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NWO Spinoza Prize

A good Spinoza year for the UG

2016 is a good Spinoza year for the University of Groningen. Two laureates have been added to its list of honour. The NWO Spinoza Prize is the highest academic award in the Netherlands. It is bestowed annually on three to four researchers who, in international terms, have reached the very top.

Bart van Wees - Fascination for electrons

Bart van Wees
Bart van Wees

Bart van Wees, Professor of Physics of Nanodevices at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials of the University of Groningen, is one of the four recipients of this year’s NWO Spinoza Prize, the highest distinction in Dutch academia. His research stems from his curiosity about the behaviour of electrons inside new materials, but he has always had at least half an eye on practical applications.  Read more »

Lodi Nauta - First philosopher to receive Spinoza Prize

Lodi Nauta
Lodi Nauta

Professor Lodi Nauta is the first philosopher to receive the Spinoza Prize since its introduction in 1996, another reason to celebrate for the laureate. ‘I consider this to be not merely the recognition of my own work, but also of the importance of philosophy and its history.‘ Read more »

NWO Spinoza Prize @ the University of Groningen

The Spinoza Prize has existed for 22 years. The award was introduced by the NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, a national organization that funds and stimulates academic research in the Netherlands. As such, it invests hundreds of millions of euros in academic research each year in the form of indirect government funding. With the Spinoza Prize, NWO aims to increase the visibility of excellent academics. All Spinoza laureates perform excellent, ground-breaking research that has a high impact. This makes them a source of inspiration to younger researchers.

A maximum of four prizes are awarded annually. The winning academics receive EUR 2.5 million for research, and are given complete freedom to choose their research subject and involve other, mostly young, researchers. Thus, the prize is part recognition for accomplished researchers and part stimulus to conduct further research.

The first University of Groningen researcher to receive a Spinoza Prize was George Sawatzky, Professor of the Natural Sciences, who received the award in 1996. He was followed, four years later, by Professor of the Pathophysiology of Respiration Dirkje Postma, and, another four years later, Professor of Organic Chemistry Ben Feringa. Things then went quiet for a while, but the University has more than compensated in recent years.

Lodi Nauta and Bart van Wees will present their research at a celebration in the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague on Tuesday 13 September.

Baruch Spinoza

The prize is named after Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677). Spinoza was an internationally renowned Dutch scientist and a clear example of freedom in research. A tremendous figurehead for this prize.

Last modified:June 11, 2016 08:07