Stevin Prize

The Stevin Prize is an honour and a one-off and unique award for researchers or a team of two to three researchers who have achieved an exceptional success in the area of knowledge exchange and impact for society. NWO requests selected persons to nominate candidates for this prize. A maximum of two prizes are awarded annually. The laureates each receive 2.5 million euro to spend on research and/or activities on knowledge exchange and impact.


A NWO Stevin Prize is an individual research grant. Its aim is to encourage and recognise knowledge exchange and impact. The prize will be awarded to a researcher or a team of two or three persons who have achieved an exceptional success in the area of knowledge exchange and impact for society. The knowledge utilisation must have demonstrably led to innovative applications in practice and the researcher and/or team must have played a crucial role in this. In essence the prize works as an impulse for scientific research and knowledge exchange and impact in the Netherlands.

Who can apply

Nomination can only take place at the invitation of NWO. Candidates themselves are not allowed to submit an application. Each year NWO enables the following persons to nominate a maximum of two candidates:

  • The rectors of Dutch universities
  • The president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) (a maximum of two candidates for each domain and The Young Academy)
  • The president of the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation (AcTI)
  • The chair of the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNHV)
  • The chairperson of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU)
  • The chair of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) (a maximum of two candidates per chair of the appointment committees (humanities and social sciences and natural sciences))
  • The chair of the TO2 federation (the institutes for applied research)
  • The president of The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW)
  • The chair of the Association for Science Journalism and Communication Netherlands (VWN).

The candidates should hold a permanent position at a Dutch University or University Medical Centre and they must have ample time to continue doing top level research. Candidates have not previously received a Spinoza or Stevin Prize.

The nominations including annexes should be written in English.

What can be applied for

The prize amounts to 2.5 million euro per laureate. This amount may be spent (up to a certain point) at the discretion of the recipient. In the financial plan the recipient may include costs of staff (scientific and non-scientific), materials, investments, travel expenses and accommodation costs, visits by foreign researchers, activities on knowledge exchange and impact, etc. 

When can be applied

NWO sends the persons who may nominate candidates a notification of the deadline.



The evaluation and selection of the candidates takes place on the basis of past performance and according to the following criteria:

  • Internationally acknowledged top quality as a researcher (weighing 30%)
  • Power of attraction to young researchers (weighing 20%)
  • Internationally acknowledged top quality in realising knowledge exchange and impact (weighing 50%)

Furthermore, it should be evident that the Stevin Prize will advance and enhance the research and knowledge exchange and impact by the candidate.

Additional criterion for nominating a team

When nominating a team, the added value of the team (especially with respect to the third criterion: knowledge exchange and impact) should be demonstrably more than the sum of the individual contributions of the team members. The team members should complement each other and should have achieved more by cooperating than they might have achieved on the basis of their individual qualities. This does not necessarily mean that all members of the team are of the same calibre.


The Executive Board of NWO decides to whom the prizes will be awarded at the advice of the Stevin committee. The nomination procedure is strictly confidential; nominated candidates are not to be informed.


Drs. Bernice de Jong Boers-van der Ham Drs. Bernice de Jong Boers-van der Ham +31 (0)70 3440926