Descartes-Huygens Prize

The French and Dutch governments established the Descartes-Huygens Prize in 1995 to draw the attention of researchers as well as a broader public to Franco-Dutch relations in science and scholarship. Each year two prize winners are selected: the Netherlands selects the French winner and France selects the Dutch winner. The prize is intended to support the scientific/scholarly career of an excellent researcher in Franco-Dutch research.

The Prize, a grant of EUR 23,000, can be used to (partially) cover the costs of a French researcher’s research residence in the Netherlands or a series of working visits by a French researcher to the Netherlands, or vice versa. If so desired, other activities regarding Franco-Dutch cooperation can be performed as well.


All disciplines: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, (bio)medical sciences.

The Descartes-Huygens Prize is open to:

Excellent early to midcareer researchers who:

  • work at a French research institute.
  • contribute to Franco-Dutch scientific/scholarly cooperation.
  • are prepared to spend at least three months – continuously or spread over several working visits – as a guest researcher in the Netherlands.
  • are prepared to inform both researchers and a broader public about the Franco-Dutch research project carried out with this prize.

Nomination and award ceremony

Every researcher at a Dutch university or research institute can nominate French candidates for the Descartes-Huygens Prize.

Please use the nomination form (doc, Dutch) (and attach a Curriculum Vitae). The completed form can be submitted up to and including 10 August 2020 to email address:

The Academy strives for gender diversity of candidates who are nominated for a prize. For this prize, it can be relevant to note that the research stay in the Netherlands can be spread over several visits.

The Academy invites nominations from all disciplines for this prize.

The award ceremony for both winners will be held early 2021 in the Netherlands.

More information about the selection of the Dutch winner of the Descartes-Huygens Prize can be found on this webpage: Ministère de lʼEnseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de lʼInnovation.

Descartes-Huygens Prize 2019

On 5 February 2020, 2019 laureates Julien Barc and Lex Kaper were awarded their Prize during a special ceremony in Paris.

From left to right: Lex Kaper, Véronique Verges and Anne-Emmanuelle Grossi 

From left to right: Connie Bezzina, Julien Barc and Wim van Saarloos