Scientific and technological excellence are essential
pre-requisites for Europe to succeed in the competitive environment of
international research and scientific development. The Descartes Prize
for Research has been awarded yearly, since 2000, to transnational
research teams which have achieved outstanding scientific or
technological results through collaborative research in any field of
science, including economics, social sciences and humanities.
The amount to be shared among the laureates of the research prize
is one million euros. There are maximum five laureate teams. Moreover,
five finalist teams receive 30 000 euros each. To date, 16 laureate
projects and 5 finalist projects involving almost 2 000 researchers
from European and non-European countries have been awarded the
The research prize was completed in 2004 with the
Descartes Prize for science
A joint call for proposals will be announced shortly - so please bookmark this website in your favourites and check for more information soon
Proposals may be submitted by the research teams themselves, or by
appropriate public or private organisations. Teams must involve at
least two mutually independent legal entities established in two
different Members States or in a Member State and an Associated State.
Provided that these minimum criteria are fulfilled entries may involve
teams from outside the European Union.
Research teams or nominating bodies can only present one project
Candidates to the prize must designate among themselves a co-ordinator
that will submit the proposal and will take the leading role in
representing the proposal during the selection procedure.
In order to send a candidature, we advise you to first read the
document called "guide for proposers" which contains all the
necessary information and instructions on how to submit. Please note
that, this year, submission to the Research prize can only be made
on-line (using the EPSS tool).
The prize is not restricted to projects financed or originally
financed by the European Community RTD programmes.
The Laureates and Finalists of the prize will be invited to
participate in the award ceremony to testify about their works.
Applications will be evaluated in a two-stage process:
1. Firstly, applications will be submitted to relevant panels of
independent experts. They will assess the applications according to
the following criteria:
· Scientific excellence:
in terms of quality and novelty of the results achieved;
contribution to addressing key scientific and technological
· European added-value:
in terms of quality of the transnational co-operation and
combination of complementary expertise and resources; and,
relevance of the findings with regard to the Community's policies
and priorities in the field of research and technological
development; extent to which the results of the research can only
be achieved if carried out at European level and beyond.
Among the applications which have reached the overall threshold,
the presidents of the panels will propose a limited number of projects
to be considered for the prize (shortlist of nominees) within the
budgetary limits set in the call for proposals. It is possible that
two or more prizes are awarded within the same category.
2. This shortlist will then be submitted to the Descartes Prize
Grand Jury. The Grand Jury is made up of renowned figures drawn from
academic, industrial and public life, reflecting the broadest spectrum
of scientific disciplines. They will personally interview the
coordinators of the nominated projects (in presence of the presidents
of the thematic panels). Finally, the Grand Jury will propose the
definitive list of projects they have selected for the Descartes Prize
to be laureate or finalist. This list must not necessarily include all
the teams proposed in the shortlist by the presidents of the panels.