In 2011 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) awarded its Academy Professor Prize for the first time. This lifetime achievement award recognises the exceptional achievement of professors who have made a unique contribution to the development of their field and who have shown throughout their career that they are among the top researchers in their field. Each year the Academy confers two prizes: one to a researcher in the social sciences or humanities, and the other to a researcher in the natural, technical or life sciences.
Academy Professor Prize
René Bernards - Molecular Carcinogenesis
Jan Luiten van Zanden - Economic and Social History
FORERUNNER: ACADEMY PROFESSOR PROGRAMME (PAH)
The forerunner of the Academy Professor Prize was the Academy Professor Programme. This allowed outstanding professors to dedicate themselves entirely to high-quality research and to training researchers. At the same, time the university used the money that became available to appoint new research leaders, so stimulating the progression of research staff within the university. Each year the KNAW appointed around five professors.
Environmental Epidemiologist Bert Brunekreef
Meteorologist Hans Oerlemans
Earth Scientist Sierd Cloetingh (professor at Utrecht University since 2012)
Chemist Henk Lekkerkerker
Social Psychologist Gün Semin (professor at Utrecht University since 2008)
Physicist and Nobel Laureate Gerard 't Hooft