Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW) awards 91 grants for distinctive science communication

Subsidies wetenschapscommunicatie KNAW

[This article has been auto-translated from our Dutch blog]

The KNAW (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences) rewards 91 Dutch scientific research teams with a financial appreciation of ten thousand euros for their useful, distinguishing and structural contribution to science communication. The KNAW is also awarding a prize to a number of Dutch scientific research teams.


According to the KNAW, which distributes the grants on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the many submissions (96 in total) show how much science communication has become part of the academic world and how diverse the communication activities are. According to the Academy, this is something that is sorely needed: “Despite the great importance of interaction between science and society, science communication is still far from being recognised as a fully-fledged part of a scientific task package,” says Peter-Paul Verbeek, chair of the assessment committee. The KNAW hopes that this broad recognition within the academic world will not be long in coming. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science also increasingly advocates building bridges between science and society through communication.


KNAW logo science communication grants


Rewarding good science communication

The one-off contribution of a total of 1 million euros comes from ‘Gewaardeerd!’ (Appreciated!), a pilot fund for science communication. According to the KNAW, the fund is a se of topics: from the history of women and Dutch literature to artificial intelligence and astronomy. The media and platforms used are also very diverse: from (comic) books and blogs to videos and podcasts.


Some recipients of grants:.



Additional programmes after the pilot.

With the experiences gained from this pilot, the KNAW will offer additional programmes and activities in 2021 and 2022 around the theme ‘science communication by scientists’. This programme will be developed and implemented in collaboration with SamenWeten. In particular, knowledge sharing and training in public engagement are addressed during the supplementary programmes. In addition, the Athena Institute (Vrije Universiteit) is carrying out an impact study into science communication. A final report will follow with tips and recommendations for knowledge institutions on how to value and facilitate science communication by scientists, reports the KNAW on its website.


Distribution of the grants

A total of 91 scientists (and their teams) will receive a one-off grant of ten thousand euros for their structural and distinctive contribution to science communication and public engagement. The best scoring university on the list of award winners is Leiden: no fewer than 11 scientists from this university receive a welcome contribution from the KNAW. Researchers from the University of Groningen were also active and received 10 SciComm grants. They are closely followed by De Vrije Universiteit and Utrecht University (both 9).

Leiden: 11
Groningen: 10
Utrecht University: 9
Erasmus University: 8
University of Amsterdam: 8
Maastricht: 7
Radboud: 8

The list of all winners can be viewed here (opens PDF).

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