For Research. For Berlin.

The Einstein Foundation Award
for Promoting Quality in Research

Objective

The Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research aims to provide recognition and publicity for outstanding efforts that enhance the rigor, reliability, robustness, and transparency of research in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, and stimulate awareness and activities fostering research quality among scientists, institutions, funders, and politicians. To acknowledge the outstanding role early career researchers (ECRs) have in promoting research quality, ECRs will be invited to propose projects that foster research quality and value. Projects will be competitively selected for funding and internationally showcased.

Award Categories

Individual Award: Individual researchers or small teams of collaborating
researchers can be nominated. The laureate will be awarded €200,000.

 

Institutional Award: Governmental and non-governmental organizations, institutions, or other entities can apply or be nominated. The award-winning organization or institution will receive €200,000. If governmental organizations or institutions are the recipients of the award, they will not receive any funds in addition to the award itself. Non-Governmental organizations can be publicly funded; although government representatives may sit on an NGO’s governing board(s), governments cannot unilaterally determine the use of the organization’s funds, its structure, or its activities.

 

Early Career Award: Early career researchers can submit a project proposal for an award of €100,000.

Eligibility

This award is open to any researcher or group of researchers, organization, or institution. To be eligible for the Early Career Research Award, candidates must hold a doctorate or have equivalent research experience, and should have been an independent researcher for no longer than five years.

Jury

The Einstein Foundation Council has convened an outstanding group of scholars, representing the natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences, to select the award winners.


The Einstein Foundation Award honors individual researchers from all fields, as well as collaborations, institutions, and organizations (NGO or governmental), that

  • have made substantial contributions to fostering research integrity through outstanding measures that increase the quality and reliability of research, e.g. by improving transparency, access to research results (‘Open Science’), overcoming the fragmentation of research (‘Team science’);

  • have developed and/or implemented quality-improving interventions, governance and policies;

  • have delivered groundbreaking research on research to identify opportunities for improving research practice, have generated evidence for potential interventions, and have developed metrics and policies that incentivize the adoption of best possible research practices;

  • have developed innovative approaches that foster research on research integrity, have conducted and designed novel measures or programs preventing misconduct and safeguarding validity and reliability in science and research;

  • have identified and addressed systemic factors leading to improved research integrity and more responsible research;

  • have performed or supported studies on the reproducibility of scientific results;

  • have made a significant contribution to the teaching of good research practice;

  • have identified research standards and incentives that directly or indirectly constrain the quality of research (e.g. reliance on purely quantitative output measures) and have designed more adequate means to assess the quality of research and researchers;

  • have demonstrated exceptional integrity when facing difficult circumstances and/or conflicts of interest;

  • have significantly contributed to increasing the diversity of research by taking into view aspects such as gender, race/ethnicity, geography, career stage, etc.;

  • guarantee the long-term archiving of data and publication (generation-spanning archives);

or that seek to make such developments and/or contributions in future.


  • Nominators are expected to think about a diverse set of nominations, including gender, race/ethnicity, geography, and career stage.

  • The emphasis should generally be on the nominee’s recent work.

  • Nominators, nominees and applicants are expected to ensure they are fully aware and comply with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity as defined by the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (see link below).

  • Most nominees are individuals, but in some cases, teams may be nominated. When considering nominating a team, only nominate primary members who have made original and vital contributions.

  • Applications may be submitted on behalf of a team by any of its members.

  • The award recipient, including each individual member, may not be an employee of the Einstein Foundation, a judge involved in the award process, or any other party involved in the design, production, execution, or distribution of the award, or the immediate family member of such a party (i.e. a spouse, parent, step-parent, or step-child). Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, advisors who will provide comments on the applications or nominations are not eligible to participate in the award process. Self-nominations are not permitted, nor are nominations from immediate family members.

  • To nominate or apply for this award, nominators and applicants may access the nomination/application platform where they can provide all the necessary information. If it is not possible to submit an online application, please contact Ulrike Pannasch for further instruction.

  • All nominations and applications must be received by the applicable deadline. Nominations and applications submitted after a posted award deadline will not be considered.

  • All final entries must be submitted through the award website following the instructions stated there.

  • The Einstein Foundation reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (a) cancel, suspend, or modify the award process, and/or (b) not award prizes if no entries are deemed worthy.

Requirements

Individual Award

Nominators are requested to fill in a nomination form and submit their own short CV. The following documents are also required:

  • Letter of nomination describing the candidate's work and why he or she should be selected for the award (no more than two (2) A4 pages).

  • Suggested citation: a 50-word summary stating why the nominee should be considered for this award.

  • CV of the nominee or CVs of the team of nominees; each may be no more than two (2) A4 pages long.

  • Short CV of the nominator: no more than one (1) A4 page long.

  • Bibliography: a list of no more than twelve (12) of the nominee's publications that are most relevant for this award. In the case of a team of nominees, please submit lists for each individual. Publications without access restrictions are particularly welcome.

  • Letter of support: up to three (3) letters of support can be submitted. Letters must be written by eminent experts from institutions external to both the nominator's and the nominee’s institution, and each should be no longer than one (1) A4 page. In addition, up to two (2) letters of recommendation from the nominee’s former trainees may be submitted to illustrate the nominee’s mentorship and how the nominee impacted their careers. Each should be no longer than one (1) A4 page. We generally consider trainees to be all persons who have been supported by the nominee in the course of their career.

