Nominations, eligible candidates and criteria

Nominations for this award can be submitted by all faculties linked to universities in the Netherlands and the Flemish community, as well as the Asser Institute (as the coordinator of the NNHRR).

The award is conceived as an incentive award for young researchers, and the nominations are limited to graduate, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Senior academic staff cannot compete. Awards are presented in two categories:

  • Category 1 for the best doctoral dissertation; and
  • Category 2 for the best non-dissertation academic text (notably a Master thesis, or a paper published in an academic journal).

Each faculty can nominate only one candidate in each category. The total prize money is € 2,500, to be distributed as indicated by the jury.


‘Human rights’ are conceived of in a broad sense, to include such traditional human rights as the right to free speech and the right not to be tortured, as well as social and economic rights, such as the right to food, housing, education, and health care. Publications may also look at human rights enjoyment by specific groups, for instance through the lens of gender, age or ethnicity, or human rights in specific situations, such as emergencies and during or after violent conflicts. Studies can focus as well on human rights procedures, institutions and other forms of implementation, monitoring and enforcement. They may be theoretical in nature or based on empirical research.

To be eligible for nomination, doctoral dissertations must have been defended between 1 July 2017 and 1 June 2019; manuscripts in the second category, non-dissertation academic texts, must have been defended or published between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019. Only manuscripts written in Dutch or English will be considered.