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Synergy Award
Synergy Award '21: call for PhDs!
Calling all social sciences and humanities PhD students who want to make a positive impact on society: submit your idea and enter the Synergy Award ’21! 
About the Award 
The Synergy Award aims to connect PhD students with academic and non-academic professionals to explore the practical dimensions of their research. Four candidates will be invited to pitch their compelling impact ideas to a jury at Synergy 2021. Each pitch will also be broadcast to a live audience during Synergy ’21 on 4 February. Together, the audience and the jury will cast their votes to select the most exciting and innovative idea for societal impact. The winner will be granted a prize of €2,500 to kick-start the development of their idea. Progress made by the winning idea will be presented at the Synergy Award 2022. 
Enter the Award if you… 
are a PhD candidate conducting research in the social sciences or the humanities (including those who have obtained their PhD within six months of the deadline). We warmly invite you to submit your idea for societal impact stemming from your PhD research. The submission deadline is 16 November 2020, 14:00 CET. 
Bootcamp: enhance your skills
Prior to the event, the selected candidates will work on their presentation skills in the Synergy Award Bootcamp to perfect their pitch and develop their valorisation skills. All candidates will take part in two workshops in the first half of January 2021. Both of these workshops will help you to refine your pitch for the Synergy Award, and give you valuable experience and feedback that will be useful throughout your academic career! 
Your submission
The core idea for impact on society should stem from your PhD research, but need not necessarily be a finished project. Your impact idea can take any form: an online tool, a public performance or debate, an article or brochure, or an improved process. The key factor in your application should be the impact it has on society. 
Your submission should contain the following elements: 
• A concise narrative résumé of your achievements and goals with regard to your scientific work (maximum of 500 words).
• A short video lasting no more than two minutes in which you present your idea. Please note that we do not expect flawlessly edited videos or perfect presentations. A short, phone-recorded clip in which you pitch your idea with clarity and enthusiasm is exactly what we’re looking for. The videos (MP4, MOV, WMV or AVI) submitted by the four selected candidates will be used during the Synergy Bootcamp as input for your pitch training. 
• A brief clarification of your idea, in which you give further details on what you are trying to achieve with your idea and how you plan on achieving it (maximum of 500 words). 
The applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:  
• Impact on society 
• Candidate’s presentation
• Topicality of the theme 
• Clarity of the proposal 
How to apply 
Please submit your application by 16 November 2020, 14:00 CET using the button below. The outcome will be announced on 4 December 2020 at the latest. 
Please note: the deadline for the Synergy Award submissions has passed. New submission will not be accepted.
Submit your application     
Questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at
See for inspiration these pitches of the participants of Synergy'20: