And the winner is…

Today, the European Union’s top prizes for young scientists were announced during the EUCYS award ceremony at the Egg in Brussels, following a five-day competition between 136 promising young scientists aged 14 to 20, coming from 36 countries across the EU and beyond.

The first prize winning projects that receive €7,000 each are:

  • Maksymilian Gozdur from Poland for his project “Justice institutions stipulated in French and Polish criminal procedure codes, and fair trial standards included in international law standards and convict rehabilitation”
  • Elizabeth Chen from Canada for her project “Optimization of CAR-T Cell Therapy using RNA-Sequencing Analysis for Biomarker Identification”
  • Martin Stengaard Sørensen from Denmark for his project “Development of small regeneratively cooled rocket propulsion systems”
  • Afonso Jorge Soares Nunes, Inês Alves Cerqueira and Mário Covas Onofre from Portugal for their project “SPIDER-BACH2”

The second and third prizes went to projects from Netherlands, Canada, Ireland and Italy.

See the detailed list of all winners.

This edition is the third hosted by Belgium since its first edition in 1989.

Marc Lemaître, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, said:

EUCYS is about rewarding the enthusiasm, passion and curiosity of Europe’s next generation of bright minds finding new solutions to our most pressing challenges. Fostering scientific talent means strong European leadership in Research and Innovation. Congratulations to all the winners and contestants, and good luck on your path to discovery.

The students presented 85 different projects to an international jury of 22 highly qualified scientists and engineers with worldwide reputations in their chosen fields, chaired by Dr. Mariya Lyubenova, from the European Southern Observatory. The winning projects shared a total of €62 000 in prize money, including four 1st prizes of €7,000, four 2nd prizes of €5,000, four 3rd prizes of €3,500 and prestigious scholarship and visits to the EIROforum, CERN, ESA, etc.

The participants had all previously won first prizes in their home countries’ national science competitions in their specific fields. The projects covered a broad spectrum of scientific areas, including biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environment, mathematics, medicine, physics and social sciences.

The greatest societal challenges we are facing today – the green and digital transitions, as well as the recovery from the pandemic – have further increased the need for the development of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, especially by younger generations.

EUCYS aims to promote young European students’ careers in Research & Innovation by giving them the opportunity to compete and exchange with their peers at EU and international level and be guided by some of the most prominent scientists in Europe.

One of EUCYS’ main goals is also to foster the participation of young women scientists in Research & Innovation, as they are still underrepresented in STEM. This year, 50 of the 136 participants are young women.