By nominating, the nominator confirms that he or she has informed the nominee about this nomination and obtained his or her consent. If a nomination procedure is in place, the process will be open to all who wish to nominate candidates; self-nominations will, however, not be accepted. The award can be given to a single person or shared for closely related fundamental contributions. Deceased persons cannot be nominated.

Only correctly completed and submitted nominations will be reviewed and eligible for the award. 

Institutional Award

Applications of Institutions or Organizations

  • Letter of application: a brief description of the institution’s or organization's collective efforts to promote quality in research (no more than two (2) A4 pages). If available, please include outcomes, statistics, testimonials, and other data that exemplify how your efforts have promoted quality in research.

  • Suggested citation: a 50-word summary stating why the institution or organization should be considered for this award.

  • Letter of support: up to three (3) letters of support can be submitted. Letters must be written by eminent experts from institutions external to the applying institution or organization itself. Each should be no longer than one (1) A4 page.

Nominations of Institutions or Organizations

  • Letter of nomination: a brief description of the institution’s or organization's collective efforts to promote quality in research (no more than two (2) A4 pages), stating why it should be selected for the award. If available, please include outcomes, statistics, testimonials, and other data that exemplify how their efforts have promoted quality in research.

  • Suggested citation: a 50-word summary stating why the institution or organization should be considered for this award.

  • Short CV of the nominator: no more than one (1) A4 page long.

  • Letter of support: up to three (3) letters of support can be submitted. Letters must be written by eminent experts from institutions external to the nominated institution or organization itself. Each should be no longer than one (1) A4 page.

If governmental organizations or institutions are the recipients of the award,  they will not receive any funds in addition to the award itself. Letters of application should be submitted by the institution’s or organization’s chief academic officer, provost, president, or chancellor. By nominating, the nominator confirms that he or she has informed the nominated organization or institution about the nomination and obtained their consent.

Early Career Award

  • Project proposal: a description of the planned project and its anticipated outcome (no more than two (2) A4 pages).

  • Suggested citation: a 50-word summary stating why the application should be considered for this award.

  • CV or CVs of the applicant or team of applicants, each no more than two (2) A4 pages long.

  • Bibliography: list of the five most important publications or a list of up to five major achievements relevant for this application. Publications without access restrictions are particularly welcome. You may also include preprints.

  • Letter of motivation: a brief statement (no longer than one (1) A4 page) on the motivation for this project.

Only correctly completed and submitted applications will be reviewed and eligible for the award.

 

For further questions on the categories, please visit our FAQs.


Selection

After the nomination or application deadline passes, the award jury, composed of an international group of eminent experts, will begin the selection process. The jury reserves the right to invite external reviewers in individual cases. Jury members sit in a personal capacity. In the individual and organization/institution award categories, the jury will select the laureates, who will then be invited to attend the award ceremony to give a presentation on their achievements and receive their award. For the early career award, projects will be competitively selected for funding and internationally showcased. Prizes will be awarded for specific achievements or innovative ideas. The decision will be final and not open to appeal. Re-nominations and re-applications are welcome.


The following criteria may serve as a basis for the jury’s decision:


Criteria for Individuals, Organizations, and Institutions

Impact
– have the candidate’s accomplishments fostered the quality, reliability, and value of research in their field in an outstanding manner?

Innovation – has the candidate developed and/or implemented quality-improving interventions, governance, and policies, identified opportunities to improve research, or developed innovative approaches to research on research quality?

Implementation – has the candidate successfully implemented quality-improving interventions, governance, and policies?

Validity – has the candidate conducted and designed novel tools to prevent misconduct and safeguard validity and reliability in research?

Diversity has the candidate significantly developed and/or promoted the diversity of research by taking into view aspects such as gender, race/ethnicity, geography, career stage, etc.?

Integrity – has the candidate demonstrated exceptional integrity in the face of pressure resulting from difficult circumstances or special interests?

Originality – does the candidate contribute to the integrity, quality, reliability, and value of research in a novel or unprecedented manner?


Criteria for Early Career Researchers


Innovation
– will the proposed project improve the integrity, quality, reliability, and value of research, or improve research on research integrity?

Validity – will the proposed project help to prevent misconduct and safeguard validity and reliability in research?

Originality – is the proposed project genuinely novel? Has the applicant evaluated other existing or alternative approaches, or distinguished their approach from existing practices (if applicable)?

Feasibility – does the applicant or team have the required skills and resources?


The Einstein Foundation Council has convened an outstanding group of scholars, representing the natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences, to select the award winners. The jury is presided over by Dieter Imboden and both defines the objectives of the award as well as selects the awardees. Jury members are appointed for a three-year term.

 

Photos: Bishop: Dorothy Bishop // Buchan: Alastair Buchan // Cosnard: Michel Cosnard // Daston: Johan Wahlgren // Halbertal: Tzahy Lerner // Imboden: SNF // Lavinas: Marc Boilleau // Maxton: The Royal Society // McNutt: Chris Michel // Miguel: University of California, Berkeley // Neiman: Cindy König // Roth: Bengt Nyman // Styles: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore // Zöllner: Gabriele Bärtels