Award for Early Career Scientists in the European Higher Education Area

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) announces a call for submissions for the “Fundamental Academic Values Award”. The award is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). By awarding three prizes for research publications, the DAAD aims to contribute to the advocacy of fundamental academic values, to promote important research in this area and to further stimulate the discussion about these values.

The call for submissions addresses early career scientists who have made an outstanding scientific contribution towards the preservation and advocacy of fundamental academic values in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Admissible candidates are graduates holding a master’s or doctoral degree whose completion should date back a maximum of five years. The call is open to scientists of all academic fields and all nationalities.

Applications have to be based on a scientific publication showing a clear connection to fundamental values in higher education, meaning that work on fundamental rights in other fields cannot be considered. Likewise, there has to be a clear link to the EHEA and / or the findings have to prove a clearly visible added value to the academic debate of fundamental academic values in the EHEA, i.e.:

  • Academic freedom and integrity
  • Institutional autonomy
  • Participation of students and staff in higher education governance
  • Public responsibility for and of higher education

Any type of publication is formally permissible (e.g. articles in journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, anthology articles, entire theses / books, etc.). The selection committee may take the publication type and its scientific reputation (e.g. peer-reviewed journals) into account in the evaluation process.

At the time of the application deadline, the relevant publication should not be older than five years.

Should one or more of the following conditions apply, candidates are advised to proceed accordingly:

  • The candidate has more than one relevant publication on the topic
    The selection process has to be based on one specific document. If a candidate has more than one fitting publication, she / he is requested to indicate the one which shall be considered for the award. Entering with multiple publications is not admissible.
  • The publication in question has not been published yet
    In principle, only those publications can be included in the selection process that have been published atthe time of the application. Should the document in question still be in the final process of publication (e.g. approval of peer-review granted, but awaiting publication), then the candidate should provide additional and transparent information on the status. The selection committee will assess this on a case-by-case basis.
  • The publication in question has multiple authors / The candidate is not stated as the first author
    Publications with multiple authors are admissible, but applications can be submitted by individuals only. Also, while it is not strictly obligatory that the candidate acts as the first author, it is crucial that she / he was the key contributor to the publication in question. The candidate should thus provide sufficient information and proof of her / his role. The selection committee will assess this on a case-by-case basis.

  • A freely worded letter of motivation (400-1,000 words, written in English) that explains the candidate’s academic interest to preserve and advocate fundamental academic values in the EHEA.
  • An abstract of the submitted publication (max. 400 words, written in English) with an indication of keywords. The abstract must enable the allocation to a specific subject area and be suitable as preliminary information for potential reviewers.
  • The original publication that is relevant for the call for submission. It must state the author(s), the publisher, the year of publication, exact page numbers and include a table of contents (if applicable).
  • If the publication is written in a language other than English, a longer summary must be included (up to 2,000 words). The same requirement applies to publications that extend beyond 20 pages (e.g. published thesis / book, longer paper or book chapter). For publications with less than 20 pages, no such additional summary is required, unless it is published in a language other than English (see above).
    The longer summary of approx. 2,000 words is not to be confused with the 400-word abstract of the submitted publication. The former will only be necessary in those cases mentioned above, while the latter is mandatory for all candidates.
  • A CV of the candidate without chronological gaps and in tabular form (please specify the month and duration of study, research and / or work periods (e.g. MM/YYYY – MM/YYYY).
  • A list of publications with complete bibliographical information (including the first and last page number). Please include electronic links if available.

All documents and information submitted will be treated confidentially!

Until 20 May 2024, 12:00 am, midnight CEST the candidate must register via the online tool and upload the above-mentioned documents as pdf files.
Due to the applicable regulations of handling sensitive personal data, this method is obligatory.
Applications and documents that are submitted on other ways will be deemed void.

An international jury of academics with expertise in the field of fundamental academic values will select three award recipients. Selection criteria are the quality and relevance of the research publication as well as the scientific achievements of the candidate (in consideration of her / his career status).

The award’s objective is to encourage the candidates to continue with the academic commitment in the preservation and advocacy of fundamental academic values in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

The award is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The three awardees will receive a prize money of EUR 7,000, 6,000 and 5,000, respectively. Additionally, they will be invited to present their research during a public conference at the end of 2024. The exact date will be announced in due time. Travel and accommodation costs for this purpose will be covered by the DAAD.

Applicants will be informed about the selection results in October 2024 at the latest. The name of the awardees and a summary of their respective publication will be published on our websites and as well as in additional public relation activities.

Fundamental academic values have accompanied the Bologna Process since its very beginning and are playing an increasingly important role in higher education policy debates. Hence, the Rome Ministerial Communiqué, published in November 2020, puts particular emphasis on the protection of “fundamental values of higher education and democracy and the rule of law”. A further commitment to these values may be expected from the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference 2024 in Tirana. The reference to fundamental values is also in line with the European Commission’s strong commitment to this topic and supported by the new Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027.

Against this background, the DAAD decided to launch the “Fundamental Academic Values Award”, honouring the contribution of young scientists to the research of fundamental values in science and academia. A first call of applications was published in 2022, with three candidates being awarded in Berlin, in June 2023.

Within the framework of the DAAD project “bologna hub”, we cordially invite you to submit your application for this year’s “Fundamental Academic Values Award”.

bologna hub team
Section Erasmus+ Key Action 3: Policy Support
Erasmus+ National Agency „Higher Education“
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Kennedyallee 50
53175 Bonn
Tel.: +49 (0) 228 882-8980

Anzeigen deutscher Hochschulen

Kick-start your future career in Financial Management at Coburg Univer...

If you are interested in management and finance our premium MBA program Financial Management could be just right for you! The program features an optional Dual Degree from UniSC Australia and a Bloomb...


Be part of the transition to the future shape of energy

Join our English-taught Bachelor of Science in Energy Systems Engineering and Management!


Find Your Bachelor’s Program at TUM Campus Heilbronn

Students at TUM Campus Heilbronn receive a high-quality education at the renowned TUM University of Excellence and extensive support services for their studies.


University of Tübingen: Summer School on European History and Challeng...

Study in English, make friends & learn German at one of Europe’s best universities - experience Europe up close on two different Study Tracks.


RheinMain University of Applied Sciences-From Here to Career

Explore practice-oriented programs at Hochschule RheinMain. Shape your future and launch your career in Germany’s economic hub.



Térképmásolat a DAAD helyszíneit jelölve