The Synergy Awards 2022 for outstanding PhD research

On the 3 February 2022, the NWO event Synergy will take place for researchers and policy developers. During this event, the Synergy Award is presented to the PhD student with the most original and promising study aiming to make a positive impact on society. The winner will be awarded with a prize of € 2.500 to kick-start the development of their idea! Want to take a shot at the Synergy Award? Submit your idea by 5 November 2021.

For whom is the Synergy Awards?

With the Synergy Awards, PhD students are given the possibility to explore and present the potential impact of their research on society. Every PhD student conducting research in the social sciences or the humanities can apply for the Synergy Award. Researchers that obtain their PhD title within six months of the deadline can also submit a proposal for the Synergy Awards.

The application procedure

The core idea for the impact on society should stem from a PhD research, but does not need to be a finished project. The impact idea can take any form: an online tool or app, podcast, a public performance or debate, an article or brochure, an improved process or anything else. Submissions from any field in the humanities or social sciences are welcome, from medieval history to psychology. The key factor in the application should be the impact it has on society.

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What to submit

Your submission should contain the following elements:

  • A concise narrative résumé of the achievements and goals with regard to the scientific work (maximum of 500 words).
  • A short video lasting no more than two minutes in which you give a pitch. It does not need to be edited to perfection, as long as your enthusiasm shines through and it is pitched with clarity.
  • A brief clarification of the idea, in which further details are given on what you want to achieve with your idea and how you plan on achieving it (maximum of 500 words).

Four candidates will be selected on 9 December 2021 and are invited to work on their pitch and presentation skills during a Synergy Bootcamp (scheduled to take place in January 2022).

How will the candidates be selected?

A committee will select the four candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Impact on society
  • Candidate’s presentation
  • Topicality of the theme
  • Clarity of the proposal
  • Feasibility of the proposal

The ideas will be pitched during the Synergy 2022 event, after which the jury and audience get to cast their votes. Finally, the winner of the Synergy Awards is announced! Are you the winner? As part of your prize you get to exchange ideas and information with other (non-)academic professionals, build a network and look at the practical and scientific impact of your research. Interested? Submit your application right here.

Funding to help you realise your research?

The Synergy Award is not a grant. However, there are several funding programmes that might offer financial support in carrying out your research projects, such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) or the European Research Council (ERC) grants. Interested in the possibilities for your research activities? Please do not hesitate to contact us! We would be pleased to help and advice you.

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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
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