Science competition Skolar Award invites postdocs from all fields to apply for a 100 000 euro prize for a novel research proposal at startup event Slush. No heavy bureaucracy or lengthy explanations: just a research proposal and a convincing pitch at Slush.

The Skolar Award is a science competition for postdoc researchers who come up with new, groundbreaking research proposals and pitch them on the stage on December 1st at Slush, the biggest startup event in the Nordics held in Helsinki, Finland. The main prize is a 100 000 euro grant for making your research idea happen.

The competition is open for researchers from different scientific fields and corners of the world. The research idea has to have societal relevance, be unique and unprecedented as well as scientifically courageous. The research ideas don’t have to be commercially applicable. The proposals will be evaluated by a jury of top-level scientists from different scientific fields. More specific information on the criteria, process and jury will be published on the Skolar Award website (www.skolaraward.com) in August.

A much needed risk-funding instrument for postdocs

Although researchers aren’t exactly at home on grand stages, being bold and sharing your work with an avid audience of startup-minded Slush-goers is an incredible learning process, says last year’s Skolar Award winner Virpi Virjamo from the University of Eastern Finland.

“Researchers need different forms of funding. If we keep on going through the same processes, everyone ends up doing the same safe thing. Skolar Award was about courageous ideas and taking risks”, she says. The aim of Virjamo’s research is to develop medicine out of coniferous trees.

You’ll get training for presenting your work

During the intensive Skolar Award process all competitors will receive pitching and communications training from Skolar communications coaches. They will also get tickets to Slush and have the chance to get to know each other and network during the months leading to the December final.

Skolar Award celebrates the value, courage and ambition of postdoc researchers and their novel research ideas. The application period begins on August 25th and the pitching final takes place at Slush on December 1st.

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