FEBS launched a prestigious new scheme from 2021 – the FEBS Excellence Award – to support early-career group leaders in the FEBS area who present a scientific research track record of proven excellence. FEBS Excellence Awards provide funding of €100,000 for research equipment and consumables over a 3-year period.

The 2024 application period is running from 1 May to 1 July 2024.

The FEBS Excellence Award scheme are overseen by the FEBS Excellence Awards and Fellowships Committee.

Guidelines for FEBS Excellence Awards

To be read in conjunction with Frequently Asked Questions about the FEBS Excellence Award.

FEBS Excellence Awards are intended to support research projects in the molecular life sciences from early-career group leaders. They are granted over three years and amount to €100,000. The FEBS Excellence Award is a support to be used exclusively to purchase small equipment (for a maximum of €15,000) and/or consumables related to the project; salaries, stipendia and overheads cannot be paid for by the Award.

1. The FEBS Excellence Award is awarded in support of or in connection with the Awardee’s research project in accordance with the terms of the Project Proposal, as set out in 9b.

2. Applicants should be scientists who have obtained their PhD degree within the past eight years. However, duly justified career breaks such as compulsory national service, ill-health, and parental leave of 18 months per child may be taken into account.

3. Prior to the current employment, the applicant should have worked in a different country for at least two years.

4. Applicants must be employed in a salaried capacity as a group leader by the Host Institution (a Host Institution means a university or a research centre), irrespective of the origin of the funding sources, for at least one year prior to the submission of their Project Proposal to FEBS. Candidates must have secured future financial support at the Host Institution for the entire 3-year duration of the Award.

5. Host Institutions must be established in a country with a FEBS Constituent Society.

6. Applicants must have a current membership of a FEBS Constituent Society.

7. FEBS Excellence Awards are not granted to scientists who have been recipients of a FEBS Long-Term Fellowship preceding their current employment if the Host Institution is the same.

8. In each call, no more than one candidate per given Host Institution will be granted an Excellence Award.

9. FEBS Excellence Awards are awarded once a year. Applications should be submitted before July 1st of the corresponding year.

10. The web-based application process requires the following information and documents (in English):

a. General application details and information on academic/research activities of the applicant, which will be entered online.

b. A research proposal (Project Proposal). An outline of the proposed investigation should be set out under the following headings and be no more than ten A4-sized pages of single-spaced text (minimum top and bottom margins required are 2 cm and 2.5 cm, respectively, and a font size not smaller to the equivalent of 10pt Times New Roman). It will need to be uploaded in pdf format (maximum file size 1 MB).
i. title;
ii. purpose, including the immediate and longer-term aims;
iii. background relating the proposed research to the present body of knowledge;
iv. plan, including details of the experiments to be carried out;
v. motivation for choosing the host laboratory/department/institute, including how it fits longer-term career goals;
vi. list of five most significant papers of the host laboratory/department/institute from the last five years;
vii. list of the most significant papers of the applicant;
viii. composition of the group that will carry out the proposed work and detailed description of the planned expenditures (i.e. equipment and consumables);
In addition, a timetable (portrait orientation) of the experimental work to be carried out is to be set out on an extra page (not included in the ten page maximum).

c. A statement from the Host Institution establishing that the applicant is employed in a salaried capacity and the duration of the contract with the Host Institution.

d. A letter of support from the host laboratory/department/institute head, written on headed paper, is required to confirm the current role of the applicant, as well as the facilities available to him/her to pursue the research proposed. Also, the host laboratory/department/institute head should indicate any dates the applicant has already spent at the host laboratory/department/institute on the official host acceptance form that can be downloaded from the application system. The form should be scanned and uploaded with the other application documents.

e. A referee’s letter of support. A letter of support for the application is required from an experienced and renowned scientist who has known the applicant for a minimum of 2 years, and does not work at the Host Institution. This letter should be written on headed paper of the referee’s laboratory. Referees will be provided with a link for direct upload of their letter. Candidates are advised to notify their respective referees well ahead of time. The link will be active until the deadline of the respective call.

f. The Letter of Agreement. The form has to be signed by both the applicant and the appointed head(s) of the institution in which the proposed work will be carried out; then the applicant uploads the letter upon applying. By signing it, both the applicant and the Host Institution agree with the terms and conditions described in the Letter of Agreement. If the applicant is successful, FEBS sign and return the letter to the applicant and the Host Institution.

g. A FEBS Constituent Society membership letter. A dated letter from the appropriate FEBS Constituent Society confirming that the applicant is a member and indicating the date on which the applicant joined the Society should be scanned and uploaded with the other application documents.

11. The €100,000 of the FEBS Excellence Award is paid by FEBS to the Host Institution in three instalments over three years.

12. Applications will be assessed by the FEBS Excellence Awards and Fellowships Committee and the decisions will be communicated to the applicants no later than December 1st of the same year.

13. The Award should be taken up within six months of its award. Any delay will require the authorization of the Chairperson of the FEBS Excellence Awards and Fellowships Committee.

14. Within six weeks of each of the first, second and third anniversaries of the effective starting date of the Award, progress reports by the Awardee made towards implementation of the project shall be submitted electronically to the Chairperson of the FEBS Excellence Awards and Fellowships Committee. Upon request by the Awardee or FEBS, the Host Institution shall send a financial report regarding use and spend of any part of the Award already paid by FEBS to the Host Institution together with copies of any orders, receipts or invoices for significant costs incurred by Host Institution for capital assets and consumables during the first, second and third years of the term.

15. The FEBS Excellence Award should be acknowledged in any work published relating to the project funded and a PDF or doi of each article should be sent electronically to the Chairperson of the Excellence Awards and Fellowships Committee.

16. By acceptance of a FEBS Excellence Award, Awardees are expected to attend one FEBS Fellows Meeting preceding the annual FEBS Congress, upon invitation from the FEBS Excellence Awards and Fellowships Chairperson.

17. Past and current holders of an Excellence Award may not apply for another Excellence Award.

18. The above guidelines set out the eligibility for the award and the requirements for the awardee from FEBS. The successful candidates will be notified by an email containing the Award Letter. Should the FEBS Excellence Award be accepted by the awardee, the Award Letter must be signed and returned within two weeks of receipt.