The Academy believes that awards are a valuable way of honouring outstanding and promising scientists and scholars. They also help to spotlight specific areas of research and art. Another method of encouraging research excellence is to award funding. This is not one of the Academy's core activities, however.
The Academy awards several scientific and scholarly honours. The most prestigious among these are the biennial Heineken Prizes, which are awarded to internationally renowned scientists and scholars, and the Heineken Prize for Art. In 2010, the existing Heineken Prizes were extended by the Heineken Young Scientists Awards, honouring young researchers.
Other internationally recognised awards are the Academy Professor Prize, the Academy Education Prize, awarded for the best subject cluster project by a Dutch secondary school pupil, and the Ammodo KNAW Award for fundamental research. Every other year, the Academy awards the Academy Medal to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the broadest sense of the word.
Award ceremonies are usually held at the Academy’s Trippenhuis Building in Amsterdam accompanied with a scientific programme.
The Academy manages a few funding programmes on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science supporting research collaboration with China and Indonesia. It also makes various grants available to members and external parties which are financed by the Academy or by private funds, Examples are funding of international conferences in the Netherlands and Academy Colloquia at the Trippenhuis, and grants for research abroad to young researchers.
Code of Conduct
The Academy has drawn up a for boards, juries and committees about the assessment and decision making relating to Academy prizes, memberships and grants. The purpose of the code is to ensure transparency and avoid (the appearance of) conflicts of interest.