KNAW Early Career Award

Updated: about 16 hours ago
Deadline: 01 Jul 2024

KNAW Early Career Award
  • Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences and Law
  • Humanities

The KNAW Early Career Award recognizes innovative and original research and stimulates the further development of the careers of all kinds of early career researchers in various areas of scientific practice.

Submit nominations:Open till 1 July 2024
Nomination form
  • KNAW Early Career Award Regulations

Recognition and encouragement
‘The KNAW Early Career Award enabled me to further expand my international archival research. It also gave me the unique opportunity to set up an international working group on the dynamics between hunger, warfare and decolonisation processes.’ Ingrid de Zwarte, 2022 KNAW Early Career Award recipient
Subject areas

All disciplines within the Domains:

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

Who is it for?

Scientific researchers working in the Kingdom of the Netherlands who obtained their PhD at least three and at most seven years ago and who have innovative and original research ideas.

Please note: Staff and researchers at the Academy and the Academy institutes cannot be nominated .

Who may submit a nomination?

Members of the Academy, members of The Young Academy, professors at universities in the Netherlands and directors of research institutes in the Netherlands.

Candidates have different backgrounds and are in various stages of their early career. In addition to being talented scientifically, they can also stand out in other areas, such as science communication and public engagement and education, and by being an inspiration to other young researchers. The Academy therefore encourages you to make your choice for nomination from multiple perspectives.

  • View all pictures
  • Award ceremony, YouTube

About the reward

The KNAW Early Career Award was established by the Academy in 2019 to recognize talented researchers at the start of their careers who are considered capable of developing and pursuing innovative and original research ideas. A maximum of twelve awards are presented annually, with a maximum of three awards in each of the four Academy domains. Laureates each receive of a work of art and a sum of € 15,000 to be used at their discretion for the benefit of their own research career.

  • News
    KNAW Early Career Award for twelve young researchers

    Twelve young researchers – three from each of the Academy’s science domains – will be receiving a KNAW Early Career Award in 2024. The prize, awarded annually for outstanding achievement, consists of a sum of EUR 15,000 and a unique work of art. The KNAW Early Career Award will be presented this year for the fifth time.


    View news item

Laureates 2023

Laureates of the 2023 Early Career Award

  • Have a look a the KNAW Early Career Award 2023 ceremony

Laureates 2023 and previous years

Charlotte E. Knowles
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Groningen, Faculty of Philosophy

In her research, Charlotte Knowles combines feminist philosophy with existentialism and phenomenology, focusing on deep-seated issues in gender dynamics. Why do women sometimes vote for politicians who hold misogynist views? Why do they participate in activities that emphasise their submissive role? Knowles employs existential and phenomenological perspectives to examine the very core of such questions, which centre around notions of freedom and autonomy – but also fear of the same. Her work produces innovative and productive insights that offer a better understanding of the ‘complicity’ of women in gender issues.

Alisa van de Haar
Assistant Professor in Historical French Literature, Leiden University, Faculty of Humanities

Van de Haar investigates multilingualism in the early modern Low Countries by studying literary publications, archival material and other sources. She has qualified the widespread scholarly view that nationalist sentiment led to French influences being expunged from Early Modern Dutch and shown that, in fact, French was widely spoken in this period and regularly served as a source of inspiration for Dutch. In other research, she offers an innovative outlook on the relationship between migration and language in which language differences are viewed not only as an obstacle to integration, but also as an opportunity for both migrants and receiving communities.

Jeroen Dera
Assistant Professor of Dutch Literature, Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Literature

Dera studies the way literature is taught in the Netherlands, focusing on the perspectives of both teachers and students. He takes an interdisciplinary approach to this topic that combines methods drawn from literature studies and the social sciences. One of his findings is that students regularly choose to read books that do not match their actual literary preferences because they are influenced by teaching methodologies, their teachers and online platforms. Dera also supervises research examining #BookTok, online 'reading challenges', and the role of reading in youth culture, and in doing so is at the forefront of efforts to better understand emerging reading phenomena. Dera's in-depth analyses and practical methods deliver comprehensive and relevant resources for education.

Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences and Law

Mariëlle Wijermars
Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics, Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences 

Mariëlle Wijermars examines information governance in authoritarian states such as Russia, focusing specifically on digital platforms. Her expertise spans the visible and invisible mechanisms affecting such information flows. Wijermars' research is innovative in approaching digital platforms as political actors. She does this by analysing platform companies' user policies and algorithms and the role they play in the political discourse of non-democratic states. This basic premise allows her to explore the array of mechanisms through which the circulation of information can be influenced.
Lianne Cremers
Assistant Professor, Visual Medical Anthropology, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Organization Sciences & University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Department of Anthropology

Lianne Cremers studies how protracted crises interact with and impact human wellbeing. Her research combines anthropology, disaster management and organisation studies and is notable for focusing on the experience of vulnerable groups. For example, she took a fresh look at patient adherence to a medication programme in Khayelitsha, South Africa, highlighting that patients' failure to adhere to drug treatment is often rooted in complex personal considerations. In other studies, Cremers has promoted public engagement in policymaking, for example in the impact of COVID-19 on young people, and integrated creative communication methods, including film and art exhibitions. Her original, creative approach connects science and society.

