The Brain Prize is one of the most important recognitions of scientific excellence. This prize recognizes highly original and influential advances in any area of brain research, from basic neuroscience to applied clinical research, and winners may be of any nationality and work in any country around the globe. Originally targeted at European researchers, the newly broadened eligibility criterion has widened the applicant pool and competition for the prize. This has underscored the importance of encouraging nominations encompassing diversity at all levels including age, scientific background, race, gender, geography, etc. which would in turn increase the chances of having higher diversity in award recipients.
Given that the Brain Prize is an active supporter and partner of the ALBA Network, we would like to invest in the continued success and impact of this prestigious award by encouraging nominations of outstanding brain scientists from a diverse pool. Here, we summarize a few recommendations that may help you prepare strong nominations for this prize.
Things to consider:
Identify a specific sub-field or topic within neuroscience (e.g., organization and evolution of olfactory circuits) with major discoveries that were considered a breakthrough and that have had a significant impact in the field. Alternatively, you may start a priori by identifying an outstanding brain scientist to get started.
Importantly, single nominations (i.e., of only one person) are very rarely successful. It is, therefore, of key importance to identify not one, but at least (and not limited to) 2-3 key persons in the specific sub-field who have made similarly impactful discoveries in the same sub-field and nominate all of them, in a single nomination, for their landmark discoveries. These 2-3 people do not need to have worked together; their work may have been done in different countries or in the same group. What is important is that the level of scientific excellence is clearly identifiable for each of them separately, but they should all be recognized as the key players/contributors to the particular discovery/sub-field for which you are making the nomination.
Describe the nominee’s contributions, first, for each of them in general terms and then, by highlighting 3-4 major breakthrough discoveries (with explanation and references) in this sub-field over time, thereby providing a well-rounded narrative and continuity in the historical trajectory of the subject.
In order to ensure that your nominee has a good chance at winning the prize, identify other people to multiply the support for your nominee. They can either submit another nomination bid independently or get added to your nomination as co-supporters.
To improve your chances of submitting a strong and successful bid from a diverse pool, it is imperative to get familiar with the applicants and recipients from previous editions of the prize in order to understand the specific principles and goals of the prize.
Download the guideline here.
About The Brain Prize:
Nomination and selection process (with link to the nomination portal)