Encouraging bright scientific minds 

We continue walking in Ernest Solvay’s footsteps who was passionate about bringing the greatest scientific minds together to solve humanity's challenges.

Each year, together with the Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry, we encourage bright scientific minds by awarding young STEM Ph.D. from the faculties of Sciences and Engineering of both the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium.


2019 and 2020 Solvay Awards

The 2019 and 2020 Solvay Awards took place on September 12th 2021 in Brussels. A total of 13 young STEM Ph.D got rewarded on that day.  On this occasion, Jean-Marie Lehn, 2020 Solvay Prize Jury member and 1987 Nobel Prize Laureate, led a chemistry public lecture titled “Step towards complex matter: chemistry!”.


Get inspired by Jean-Marie Lehn


Combining scientific languages to create an invisibility cloak
With Vincent Ginis Solvay Awards 2014
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Nurturing innovation excellence

Since its beginning in 1989, the Solvay Awards crowned more than 500 students, postdocs and scientists, nurturing their scientific journey and mentoring their way in the industry, as Joost Brancart, VUB student and Solvay Awards 2018 recipient or Vincent Ginis (Solvay Awards 2014), who is now an Assistant Professor at the VBU and Visiting Professor at Harvard University (USA).

The duality of the sustainability of synthetic materials such as polymers intrigues me very much. Their excellent properties and tunable functionalities with respect to their lightweight offer great potential in improving the sustainability of Society but their recycling is still a challenge. Sustainability and durability are key aspects I'm focusing on.

Joost Brancart, VUB student & Solvay Awards 2018 recipient

Selecting best-in-class research

The selection is done by the Solvay Awards Jury and takes into account the work submitted for evaluation both for basic or applied research focusing on one of the following fields:

  • The investigation and understanding of matter (structure, properties, transformation, chemical reactivity and material science)
  • The study of the mechanisms and chemistry of life
  • New production technologies
  • New resources, energy storage & generation
  • Environmental sciences & sustainable development

The nominators also evaluate the ability to summarize and communicate to making main scientific messages intelligible by non-specialists. Furthermore, the candidates are invited to present their own view on the potential contribution of their work to society, contributing to the great advancement of humankind for a better future. It is a real challenge!