Luxembourg National Research Fund 2022 Awards The 14th edition of the FNR Awards takes place in October 2022

Since 2009, the Luxembourg National Research Fund has been awarding prizes to stimulate communication between researchers and promote scientific activities aimed at the general public and young people. The FNR Awards highlight research and innovation work, and reward both the winners and their institutions. Thus, at this annual celebration of science in Luxembourg, which takes place on 20th October 2022, a total of six prizes are awarded in four categories.

The Luxembourg National Research Fund

The Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR, in French) is the main funder of research activities in Luxembourg. The institution invests public funds and private donations in research projects in various branches of the sciences and humanities, focusing on certain strategic areas. Furthermore, the centre supports and coordinates activities to strengthen the link between science and society and to raise awareness of research. It also advises the Luxembourg government on research policy and strategy.

Annual Awards - FNR Awards

Since 2009, the FNR has been awarding prizes to stimulate communication between researchers and promote scientific activities aimed at the general public and young people.

In 2022, the award categories are as follows:

  • Outstanding PhD Thesis: this prize is awarded to someone who has completed their PhD with a thesis of outstanding scientific quality.
  • Outstanding Scientific Achievement: this award is new for the 2021 edition, combining the former categories of Outstanding Scientific Publication and Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation. In doing so, the FNR aims to put the team of researchers at the centre and highlight the work of passionate people who work to generate impact for both science and society.
  • Outstanding Mentor: this award is also new for the 2021 edition, seeking to recognise the important but sometimes unappreciated role of the mentor in research. Indeed, good mentoring goes beyond scientific professional development as it transmits the values of integrity, scientific credibility and diversity to new independent researchers.
  • Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public: this prize may be awarded to individuals, institutions or non-profit associations that have successfully contributed to the promotion of science to the public in Luxembourg.

3 questions for Didier Goossens, FNR Communications Manager

In 2023, the FNR Awards will celebrate their 15th anniversary. What was the initial idea for the creation of this successful event? Why is such an event still so important today?

The first FNR Awards were held in 2009. At the time, the FNR wanted to focus on scientific communication efforts. In that first edition, there were two categories of awards: Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public and Outstanding Scientific Publication. The first category encourages science and technology communication initiatives. The second acknowledges excellent publications by researchers who contribute to the advancement of knowledge worldwide and thus raise the international profile of Luxembourg’s research sector. In 2012, a new category (Outstanding PhD Thesis), honouring an outstanding doctoral thesis, was added to the prizes awarded. Currently, the FNR presents awards in four categories. The event is obviously still important today, as it raises the awareness of public research, and attracts the attention of the media, who tend to cover research less than maybe other topics.

Over the years, many researchers and research projects have received awards. Are there one or two projects that have particularly stood out?

It is difficult to single out any one project, as all projects received their FNR Award, regardless of the category. They stood out among other projects and were awarded for their quality. I invite anyone interested to visit our website, where short videos present the different winners in the different categories over the years.

How have the FNR Awards evolved? And what developments can we perhaps expect in the future?

Over the years, the FNR Awards ceremony has grown in size. In 2020, COVID-19 forced us to cancel the event, but we quickly reacted to make it a digital event in the style of a TV show. In 2021, we kept the hybrid format, which actually increased the number of viewers substantially, also because we moved to a location that could accommodate more people. For this 14th edition, we will consolidate the format that was set up last year. But it goes without saying that for the 15th edition, we will certainly find another idea to surprise our guests. Stay curious!

Did you know?

The Luxembourg National Research Fund is a key player in the international, interdisciplinary and sustainable research culture in Luxembourg. And the Outstanding Mentor Award is one of the ‘pioneering actions’ in this field.

The national science and innovation culture emphasises openness in all respects.

Open access is essential to accelerate the academic innovation processes while improving the visibility of research results. For this reason, the National Library of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), as well as the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) have strengthened their commitment to open access by concluding a publishing agreement with the open access publisher Frontiers, to streamline and simplify operations for eligible authors.

The narrative CV for researchers is another project piloted by the FNR. These curricula give greater visibility to the skills and abilities of researchers, rather than showing a chronological list of publications. These CVs can be tailored to each proposal, highlighting the achievements and experiences that researchers are most proud of and even containing a personal statement.