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More information on René Descartes

  Descartes prizes

Science Communication Prize

  • The 2007 Descartes Prize for Collaborative, Transnational Research (€1.48 million)


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 collaborative 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 1,360,000 euros. There is a maximum 4 laureate teams. Moreover, 4 finalist teams receive 30,000 euros each. To date, 19 laureate projects and 10 finalist projects involving thousands of researchers from European and non-European countries have been awarded the prestigious prize.

Proposals may be submitted by the research teams themselves, or by appropriate public or private organisations. The research teams must involve at least two mutually independent legal entities, of which one must be a Member State and the other one from any other country (MS, AC or from the rest of the world). .

Research teams or nominating bodies can only present one project per proposal.

Candidates for 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" ( 215 kB) 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.

The evaluation

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 and quality:

in terms of quality and novelty of the results achieved; contribution to addressing key scientific and technological issues;

· 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 thematic 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.

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.

Descartes Prizes:    2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000