KNAW Early Career Award

The KNAW Early Career Award supports talented early career scientists and scholars. The Award stimulates further development of young researchers across the full breadth of science.

Since 2019 a maximum of twelve KNAW Early Career Awards are awarded each year, divided among the four Academy domains. The KNAW Early Career Award consists of a sum of 15.000 euros, made available by the Academy Fund, and a work of art. The money may be spent at the discretion of the laureates on their own research careers.

'That other people besides my direct colleagues and experts in my field also recognize the importance of our research. That is really a very big encouragement!'Donya Alinejad, 2021 KNAW Early Career Award laureate


  • Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences and Law
  • Humanities
  • Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering 

Who is it for?

Talented scientists and scholars who

  • are considered capable of developing innovative and original research ideas.
  • in the year of nomination have obtained their PhD a minimum of three and a maximum of seven years ago (the Academy Extension Arrangement applies).
  • hold a position at a university or a research institute in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.       


The following persons can each nominate a maximum of one candidate per domain:

  • members of the Academy
  • members of De Jonge Akademie
  • professors at a university in the Netherlands
  • directors of a research institute in the Netherlands

Candidates come from diverse backgrounds and are at various stages of their early career. In addition to their scientific talent, they can also excel in other areas, for example inspiring other young researchers, valorisation or contributing to the dialogue between science and society. The Academy therefore invites you to consider several perspectives when choosing which candidates to nominate.

The nomination form (DOC) can be submitted up to and including 1 July 2022 via e-mail address .

Award Ceremony

The Award Ceremony will be held on 14 February 2023 during a festive event in the Trippenhuis of the Academy.

‘With this Award I want to support not only my own research, but also that of other young scientists. As a woman from an ethnic minority, I am very aware of the many barriers that still exist in science. During my education and scientific career in the Netherlands, I have felt very supported through scholarships, great supervisors and an honest recognition of my work. I would like nothing more than to give this kind of support to others and this Award is a great opportunity to do that.’ - Vigjilenca Abazi, 2020 KNAW Early Career Award laureate