KNAW Early Career Award

The KNAW Early Career Award is intended to showcase talented PhD graduates, and to provide them with support and encouragement. The Award is aimed at researchers at the start of their career who are capable of developing innovative and original research ideas.

A maximum of twelve Awards are presented each year, divided among the four Academy domains (see below). The KNAW Early Career Award consists of a sum of 15,000 euros, made available from the Academy Fund, and an artwork. The money may be spent at the discretion of the winners on their own research careers.


The Academy presents the awards in the following domains to a maximum of three researchers per domain:

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

Who is it for?

The KNAW Early Career Award is open to:

  • young talented researchers who are considered capable of developing innovative and original research ideas. 
  • In the year of nomination, candidates must have obtained their PhD no more than seven years ago (an extension regulation applies) and must hold a position at a Dutch university or a Dutch research institute.

Nomination and award ceremony

The Awards has been presented for the first time on 4 February 2020. 

040220-uitreiking-ECA-Inge-Hoogland_460.jpgMinister Van Engelshoven and President of the Academy Wim van Saarloos together with the winners of the KNAW Early Career Awards. Photo: Inge Hoogland

Nominations for the next round may be submitted from April 2020.