Regulations Dissertation Prizes

Dissertation Prize
Each year the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation awards a maximum of five Dissertation 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. The dissertation should be well-written and coherent, written by one author. In addition, the Dissertation Prize is intended not only to acknowledge dissertations of outstanding quality but also to encourage promising researchers to continue their scholarly work.

Each year, those Universities where research in the academic fields listed in Article 2 is conducted are invited to make a nomination. Each invited University can nominate four dissertations, of which two dissertations should come from the field of humanities, one from the social sciences or behavioral sciences, and one in law.

Nominations must be submitted by the Rector of the University. The nomination must be accompanied by a motivation letter, which may not exceed 500 words, the dissertation and the completed form. This must be digitally sent to

Nominations must be received by the Foundation no later than 10th January 2023. The period within which the doctoral research must have taken place must fall between 15th December 2020 and 15th December 2022.

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 May 2023. The prizes will be awarded in June 2023.