Communication Award

The NWO Domain Science hands out five special scientific awards. These awards recognise the achievements of scientists in various areas of scientific research. There is an award for inspirational teamwork (Team Science Award), an award for science communication for a wider audience (Communication Award), an award to foster diversity (Diversity Initiative Award and Athena Award) and an award for the societal impact of scientific results (Stairway to Impact Award). The awards are intended to reward scientists who have contributed in these areas and to inspire others to do the same. All disciplines in the Science domain are eligible for these awards.

The communication award rewards initiatives of successful and inspiring science communication by scientists. Per year at most three initiatives of individuals or team receive the award of 10k€. The prizemoney is intended for activities with relation to the initiative.

What for?

For the Communication Award, the NWO Domain Science focuses specifically on the successful communication of research results to a wider audience. Communicating scientific findings effectively is crucial in order to strengthen the societal impact of science. In order to be fully connected to wider society, science must not only be accessible, but also comprehensible and approachable. Science communication plays an important role in this. This award is aimed primarily at showcasing successful and inspirational initiatives undertaken by researchers in order to improve communication regarding their research results. These initiatives must have resulted in greater societal engagement with research in a manner that is demonstrable. With the Communication Award, the initiators are rewarded for their successful approach in science communication and are encouraged to continue along the path they have taken.

Who can submit a nomination?

Anyone can submit a nomination. The (co-)initiator of the initiative that is being nominated may also submit a nomination for the Communication Award.

What could the nominees win?

The Communication Award is a sum of 10k€ per initiative. Recipients have ample freedom when it comes to spending this sum, as long as it is used to contribute to the goal for which the award has been presented.

When can nominations be submitted?

Nominations must be received by NWO by 30 June 2020, 12:00 CE(S)T (

How can nominations be submitted?

The nomination must include the following sections:

  1. The cover page, which can be downloaded under ‘Related documents’.
  2. The nomination itself, the nominator must comply with the assessment criteria mentioned in the brochure.
  3. Supporting documentation, such as short narrative CVs of the nominees containing information relevant to the award and any supporting letters from third parties. Please do not exceed 15 pages for the supporting documentation.

The nominations must be written in English. See the brochure for more information.

Assessment procedure


The NWO Domain Science wishes to showcase successful communication of research results by researchers, and to encourage this. The following criteria therefore apply:

  • The initiative was successful. Successful science communication initiatives have the following characteristics:
  1. They reach a target group that otherwise would not have received the knowledge generated by the relevant research and/or;
  2. They make a difference to (particular groups within) society and/or;
  3. They lead to (public) discussion.
  • The initiative used appropriate communication channels and media to deliver its message.
  • The initiative was original and innovative.

The number of people behind the initiative is not important; it is possible that the initiative was organised by just one person. The academic age of the person(s) involved is not important.


The nominations are assessed in relation to the criteria by a committee. The Board of NWO Domain Science will make the decision regarding the winners. More details are given in the brochure.

To better reflect the official (dutch language) guidelines and to avoid misunderstanding the english translation of the brochure has been updated.

Related documents:


Open for nominations

Deadline for nominations:

30 June 2020, 12:00 CE(S)T


10k€ per winner of winning team


Dr. Amber Kerkhofs Dr. Amber Kerkhofs +31 (0) 70 3440579