In September 2014 it will be fifty years since the first Heineken Prize was awarded. On the occasion of this anniversary, the prize money for the five Heineken Prizes for science is being increased from 150,000 to 200,000 US dollars per prize, which means that a total of one million dollars for the science awards is being paid out.
The prizes are awarded every two years to the best researchers in the world in the fields of biochemistry and biophysics, medicine, the environmental sciences, history, and cognitive science.
Specialist juries from the KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences select the prize winners from nominations sent in from all over the world. Of the 76 Heineken Prize laureates, thirteen have gone on to win a Nobel Prize. This is why the Heineken Prizes are amongst the most prestigious international scientific awards. The awards ceremony is held every two years at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, the next one being scheduled for 2 October 2014. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has handed out the prizes at the last four ceremonies.
Alfred Heineken created the first Heineken Prize in honour of his father Henri Pierre Heineken, who was a doctor of biochemistry. In 1964, it was Prof. Chargaff of Colombia University (New York) who received the first Heineken Prize, which was the Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, for his research into the structure of DNA. Subsequently, Alfred Heineken established three other prizes in those fields of science that he felt were important, which were the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences, the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for History, and the
Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine. In 2006, the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science was created. From 2014 onwards, this prize will be known as the C.L. De Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science, after this award’s initiator. In addition to the scientific prizes, there is also the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art, which is awarded to a Dutch artist and includes a monetary award of 50,000 euros and a publication and/or exhibition.
Since 2010, five incentive prizes have also been awarded to young researchers in the Netherlands in the same five scientific categories as those of the Heineken Prizes. These Heineken Young Scientists Awards also come with a monetary award of 10,000 euros. The funds for the monetary awards themselves are provided by the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the five Heineken Prizes for science and for the five Heineken Young Scientists Awards is 15 November next, whereas for the Heineken Prize for Art it is 1 October next. Please visit the website www.knaw.nl/heinekenprijzen for further details on the nomination procedure and the prizes.
Note for the press
Irene van Houten/ Helena van Oers, KNAW Communication Department
T: +31 20 551 0733
Christine van Waveren, HEINEKEN International, External Communications
T: +31 20 523 9355