Communication Initiative Award

The Communication Initiative 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 Initiative 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 Initiative 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 Initiative Award.

What could the nominees win?

The Communication Initiative 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?

The deadline for nominations will close on 15 June 2021, 14:00:00 CE(S)T.

How can nominations be submitted?

The “nomination form” must be used for nominations. The form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. The nominations must be written in English and must be DORA compliant.

The nomination form contains the following elements:

  1. A cover page (mandatory) with general information about the nominee(s) and the applicant.
  2. A motivational letter (mandatory, maximum two pages), in which the applicant explains why the initiative should win the Award and how the assessment criteria stated in Call for Nominations apply to the initiative.
  3. Supporting documentation (optional, maximum five pages), such as, supporting (visual) material and any supporting letters from third parties.

See the brochure for more information.

Assessment procedure


The NWO Domain Science wants to showcase successful communication of research results by researchers, and to encourage this. The following criteria have therefore been chosen:

  • The initiative is a science communication initiative by researchers to showcase their own research results: the initiative is set up largely by the researchers themselves, the own research results are communicated, and the researchers do not have science communication as their core task,
  • The science communication initiative has led to more societal involvement with this research. For example because the initiative:
    • Reaches a target group that otherwise would not have received the knowledge generated by the relevant research and/or;
    • Makes a difference to (particular groups within) society and/or;
    • Leads to (public) discussion.
  • The science communication initiative is original and novel;

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.