Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven today presented Utrecht University cell biologist Anna Akhmanova and historian Beatrice de Graaf with the highest distinctions awarded in Dutch science. Akhmanova was presented with an NWO Spinoza Prize, and De Graaf received an NWO Stevin Prize. The prizes include a cash award of 2.5 million euros, which they can spend on scientific research and activities related to knowledge utilisation.
Both the Spinoza Prize and the Stevin Prize are awarded in recognition of the quality of the researcher. The emphasis of the Spinoza Prize lies on the researcher’s scientific achievements and fundamental research, while the Stevin Prize honours the researcher’s impact on society. NWO President Stan Gielen: “NWO stands for scientific excellence and social impact. In that light, curiosity-driven research and applied research both deserve equal recognition.”