Elanie Rodermond
Associate Professor in Criminology, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Law / Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement

Elanie Rodermond was the first in the Netherlands to examine all Dutch terrorism suspects and their life-course and careers prior to their committing acts of terrorism. Her research borrows methods from the fields of criminology and law. Her findings show, among other things, that perpetrators of terrorism have more in common with common criminals than previously thought. She cautions against setting up special counter-terrorism units because they can hamper resocialisation and, in some cases, even reinforce radical ideas. Rodermond also focuses on female perpetrators (a group often neglected in research), online extremism and intervention strategies.

Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences

Jorge Domínguez Andrés
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Radboud university medical centre

Domínguez Andrés examines the human body's various immune responses to infection, focusing in particular on immunology, vaccines, infectious diseases and evolution. For example, he studied the metabolite dimethyl itaconate, a substance produced by our bodies in response to infections that curbs inflammation and boosts the immune system. In another study, he showed that improved immune responses triggered by exposure to certain infections can in fact be transmitted to successive generations. His investigation of the influence of evolutionary processes on the human immune response may lead to new approaches to disease management and prevention.
Marleen Kunneman
Assistant Professor, Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Centre

Kunneman explores how patients and their care providers cooperate in creating implementable care plans that fit in seamlessly with what patients need. She chairs the Making Care Fit Collaborative, an international partnership that she herself founded in conjunction with patients, informal caregivers, researchers, healthcare designers and policymakers. Her research shows that the focus of doctor-patient collaboration is often on following proper procedures at the expense of the human aspects of care, leading to situations in which clinicians 'deliver care' without actually 'caring'. 
Anique Bellos-Grob
Assistant Professor, Medical Imaging, University of Twente, Faculty of Science and Technology

Bellos-Grob focuses on Multi-Modality Medical Imaging in urogynaecology. In her research she makes use of 4D ultrasound and a tilting MRI scanner to examine pelvic floor complaints in patients both while they are lying down and in an upright position, an entirely new diagnostic approach. Her double appointment at the University of Twente and ZGT Clinic in Hengelo/Almelo puts her in direct contact with women who are the focus of her research and allows her to test the expertise she is developing in Twente in clinical practice. For example, she is employing the new methodologies to improve the diagnosis of various pelvic floor complaints (prolapse and full ruptures) and to optimise existing treatments, for example with the appropriate pessaries.

Natural Sciences and Technology

Christian Herff
Assistant Professor Computer Science, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University

Herff conducts research on brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics, and seeks to link natural and artificial intelligence. His work encompasses the development of algorithms for invasive electrophysiology (the study of the electrical properties of cells and tissues), which he has used to create a speech neuroprosthesis that converts brain signals into high-fidelity audio. This innovation may allow people unable to speak due to brain damage produce sound by imagining themselves talking. 
Inge de Graaf
Associate Professor, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University & Research 

De Graaf is interested in the future availability of freshwater, a challenge exacerbated by the growing world population and climate change. Using an innovative model linking groundwater-surface water interactions, she has shown that groundwater abstraction has a major impact on nature and that it is particularly important to better understand the interaction between groundwater levels, agricultural irrigation and rivers. De Graaf’s research highlights the challenge involved in using sustainable methods to ensure food security on a global scale.
Antonija Oklopčič
Assistant Professor, Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science

Oklopčić has designed a new method for observing planets, such as Mars, that are in the process of losing their atmosphere. Her approach is innovative because she not only developed her method theoretically but has also tested it experimentally. Oklopčić has also developed a new theoretical model for exoplanet atmospheric escape to explain the changes that take place in planets after their birth. In doing so, she has opened up new fields of research and forged pathways for other techniques to study atmospheric loss in exoplanets.

Laureates 2022-2019
  • Marrigje Paijmans
  • Janric van Rookhuijzen
  • Ingrid de Zwarte
  • Eddie Brummelman
  • Sanne Kruikemeijer
  • Bart van der Sloot
  • Sophie Veldhuizen van Zanten
  • Annemieke Witteveen
  • Masoud Zamani Esteki
  • Kathryn Barry
  • Francesca Grisoni
  • Bas Overvelde

  • Donya Alinejad
  • Stefan Barakat
  • Chiara Beneduce
  • Martine Hoogman
  • Kim Kampen
  • Jonathan Mijs
  • Tessa Quax
  • Alberto Ravagnani
  • Jorien Treur
  • Lukas M. Verburgt
  • Marthe Walvoort
  • Lachezar Yanev

  • Vigjilenca Abazi
  • Hieab Adams
  • Roseriet Beijers
  • Shari Boodts
  • Ylona van Dinther
  • Tineke Lenstra
  • Maurits Meijers
  • Jorik Nonnekes
  • Hanno Sauer
  • Michiel Veldhuis
  • Michael Walter
  • meLê yamomo

  • Romy Gaillard
  • Marieke Hendriksen
  • Berthe Jansen
  • Namkje Koudenburg
  • Tim Korevaar
  • Geert Litjens
  • Dong Nguyen
  • Stephanie Rap
  • Said Rodriguez
  • Gijs Schumacher
  • Carolien Stolte
  • Niko Wanders

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