Stairway to Impact 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 Stairway to Impact Award rewards scientists who take effective steps to utilise their scientific findings to tackle a societal problem and/or to make an economic contribution. The journey is more important than whether the final goal has been achieved. The award is a sum of 50k€.The money must be used to contribute to the goal for which the award has been presented.

What for?

The NWO Domain Science wishes to promote knowledge utilisation. With the Stairway to Impact Award NWO rewards scientists who take effective steps to utilise their scientific findings to tackle a societal problem and/or to make an economic contribution. The path from fundamental research with a low Technical Readiness Level (TRL) to wider societal impact involves many steps. Reaching these steps is crucial in order to achieve the ultimate goal. The Stairway to Impact Award is awarded to innovative researchers who undertake important, innovative or otherwise significant steps in this regard. These steps have demonstrated their impact, even though the ultimate goal may not yet have been achieved. Evidence of this may include a successful start-up or the implementation of research results by a societal organisation.

Who can submit a nomination?

Anyone can submit a nomination. It is possible to nominate yourself for the Stairway to Impact Award. Where similar efforts have been made by more than one person and led to the achievement of the goal, those persons can be nominated jointly for the Stairway to Impact Award.

What could the nominees win?

The Stairway to Impact Award is a sum of 50k. 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 (ENWprijzen@nwo.nl).

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

Criteria

The assessment committee applies the following criteria:

  1. The candidate is motivated to utilise his/her scientific findings to tackle a current and relevant societal problem and/or for an economic contribution.
  2. The candidate has taken inventive and effective steps that may lead to a solution to the relevant societal problem and/or economic contribution. The steps taken can be substantiated and are already (beginning to) demonstrate their impact.
  3. The candidate has a clear vision regarding the future steps to be taken in order to achieve greater societal impact*.
  4. The candidate creates a connection between science and society on his/her own initiative and is therefore an example for other scientists.

*including economic impact

Procedure

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


Status:

Open for nominations

Deadline for nominations:

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

Award:

50k€ per winner or winning team

Contact

Dr. Vera Meester Dr. Vera Meester +31 (0)70 3440917 enwprijzen@nwo.nl