Dutch Brain and Cognition Early Career Award


About the Early Career Award

The NVP Early Career Award is given for outstanding contributions to the field of brain and cognition by a scientist early in his/her career. The purpose is to increase the visibility of our field and support excellent early-career scientists. Funding agencies and universities use indicators of scientific quality in deciding upon the deployment of limited resources, and one important indicator is having been awarded an Award.

At the biennial NVP Winter conference, the Society will award the Early Career Award to an outstanding early career researcher working at a Dutch research institution for their contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of Brain and Cognition. The awardee will receive an Award certificate and €500 prize money. In addition, (s)he will be invited to present an overview of her/his scientific work at the NVP Winter conference on Brain and Cognition.


Candidates can self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague. Self-nominations are accepted if accompanied by a supporting statement from a senior colleague. Members of the Award Committee and of the current NvP Board cannot serve as nominators.

Researchers are eligible if they:

  • have conducted original work in the field of Brain and Cognition and related fields, i.e. work in those fields that would typically be suitable for submission for presentation at the NVP conference.
  • currently work at, or are demonstrably returning to, a Dutch research institution. Approved institutions are those Dutch universities whose terms of reference include the conduct of research, and the KNAW and NWO research institutes. Herein we follow the criteria for the institutions contained in the NWO Grant Rules 2017.
  • obtained their PhD up to a maximum of eight years ago from the submission deadline. Here, the NWO VIDI rules are followed. The 2023 round is thus open to researchers who meet this criterion on 1 October 2023. Per those rules, the maximum career deadline can be extended if the candidate has taken extended sick, parental, maternity or care leave within the relevant period. The maximum extension that may be granted to any particular applicant is five years. Extension for parents* also follow the NWO rules.

Extension for parents^*^:

  • Biological mothers who have given birth to one or more children are granted a standard extension of eighteen months per child. This extension is a compensation for the duration of the pregnancy, including the child- birth and the parental care and is irrespective of any parental leave taken and/or a reduction in the formal working hours.
  • Other parents (fathers and non-biological mothers) are granted a standard extension of six months per child that is part of the applicant’s household*. This period is a compensation for the duration of child care required and is irrespective of parental leave taken and/or a reduction in the formal working hours.

*An extension on the grounds of childcare should be supported by the signed parent-declaration form (parent-declaration), in which the applicant declares that the child or children are part of his or her household.

Nominees from previous years can be re-nominated, assuming the nominee is still eligible.

Nominations should be sent via email ECA@psychonomie.nl and will be decided on by the Committee. The decision is final and cannot be disputed.

Award winners are expected to give a presentation at the meeting in which the prize is conferred.

Selection procedure

The Early Career Award winner is selected by the award committee designated by the NVP board. The award committee will assess the nominations and recommend the Early Career Award winner to the NVP board. After the board has approved the recommendation by the committee, the award winner will be announced.

Committee members cannot evaluate nominations from candidates from their own university or that concern a conflict of interest (e.g., current/former collaborations).

Preselection: If many submissions, each submission is evaluated by at least two of the committee members; ranking per member; highest ranked reviewed (again) by all committee members.

Rankings are based on the following criteria:

  • The internationally recognized scientific quality of the nominee.
  • The unique contribution of the nominee to the field of Brain and Cognition.
  • Scientific rigor and integrity of the nominee’s research.

The application must contain:

  • An electronic copy of the nominee’s CV, including a full list of publications.
  • One page listing the five most important contributions, each with a couple of sentences explaining its relevance. Contributions can be publications, particularly valuable data sets, toolboxes, clinical/societal/commercial applications, and the like.
  • A short (800 words) description of the nominee’s contributions to Brain and Cognition research and theory.
  • A nomination letter by the nominator explaining why the nominee deserves this award (max. 2 pages long)
  • A letter confirming eligibility, and if necessary, with proof of eligibility.

Previous winners

  • 2019: Vitória Pai
  • 2021: Freek van Ede