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Origins Project Establishes New Prize for Postdoctoral Researchers

New prize is the largest of its kind in the world.

by Arizona State University
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Physicists Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking, and Lawrence Krauss speak at the ASU Origins Project Science & Culture Festival 2011.Arizona State UniversityA new postdoctoral prize, an annual worldwide competition for the best postdoctoral scholar from all fields related to origins, is being offered by the Origins Project at Arizona State University.

The prize, the largest of its kind in the world for post-doctoral researchers, will be awarded annually to an outstanding junior scholar chosen from all countries in any field of study relevant to the Origins Project.

“We want to provide a significant, new worldwide recognition for postdoctoral scholars,” said Lawrence Krauss, a Foundation Professor at ASU and director of the Origins Project. “They are an under-appreciated community, and are often doing the most exciting work. They will become the leaders of the next generation of scientists.

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“By providing the largest prize worldwide, we hope to attract nominations for the best of the best and bring outstanding young researchers to ASU to interact with our faculty and the public,” Krauss added. “We also want to build relationships that we hope will last well into the future, as well as advance the Origins Project vision of exploring foundational questions that can help meet the unique challenges we face in the 21st century.”

The Origins Postdoctoral Prize Lectureship is sponsored by the Epstein VI Foundation. Jeffrey Epstein, who established the foundation, said that he was excited to support this new Origins prize, and that he hoped the selection process would “be able to find those that can see around corners.”

The annual $10,000 international prize will be awarded to an outstanding junior scholar chosen from any field of study relevant to the broad mission of the Origins Project at ASU. Selection will be made among candidates nominated by faculty or senior researchers at their institution, and will be based both on past accomplishment and future promise, as well as an ability to convey the excitement of their research to a broad audience.

Nominators can be faculty familiar with the candidate and their research. However, only one nominee per department will be considered. Faculty nomination letters must be submitted by email to origins.project@asu.edu no later than Dec. 1, 2014. Nominations will be accepted for junior scholars who are not currently working for Arizona State University.

The award includes travel to and from Tempe, Arizona, as well as accommodations for a weeklong visit. In addition to participating in an awards ceremony, the winner will give four talks on his research, including one public talk to a broad community audience, and will participate in other origins activities.

Criteria for selection include evidence of outstanding research credentials and the potential for creative leadership in the candidate's chosen field, as well as the ability to effectively communicate scientific concepts to a broad audience in English. For more information on the award and the nomination process, go to: https://origins.asu.edu/origins-project-postdoctoral-prize-lectureship.