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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The International Balzan Foundation Prize

24 January 2020

Nominations are now being welcomed for the 2020 Balzan Prizes.

This year, Balzan prizes will be awarded in the following areas:

  • Earth System Dynamics
  • Environmental Challenges: Material Science for Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and the Humanities
  • Human Rights

Each of these prizes is worth 750,000 Swiss francs. Half of the prize sum will be awarded to the prizewinnder in recognition of his/her work, while the other half of the prize sum will later be earmarked by the Prizewinner for research projects involving young researchers or research groups. The research proposal will be subject to the approval of the General Prize Committee

To express an interest in being nominated for one of these prizes by the Royal Irish Academy please make your submission to by 2 March 2020.

Candidates must:

  • Provide a letter of explanation clearly outlining how their experience meets the criteria listed below (see ‘Achievements and contributions’ below) and other such criteria as relevant for the prize in question.
  • Provide a full academic CV specifying present position, main academic activities, important publications, date and place of birth, nationality, residence and address.
  • Provide a recent photograph (high resolution, jpg with indication of copyright if applicable)
  • Provide written support by two peers - at least one peer must be a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and at least one peer must not be employed by the same institution as the candidate. Self-nominations alone will not be accepted.
  • Be employed at an institution on the island of Ireland and/or be a permanent resident of Ireland

Candidates in the sciences must also provide a list of 10 to 20 of their most important publications (with full bibliographical citation), while candidates in the social sciences and humanities must provide a bibliography that includes the abovementioned publications, citing publisher and publication year, and adding translations of original titles should there be works translated into other languages.

Achievements and contributions

The Royal Irish Academy will assess candidates 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.

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