27 November 2019

Graduation and encouragement prices for technical and scientific subjects

Utrecht students receive Young Talent Prizes

Many students from Utrecht won prizes at the annual Young Talent Awards for the technical and scientific fields. A total of 18 thesis prizes for master students and 61 encouragement prizes for first-year students were awarded. The Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen awarded the prizes on 25 November in Haarlem.


The graduation prizes and encouragement prizes are awarded annually by the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen, the oldest "Geleerde Genootschap" in the Netherlands, which aims to promote science. The graduation prizes go to the best master's theses in the technical and scientific subjects. The incentive prize is for students with the best grades in the technical and scientific subjects in their first year of study. Both prizes have different categories.

Graduation prize

The thesis prize in the category Pfizer Prize for Life Sciences with a prize amount of 2,000 euros went to Hugo Damstra from Utrecht, who did his master's thesis at the Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences department. His research focused on the dynamics of the cytoskeleton of T lymphocytes. "His research has made an important contribution to our understanding of the regulation of the dynamics and function performance of T-lymphocytes, and thus of our immunological defence", the jury report states.

"During his research, Hugo made a big impression on his supervisors through his ability to independently make the right choices in his research, through his ability to quickly master complicated research techniques, through his cleverly designed and carefully executed experiments, through his careful interpretation of his research results and through his excellent reporting. Damstra is now a PhD student in cell biology in Utrecht.

Encouragement prize

Six Young Talent Encouragement Prizes, each with a prize amount of 500 euros, were awarded to Utrecht students. Amy Moerkerke won the prize in the category Biology. Renske Wierda received the prize in the category Physics and Technical Physics. The prize in the category Chemistry went to Annemijn van Koten. Tess Stepek won the prize in the category Pharmacy or (bio)pharmaceutical sciences. Merijn Schepers received the prize in the category Informatics and Technical Informatics. And the prize in the category Mathematics and Technical Mathematics went to Lammert Westerdijk.