Vliegenthart Thesis Award

The award was instituted to mark Prof Dr Hans Vliegentharts retirement as chairman of the Utrecht University Fund in 2004. The idea was and is to show a talented student to the world outside and especially the alumni community. The award consists of €2.000,- and is awarded in turn in the disciplines of the Humanities, Life Sciences, Science and Social and Behavourial Sciences. Check out the award regulations for the contact details and a full overview of criteria and the procedure.

In 2020, the prize was awarded to the best master's thesis in the field of gamma sciences from 2019.

In 2021 you can compete for the Vliegenthart Thesis Prize if you have written your thesis in the Humanities category in 2020. Check the criteria to see if you are eligible to compete and submit your thesis before 31 January.

Felix Kümmerer wint Vliegenthart Scriptieprijs
The award ceremony of the Vliegenthart Thesis Award 2017

2018 WINNER: Felix Kümmerer

During the University Day of Utrecht University on 30 March 2019, the Vliegenthart Thesis Award 2017 was awarded to Felix Kümmerer (24), student Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences. Kümmerers thesis, titled ‘On the Molecular Determinants of Modal Gating Shifts in Potassium Channels’, struck the jury because of the impact of the work. Kümmerer wins an amount of 2000 euro that is free to spend.

In addition to the main prize, two honorable mentions were awarded, each with a value of 500 euro. The first honorable mention is for the thesis of Biomedical Sciences student Adriana Martínez Silgado (24). Her research into Wnt signaling resulted in new insights, that may lead to possible applications in cancer research, in particular in colorectal cancer. The jury calls it remarkable that a student in this phase of her career writes a thesis that is so readable and gives a clear and complete explanation of Wnt signaling.

Esther van Loon (30), alumna Science and Business Management, receives the second honorable mention. Van Loon wrote her thesis on how to respond to the high drug prices that contribute to rising healthcare costs. The jury appreciates the work because Van Loon "tries to make a difference, while at the same time remaining realistic and objective with respect to government and industry."

Previous winners of the Vliegenthart Thesis Award

2017 Aafje de Roest - Buurtvaders: a critical reading of the performance of represent by four Dutch hip-hop artists
2016 Roel van den Broek - Train Shunting and Service Scheduling: an integrated local search approach
2015 Eva Heeger - Controlling your online profile: reality or an illusion? A research into informed consent as a mechanism to regulate commercial profiling
2014 Linda Henricks - What is the role of RasGRP1 and SOS1 in colorectal cancer?
2013 Tabitha van Zinnen - Pussy Riot's Punk Prayer: Blasfemie, parrèsia en de strijd om vrijheid
2012 Max Potters - Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics of the 2D Euler and Shallow Water Models
2011 Koen Docter - Cruel murderers, dangerous fanatics or exotic strangers
2010 Kay Wiebrands - A role of epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in carcinogenic progression
2009 Isis Bûtot - The Literary as Translation: The Linguistic Homelessness of the Language of the Novel
2008 Filip Schuurman - Dynamics of Sharp Meander Bends on an Intertidal Mudflat
2007 Luuk Slooter - Cité Dreams: An Analysis of the French Suburban Riots of 2005
2006 Hinze Hogendoorn - The state of the art in visual object recognition
2005 Frédérique Brinkerink - Canova à Paris, Chinard à Rome





Prof Hans Vliegenthart was Chairman of the Utrecht University Fund from 1999 until 2004. His chairmanship was of great significance for the University and the University Fund alike. Starting in the 1990s, Utrecht University and the Utrecht University Fund made significant efforts to achieve good contacts with graduates. The guiding principle was the need for a joint alumni policy. Since 1999, the University-wide alumni policy and the duties of the University Fund have been integrated in a single organisation.


Hans Vliegenthart is an eminent scientist, who has published hundreds of articles, especially in the field of organic chemistry.

He has achieved multiple awards for his scientific achievements, including:

  • Membership of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1990);
  • Honorary doctorates at the University of Debrecen, Hungary (1992), University for Science and Technology in Lille, France (1993) and University of Stockholm, Sweden (1997);
  • Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (1998);
  • Utrecht University Silver Medal (2003).


For contact details and a full overview of criteria, see the Award Regulations.