The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Call for Nominations: Ernst Schering Prize for basic research in the life sciences

25 November 2020


PDF icon Ernst Schering Prize nomination form 

A special focus is on nominees actively pursuing their scientific goals for the benefit of society. Nominations will be accepted from established scientists as well as from scientific societies or organizations

About the prize

The Schering Stiftung in Berlin, Germany, is pleased to announce the opening of the call for nominations for the Ernst Schering Prize 2021. The deadline for submitting nominations is February 17, 2021.

The 50,000-euro Ernst Schering Prize honors individual scientists in the fields of medicine, biology or chemistry, whose groundbreaking work has yielded new, inspiring models and led to fundamental shifts in knowledge. Eligible are scientists worldwide who have made outstanding contributions to biomedical basic research and who will be motivated by the award to continue to carry out top-level research.

The call for nominations has been revised since previous years. A stronger emphasis is now placed on nominees actively pursuing their scientific goals for the benefit of society. An active engagement in socially relevant debates or initiation of specific programs that inspire and support future generations of scientists have been added to the list of criteria for the selection process.

The prize has been awarded every year since 1991. Among the former laureates were Bonnie L. Bassler (Princeton, 2018), Matthias Mann (Martinsried, 2012), Rudolf Jaenisch (Cambridge, 2009), Klaus Rajewski (Berlin, 2008) and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Tübingen, 1993).

Prize money

50,000 EUR | There are no conditions attached to the prize money

Nomination criteria

Eligible for application are individual scientists worldwide:

  • who perform biological, medical or chemical research in the field of biomedicine,
  • whose pioneering research has in recent years resulted in new and inspiring avenues or led to
  • breakthroughs in biomedical knowledge, and
  • who actively participate in relevant debates between science and society , or who have started
  • initiatives to guide future generations and inspire them to further their career.

A special focus is on nominees actively pursuing their scientific goals for the benefit of society. Nominations will be accepted from established scientists as well as from scientific societies or organizations.

Nomination documents

  • Ernst Schering Prize nomination form 
  • Brief summary of the research for which the nominee is nominated, explaining its significance and the nominee‘s special contribution to it (three pages)
  • Proof of nominee’s activities to promote young talents and/or foster public debate
  • Three standardized letters of recommendation (PDs available on two from established and highly regarded scientists who are not members of the nominee’ s department/institute and one recommendation from a scientist whose work lies outside the research area of the nominee
  •  CV (tabular form) without photograph and without list of publications (three pages max.)
  • List of ten most important publications
  • Copies of three most important publications central to the proposal

To express an interest in being nominated by the Royal Irish Academy please submit the nomination documents to by midday on Monday, 18 January 2021.

Candidates are also expected to be employed at an institution on the island of Ireland and/or be a permanent resident of Ireland

Achievements and contributions

Nominees will be assessed by the Royal Irish Academy on their track record of:

  • Publishing high-impact work
  • Publishing high-impact work as first-author
  • Presenting work at international conferences
  • Raising the profile of their field in Ireland
  • Securing research funding from international sources
  • Supervising doctoral candidates and supporting early career researchers

This opportunity is publicly advertised by the Royal Irish Academy.

All expressions of interest received will be considered by the Academy’s Policy Oversight Group - the unit tasked with advising upon the initiation and implementation of all of the Academy’s policy and international activities and responsible for overseeing a standardised quality process for all outputs. Chaired by the Academy’s Secretary of Policy and International Relations, the six members of this group are all elected Members of the Royal Irish Academy and come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds in several institutions across the island of Ireland- both north and south of the border. On occasions, the Policy Oversight Group may also consult additional experts to inform their assessments and evaluations.

The Royal Irish Academy values diversity and strives for a culture of equality and inclusion in all of its activities. As outlined in its Strategic Plan 2019-2023, the Academy is committed to ensuring greater gender, disciplinary, institutional and overall diversity in every area of the Academy and its work throughout the island of Ireland.  It particularly welcomes nominations from under-represented groups and communities.

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