Updated: September 2017
Innovative research of tomorrow begins with the junior researchers of today. The Graduate Campus (GRC) and Mercator Foundation Switzerland would therefore like to recognize the excellent achievements of young researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) and increase their visibility to the public.
The Mercator Awards for Junior Researchers give recognition to the outstanding scientific achievements of advanced PhD candidates and early postdoctoral researchers (i.e., four academic years after completion of the dissertation, excluding parental leave) at UZH engaged in research projects of societal relevance and applying inter- or transdisciplinary approaches or methods. Three prizes are awarded for the areas of Arts and Social Sciences, Law and Economics and for Medicine and Sciences.
Submitted applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Scientific quality
- First research results while at UZH (e.g. publications, conference papers)
- Originality/ innovation
- Societal relevance of the research work (see below for details)
- Inter- or transdisciplinarity approaches (see below for details)
The nominees must carry out their research at UZH at the time of the nomination.
The prizes are endowed with CHF 5’000 each. The awards ceremony will take place at a public event.
The prizes are awarded by a scientific jury, consisting of the Director of the Graduate Campus, the professorial members of the GRC Executive Board and a representative each from Mercator Foundation Switzerland and the Division of Research and Academic Career Development at UZH.
Nomination and selection of award winners
The nomination follows a two-stage process:
Stage 1: All professors are invited to propose qualified junior researchers to their respective faculty. Applications can be submitted to the dean's office of your faculty until 3 November 2017 or - as the case may be - the specific date communicated by your faculty.
- One-page summary of the project highlighting the most important results
- Short description of how the five criteria mentioned above are fulfilled
- 1-2 page CV of the candidate including a list of publications
Depending on the faculty, professors are asked to send the nomination documents per Email, unless otherwise requested by the faculty, to the following persons:
- Faculty of Theology: Nomination documents are to be send per mail to:
Patrizia Stadler, Dekanat Theologische Fakultät, Kirchgasse 9, 8001 Zürich
- Facullty of Law: Dean Brigitte Tag
- Facullty of Business, Economics and Informatics: Stephanie Raimander
- Faculty of Medicine: PD Dr. Jan Breckwoldt
- Vetsuisse Faculty: Dean's Office
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Maria Lucia Sarcinella
- Faculty of Science: Elvira Koller
Stage 2: Thereafter, each faculty nominates 1-2 candidates to the Graduate Campus. The nomination documents should include a supporting statement of the Dean of the respective faculty.
The documents can be submitted in either German or English.
Based on the application documents, the jury will invite the selected nominees to briefly present their projects in February/March 2018. Afterwards the jury will decide on the award winners who will be awarded at the Annual Event of the Graduate Campus.
Explanations for the criteria
We consider socially relevant research not only as applied research, but above all as the investigation of topic areas related to pertinent issues and challenges of our society.
Inter- or transdisciplinarity approaches
We refer to the following definition of interdisciplinarity which includes also transdisciplinary research: "Interdisciplinary research (IDR) is a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice." Source: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research (2004), National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, The National Academies Press 306, Washington, D.C., p. 188.