The first Donor of the University of Luxembourg

The University commemorates the first anniversary of the death of its long-time supporter and friend, Mr Pierre Hippert.

The former Luxembourg pharmacist, Mr Hippert, founded the Fondation du Pélican de Mie et Pierre Hippert-Faber in 2010, in memory of his wife. He wished to support initiatives aimed at encouraging research, particularly in the fields of biomedicine and biotechnology. “In the discussion with Mr Hippert, it had immediately emerged that his support for biomedical science should be long-term” remembers Prof. Rudi Balling, former director of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine. “He wanted to help Luxembourg and this initiative of his was the right one at the right time.”


Since 2011, the Fondation du Pélican has awarded the Pelican Award annually to promising PhD candidates affiliated with the Doctoral Programme in Systems and Molecular Biomedicine of the Doctoral School in Science and Engineering (DSSE). This grant allows students to attend conferences and workshops around the world and meet with international colleagues to forge research collaborations. Later, this support was expanded to include the Pelican Postdoc Awards, which encourage young post-doctoral scientists to undertake research projects in Luxembourg.

Nadège Minoungou, who received the award in 2019, expresses her gratitude to “Mr Hippert and everyone involved in the Fondation Pélican for the incredible opportunity they have given me.” At this point, she is one of 42 doctoral students and 2 postdocs that have benefited from this support, for a total amount of nearly 1 million euros.


The year 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the Foundation’s philanthropic activities for the University of Luxembourg. “It is important for a university to see that it brings a positive impact and added value to the people of the country” says Prof. Paul Heuschling, former Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication. “The linkage of university and society is crucial and Mr Hippert was the first to really achieve this.”

To commemorate the founder of the Pelican grants and thus the first donor of the University of Luxembourg, grantees and staff came together to highlight the past 10 years of support.


“We thank Pierre Hippert for his extraordinary philanthropic commitment towards the University. His foundation represents his and his wife’s legacy: to create a true impact on the students and their research. I can say with complete confidence that he succeeded in reaching this goal. His trust in our University and his pledge to invest in young researchers will not be forgotten,” says Prof. Stéphane Pallage, rector of the University of Luxembourg.