinz to this extraordinary achievement!


The John Bynner Distinguished Scholar Award

The prestigious John Bynner Distinguished Scholar Award is given to researchers who have shown exceptional lifetime achievement in advancing the longitudinal study and scientific understanding of the life course. Its purpose is to recognize the most eminent scholarly exemplars in the field, whose contributions in research, theory, or policy analysis have elucidated the macro- and micro-level foundations of the life course and individual biography.


About Walter Heinz

Walter Heinz is a renowned scholar and long-time expert in the field of longitudinal research. He receives this esteemed prize for his pioneering research that contributes to a better understanding of complex relationships between individual life trajectories, social contexts, and societal developments. He has made significant contributions to the theory of vocational socialization and the empirical study of career choice, career development, and career patterns in the context of educational pathways and labor market conditions. Walter Heinz has examined the process of career exploration and documented the influence of educational cultures and training institutions on vocational learning, personal development, qualification pathways, and career goals through international comparisons. He has further developed the theory of status passages and has investigated transitions from one life phase to another. His research has highlighted the increasing ambiguity of individual decision-making in uncertain circumstances.

Walter Heinz has been a professor at BIGSSS since its beginning, and is now professor emeritus. He has served as the spokesperson of the predecessor of BIGSSS, the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) from 2002 to 2004 and from 1988 to 2002 of the CRC 186 “Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course” at University of Bremen. In 2014 and 2015 the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) appointed Walter Heinz as the scientific director of the German Centre for Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW) in Hannover. He was a member of the Executive Board of the SLLS from 2010 to 2014 and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Jacobs University Bremen from 2009 to 2012. In 2015 he received Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his outstanding scientific work, his great merits in the field of educational trajectory research, and his extraordinary commitment in science and research policy committees in Germany and abroad.