Science Award Electro Chemistry VOLKSWAGEN AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT BASF - The Chemical Company


1. What areas of research are addressed by this contest?

The Initiators intend to fund excellent scientific research in electrochemistry in the areas of chemistry, physics and engineering, as well as its applications. The research activities in focus of this contest could address, but are not limited to, battery materials, cells, battery systems, production and operations as well as recycling.

Also in 2017 the additional Award for Applied Research is raised. This award wants to highlight research activities that have strong practical relevance. This contest also refers to the fields of research mentioned above.

2. Who can apply for this contest?

The contest should give the impetus for a new generation of researchers, including, but not limited to, postdoctoral fellows intending to habilitate or assistant professors/junior professors establishing a new institute or chair.

For the Science Award contest only individuals aged below 40 years are eligible. Research groups are excluded. Applicants are not entitled to submit more than one application for the Science Award. The application requires (1) an excellent Ph.D. thesis, habilitation or research contribution in the areas of chemistry, physics or engineering which has been graded “excellent” / “sehr gut” or equivalent and (2) a recommendation by the supervising professor or equivalent (e. g. head of research). Employees of the Initiators or their affiliates including employees’ relatives and members of Jury are not entitled to apply.

For the Award for Applied Research the terms and conditions above are required, except for:
(1) Individuals aged below 50 years are also eligible.
(2) The recommendation by a supervising professor or equivalent (e. g. head of research) has to confirm also the outstanding application of research. Because of these special conditions the applicant has to indicate in his/her application letter clearly that he/she wants to apply for the Award for Applied Research.

3. Can I apply for both awards?

It is possible to apply for both awards, if one fulfills both requirements. The applicant has to indicate in his/her application letter, if he/she wants to apply for the Award for Applied Research only.

4. What shall the application include? Which documents do I have to submit?

The application shall include the following documents:

For the Science Award Electrochemistry:
  • an application letter setting out the applicant’s motivation;
  • a letter of recommendation by the supervising professor or equivalent (e.g. head of research);
  • a summary/abstract of the scientific achievements of the applicant;
  • corresponding documents/references that highlight the excellence of the scientific achievements; do not submit more than 3 documents/references;
  • and a short curriculum vitae.

For the Award for Applied Research the documents above are also required, except for:
  • corresponding documents/references shall include information about the relevance of the applied research to practice (e.g. patents or publications).

5. Where can I apply?

The application shall be submitted via the application-tool of this website. An application by mail or by email is not possible.

6. Do I have to register on this website to apply for the contest?

You have to register on this website in order to guarantee a secure application and to give you the chance to add documents before closing date. You will get a User-ID and a password to log-in in the application-tool.

7. Can I add documents before closing date?

Before closing date you can submit further documents for your application. After closing date no further documents will be accepted.

8. In which languages I can apply for the contest?

Applications have to be submitted in English.

9. When is closing date for applications?

Closing date for application is September 1st, 2017, midnight (Central European Summer Time, CEST).

10. What is the prize of this contest?

The total prize money of the whole contest is 100.000 EUR. The awards for the best applications to the Science Award comprise a total prize money of 60.000 EUR, thereof 40.000 EUR for the winner. The Award for Applied Research comprises a prize money of 40.000 EUR.

11. How many prizes are awarded?

In 2017 there will be two awards raised: (1) the Science Award Electrochemistry and (2) the Award for Applied Research.

12. What are possible purposes for the prize money?

The usage of the prize money is unconditional. The winner and the finalists are free to decide about the purpose of the prize money.

Income taxes (e.g. withholding tax) in connection with the execution of this agreement and payments made by the initiators that are imposed on or to be paid from the participant in the country of the initiators shall be borne by the participant. The initiators will pay to the relevant tax authorities the full amount required to be withheld on behalf and for the account of the participant. The initiators shall promptly provide the participant with the original tax payment receipts issued by the relevant tax authorities.

Each party shall account solely for its compliance with its own tax liabilities and/or obligations arising from the contest.

13. What are the selection criteria?

The selection criteria for both contests are based on (1) the excellence of the research contribution, (2) the relevance to practice and (3) the applicant’s personality. Further detailed selection criteria shall be determined by the Jury.

14. What are the milestones of the selection process?

All applications submitted will be formally examined (are all relevant documents and data submitted?), followed by a two-step selection procedure: In the first step, the best applicants will be nominated. In the second step, the awardee will be selected after a presentation by the nominated applicants at the Award symposium. Both steps will be conducted by a high-ranked jury of experts composed of six jurors comprising two expert members each of BASF, Volkswagen and academia (the “Jury”) which, depending on the number of applications, may in addition be supported by research experts of the Initiators.

If there is only a small number of applications for the Award for Applied Research the selection for this prize category can be made by the Jury in a one-step-selection as well.

The Jury is free to take applications for the Award for Applied Research also in consideration for the Science Award Electrochemistry and vice versa.

15. When and where will the award symposium/ceremony take place?

The scientific dialog and the Award symposium/ceremony are planned to take place on November 29th and 30th, 2017 in Karlsruhe (Germany), including:
  • the presentation by the nominated candidates in front of the Jury;
  • the consultation of the Jury;
  • the holding of a public scientific symposium with presentations by external and internal experts as well as the awardee and the other nominees and
  • the final Award ceremony.

No fee will be charged for participation of the nominated candidates in the symposium. The travelling expenses of the nominated candidates including accommodation will be refunded appropriately.

Previous Years

Finalists from the previous years and their projects


Science Award Electrochemistry
Dr. Jennifer L. M. Rupp

Award for Applied Research
Dr. Stafford Wheeler Sheehan

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Science Award Electrochemistry
Dr. William Chueh

Award for Applied Research
Dr. Martin Ebner

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Science Award Electrochemistry
Dr. Bryan McCloskey

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Science Award Electrochemistry
Prof. Dr. Vanessa Wood

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Science Award Electrochemistry
Dr. Karl Mayrhofer

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Science Award Electrochemistry
Dr. Naoaki Yabuuchi

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