Since 2009, the 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 2021 edition was again open to the public and two new award categories were launched, including one to acknowledge the important but often overlooked role of the mentor in research. Thus, at this annual celebration of science and research in Luxembourg, which took place on 21st October 2021, a total of seven prizes were awarded in four categories.
The National Research Fund
The 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 2021, 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 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.
- 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 PhD Thesis
Giuseppe Bengasi from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) who engineered porphyrins (chemical compounds) for functional applications, including clean hydrogen production. This colourful material could one day turn solar light and electricity into clean hydrogen.
Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public
A team headed by Stefan Krebs, from the Luxembourg Center for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) at the University of Luxembourg, won the award for setting up interactive video installation in the middle of Esch to investigate the industrial history of the Minett region.