The Körber European Science Prize is presented annually, honoring outstanding single scientists working in Europe for their promising research projects. With the one million euro prize money the Körber Foundation promotes research in life and physical sciences. Search committees with top scientists from all over Europe identify qualified candidates. The selection is then made by a Trustee Committee. A personal application is not allowed. The prize is awarded to excellent and innovative research projects that show great potential for possible application and international impact.
The most important task of the Trustee Committee is the final selection of the awardees. The decision of the Trustee Committee is based on the discussions held in the Search Committees, the documentation submitted by the candidates and the independent expert opinions of scientists from all over the world. In addition, the Trustee Committee advises the Körber Foundation on all matters relating to the development of the Prize.
To begin with, renowned scientists from all over Europe, grouped into two Search Committees, select promising candidates. In alternate years, suitable individuals are sought from the field of life sciences and physical sciences respectively. Those who are shortlisted are then asked to submit a detailed proposal for a research project which is then judged in two rounds of assessment by the Search Committee. The work of the Search Committee is supported by international experts who give their independent opinions on the candidates and their projects. A maximum of five candidates are subsequently recommended to the Trustee Committee which, based on a summary of expert assessments, previous publications and scientific career history, decides on the new prizewinner.
In order to observe the different areas as comprehensively as possible in the search for suitable awardees and to strengthen the European component of the prize at the same time, the Körber Foundation set up international Search Committees in the fields of life sciences and physical sciences. Renowned scientists from all over Europe who represent the different scientific sectors have the task of finding the best European scientists with the most innovative research projects and then of suggesting them to the Trustee Committee for decision-making.
Formerly Director General Knowledge and Innovation Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, London, Great Britain