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Faculty of Science

Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award

In honour of Krijn Rietveld (1956 – 2018), Leiden University Fund and Royal DSM have created the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award. This annual award was launched in 2020 and is organised to recognise and reward excellence in innovative research that contributes to a more sustainable world.

Award for the best thesis or dissertation

This prestigious award accompanies a cash prize of €10,000 and will be handed out annually for the best thesis (MSc), dissertation (PhD) or post-doc research at Leiden University in the field of biosciences in combination with data sciences. The winner may use the cash prize freely but will be encouraged to use it to make the all-important connection between his or her scientific achievement and commercial success.

Call for nominations Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award 2021

Leiden University Fund and Royal DSM announce the second edition of the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award. This annual award was launched in 2020 and is organised to recognise and reward excellence in innovative research that contributes to a more sustainable world.
Submit your research

Closing date: Friday 5 February 2021

To be nominated for this award, the following criteria must be met:

  • The award is for researchers from the Faculty of Science, Leiden University: MSc students, PhD students and post-docs who received their masters’ or PhD degree no longer than 3 years ago. 
  • The nominated research needs to relate to the field of biosciences in combination with data sciences, preferably in relation to pharma, biology, chemistry, food & nutrition or environmental sciences.

A judging committee will review the nominations and select the winner. The judging committee is led by a representative of Royal DSM and includes the Director of Knowledge Partnering/Deputy Director LURIS from Leiden University, the Director of the Bio Science Park, and a representative from the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science.

The jury will assess the incoming nominations based on the following criteria: 

  • The quality of the scientific research. The difference between the submission of a MSc student and a PhD or post-doc will be taken into account in the jury process.
  • The research should contribute to tackling (a) societal challenge(s) as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The research should contribute to the development of (an) innovative solution(s) that can be brought to market or to applications in the field of biosciences in combination with data sciences.
  • Ideas to commercialise the technology should be demonstrated. In the ideal case, a proof-of-concept is available with the potential to be applied in a commercial product or solution. This does not necessarily mean that there should be a business plan – but at least there should be a valorization potential: e.g. licensing, or selling the solution, or a potential partner (or spin-off) for commercialization has been found.
  • Showcasing multi-disciplinary research is preferred.

To be considered for nomination for this award, fill in the nomination form and submit this, together with the supporting documents (as explained in the form) to your institute's Scientific Director. Each Scientific Director from the Science Faculty can nominate a maximum of two candidates.

Closing date: Friday 5 February 2021

The award ceremony will take place at Leiden University, in Leiden, the Netherlands. The winner will be invited to receive the award personally and to deliver an award lecture on his or her research work. The award ceremony is followed by an award diner. The setup of the award ceremony is subject to the COVID-19 developments.

Award winner 2020

In 2020 Dr. Omid Karami received the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award for his discovery of a so-called longevity gene in plants, which allows annual plants to continue to grow after flowering, instead of dying. Karami: 'I am deeply honored to having received the first Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award in 2020. This award has given me the motivation to achieve even bigger accomplishments in life. This prestigious award gives recognition to outstanding scientific accomplishments and can stimulate the prosperity and growth of young researchers at Leiden University.'

About Krijn Rietveld

Krijn Rietveld was a scientist and business leader who dedicated his life to biosciences. In 1985 Krijn received his PhD from Leiden University, after which he started his life-long career at Royal DSM. Always optimistic and with a great sense of humour, Krijn knew how to build bridges between business and the academic world. For Krijn, science and innovation were all about looking at the world we live in, studying the challenges we face and working together across disciplines to deliver innovative solutions that contribute to our planet and the people living on it. These behaviours and beliefs underpin the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award.

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