Regulations Research Prizes

Research Prize 
Each year the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation awards a maximum of five Research Prizes for exceptional PhD dissertations completed at Dutch universities. A prize consists of a sum of € 3,000 and a certificate.

The prize focuses on the humanities, social sciences and law. Among the areas covered are linguistics and literature, archaeology, history, theology, philosophy, political sciences, socio-cultural sciences, psychology and education sciences, law and design.

Apart from the academic quality of the dissertation, factors taken into consideration include its originality, international significance, style and case-transcending treatment of the subject. A ‘cum laude’ distinction is not a prerequisite, as there are no uniform criteria for awarding that distinction. The jury lends considerable weight to the importance of the dissertation outside its own discipline. Accessibility, a wide impact and readability – also for non-specialists – are important considerations. In addition, the Research Prize is intended not only to acknowledge dissertations of outstanding quality but also to encourage promising researchers to continue their scholarly work.

Each year, the faculties in which research in the above-mentioned fields of science is conducted, are invited to make a nomination. Each faculty can nominate one thesis. If more than 20 dissertations are completed each year at the faculty, a maximum of two dissertations may be nominated, provided these come from fundamentally different academic fields.

Nominations must be submitted by the dean of the faculty. The nomination must be accompanied by a motivation, which may not exceed 500 words, two hard copies of the dissertation, and the completed form. In addition, the nomination, the dissertation (PDF) and the completed form must be digitally sent to

Nominations must be received by the Foundation no later than 15 December 2019. The period within which the doctoral research must have taken place must fall between 15 December 2017 and 15 December 2019.

Nominations that do not comply with the requirements will not be considered. Nominations cannot be submitted more than once.

From all the nominations received, a selection committee from the board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation, supported where necessary by external experts, chooses a maximum of five winners. The winners will be selected in March 2020. The prizes will be awarded in May 2020.