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Open Research Award 2021

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​A new Eurac Research initiative to promote bottom-up adoption of best practices for open, transparent, inclusive and reproducible research. 


The Open Research Award 2021 seeks to showcase the concepts and achievements of our researchers who actively engage with the tools and practices that make research more collaborative and which enhance the sharing and dissemination of their findings.  

The Open Research Award will be presented for the first time in 2021, with three €1500 prizes. The winning entries will be featured on the Eurac Research website in a catalogue of Open Research stories.

2021's Open Research Award nominations will be evaluated by an international jury, consisting of:

  1. Dr. Paola Masuzzo, IGDORE, Ghent
  2. Dr. Yasemin Turkyilmaz-van der Velden, TUDelft, Delft
  3. Dr. Maike Weißpflug, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

In addition to the three award winners, the jury may nominate the runners-up to also be featured on the Eurac Research website.

In recognition of the collaborative nature of research, not only individuals but also groups of individuals or formal research groups are invited to nominate their exemplary open research achievements in a free form nomination letter.​

 Collaborations between different Institutes will be judged particularly favorably.

What qualifies for the award?

Open research, which includes open science and open scholarships in all academic fields and disciplines, is imbued with the ambition to lower the social, cultural and technical barriers that prevent the sharing of knowledge between researchers, and ultimately with society at large. Whether it is engaging with open research workflows, developing metadata standards, containerising software, or adopting other exemplary open research practices, we are looking for researchers who make open research part of their daily practice.

We invite researchers to consider their full research life cycles and outputs in all possible forms, including papers, data, software and hardware, methods and infrastructures. Examples of prizeworthy open research practices may include, but are not limited to:

  • Integration of data management plans in everyday research workflows
  • Developing/implementing data and/or metadata standards
  • Habitually sharing research data and/or source code
  • Electing to publish in open access
  • Engaging in open peer review
  • Using open notebooks
  • Developing open research tools or services
  • Facilitating open innovation, participative design, and citizen science
  • Engaging in the development of (disciplinary) communities around open research practices

The nomination letter

The free-form nomination letter should describe the open research practice(s) adopted and explain the value they bring in the context of open research in a self-contained manner. There are no strict length limits, but the nomination letters should not exceed 1000 words. The inclusion of URLs, figures and references is permitted.

We invite researchers and research groups to submit nominations either independently or on behalf of other Eurac Research colleagues whom they consider deserving of this award.

When writing the nomination letter, we also invite you to keep the following questions in mind. While the nomination letter does not have to address each of these questions specifically, reflecting on them as you prepare your letter could help make a stronger case for the nomination:

  • How is openness expressed in your work? What are you doing to improve openness, transparency, inclusion and reproducibility in your institute, your research community and beyond?
  • How has the adoption of open research practices made your research better?
  • How easily can others participate in your research? Does your work include input from citizens at each step of the research?
  • Does your research encourage knowledge transfer in your research community, or between your research community and society at large? Does your work enable interdisciplinary research or intercultural/interracial exchange?
  • Does your work generate educational resources for formal or informal education?

Eligibility and the prize money

The Open Research Award 2021 is open to Eurac Research scientists at any stage of their career and includes PhD students, if they are affiliated with Eurac Research. We invite nominations from individual researchers as well as groups of individuals or formal research groups. The prize money – €1500 for each winning nomination -- will be transferred to the winner's institute and may be used for any work-related expenses elected by the winners and their institutes.

Award timeline

Deadline: nomination letters should be sent to openaccess@eurac.edu​ by September 10th, 2021.

The winners will be announced in December 2021.​


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