Important legal notice
Contact | Search  


  Descartes prizes

Descartes Research Prize

  • The 2007 Science Communication Prize (€195,000)

With the launch of the new framework programme, it has been decided to give separate identities to the prizes that are awarded in the areas of excellence in collaborative research and excellence in science communication. Both prizes will continue and will be awarded at a new event: the European Science Awards.

The Descartes prize for excellence in transnational, collaborative research will continue as before, but the Descartes label has been removed from the designation of the prize for excellence in science communication, in order to avoid confusion between these distinct yet complementary activities.

The Science Communication Prize has been awarded annually since 2004. In 2007, the prize became the Prize for Science Communication (no longer a Descartes prize.)

By means of this new prize, the European Commission intends:

  • To reward excellence in dissemination of research and science issues to European citizens

  • To act as a strong awareness-raising tool in order to boost scientific culture, to stimulate interest and understanding of science, and also to incite people to take on scientific careers

A maximum of 3 Laureates receive an award of 60 000 euros each and up to 3 Finalists receive 5 000 euros each. For the first 3 editions in 2004, 2005 and 2006, fifteen laureates and ten finalists from 11 different European and non-European countries were awarded the Science Communication Prize.

The Commission has established a continuous dialogue and partnership with prize-giving organisations (hereinafter referred to as “prize organisers?), particularly with regard to the submission to the call for proposals.

The Science Communication Prize targets organisations or individuals having achieved outstanding results in science communication and having been selected as winners by European and/or national organisations which carry out existing science communication prizes of any kind. This implies that prize organisers can send their winners as candidates to the EU prize, in one of the following categories:

  • The Communicator of the Year: scientists or professionals engaged in communicating science to the public

  • The Writer of the Year: popularising science through the written word (e.g. newspaper articles, popular science books, editorial policies, innovative actions)

  • The AudioVisual Documentary of the Year: popularising science through audio-visual and electronic media (e.g. scientific television or radio documentaries, websites, editorial policies, innovative actions)

In order to send an application, we advise you to first read the Guide for Applicants (RTF 1.6 MB; PDF 300 kB) which contains all the necessary information and instructions on how to submit. Please note that submission to the science communication prize can only be made on paper by filling in the adequate forms that are in the “Guide for Applicants?. Prize organisers may submit only one application (prize winner) per proposal, but there's no limit to the number of proposals.

A copy or original of the relevant prize certificate or an attest by the prize organisers, must be attached to the each of the applications, in order to prove that they have been already rewarded in the national/international competition organised by the proposer. Please note that if this is missing, the application will not be evaluated at all.

The monetary prize will go directly to the applicant(s) who are selected as winners by the expert evaluators. If there are several people involved in the communication product (e.g. a producer, a director, etc.) the money will be transferred to the same person who was previously awarded a prize by the prize organiser.

The Laureates and Finalists of the prize will be invited to participate in the award ceremony to testify about their works.

The evaluation

1. Firstly, applications will be assessed by relevant, independent experts according to the following evaluation criteria:

  • Excellence and quality of the proposal

  • Relevance and impact

  • European added value

2. The Final Reviewers will then meet at the end of the evaluation session in order to make a recommendation to the Commission on the laureates and finalists among the proposals having passed the required overall threshold. There will be a maximum of 1 laureate and 1 finalist per category.

For further information please visit the following CORDIS page:


Descartes Prizes:   2007  2006 2005  2004