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Headlines Published on 15 April 2004

Title Opportunities for European life scientists

Two reputable research promoters in the Netherlands and Germany are calling for nominees for their prizes in virology and molecular biology, respectively. 

Europe rewards excellence amongst its researchers © Source: European Commission
Europe rewards excellence amongst its researchers

© Source: European Commission
Motivated by similar ambitions as the EU’s science and society programme, research associations and often companies across Europe offer grants and organise prizes to stimulate new developments and career prospects in their respective specialties. Research Headlines highlights two examples in the rapidly evolving scientific fields of virology and molecular biology.

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences is currently calling for nominations for its tri-annual Virology Prize. The award, which is worth €34 000, is given for examples of outstanding international achievement in virology, including biophysical and biochemical research.

Unlike many prizes offered by scientific academies, there are no restrictions on, for example, age or nationality. Any scientist working in the field is eligible for this prize, the fund managers explain. One condition, however, is that candidates must be nominated by other scientists or scientific institutions, and should be submitted by 1 May to the MW Beijerinck Virology Fund – set up in 1965 to honour the virologist Martinus Willem Beijerinck.

One for young researchers, too
The second award, worth €15 000, is offered to biomedical researchers under the age of 35 who reside in Europe. Eppendorf AG, a German-based bioscience and biotechnology company, will accept applications until 20 June. Together with the journal Science, it also offers a neurobiology award, acknowledging the increasing importance of this field in advancing our understanding of how the brain and nervous system function.

Meanwhile, the European Union has its own bevy of awards and prizes for excellent research, particular projects involving teams of scientists across the Union. One such award is the long-running Descartes Prize, which is accepting nominations for the 2004 edition until 11 May. According to the literature, the €1 million Prize celebrates “outstanding scientific and technological achievements resulting from collaborative research”.

This is also the first year that the Commission’s Science and Society programme, which organises the Descartes Prize, is offering a special €250 000 award for science communicators. As Rene Descartes, famous French philosopher and scientist, and the man whom the Prize honours, once said: “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” Fair point. The Commission is keen to encourage European scientists who use their minds and skills to improve the quality of life in Europe.


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More information:

  • MW Beijerinck Virology Fund
  • Eppendorf Award
  • Descartes Prize (Science and Society programme)

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