CETAF E-SCORE Award for Excellence in Research Based on Natural Science Collections – First Edition 2020

CETAF is launching a new initiative to reward early-career researchers, within the fields of taxonomy, biodiversity and geodiversity science, who base their research on natural science collections. The E-SCORE Award – Excellence in Scientific Collections-based Research, is a celebration of the new generation of scientists who have shown dedication to the use of collections that help document, describe and understand life on earth, and the processes that have shaped it. The award also celebrates the United Nations endorsed International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls annually on the 22nd of May to commemorate the 1992 adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity. CETAF will award E-SCORE for the first time in 2020 to mark the end of the UN International Decade of Biodiversity.

The foundations of E-SCORE are the natural-scientific collections that are hosted, preserved and curated in research organisations across the European Community and in associated countries with CETAF member institutions. The research staff of these institutions explore and document diversity in nature. The knowledge they collectively build provides a foundation on which policies and initiatives for nature conservation and the protection of natural resources are based. By awarding E-SCORE, CETAF wishes to highlight the significance of collections-based research in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change.


The prize will be given annually and consists of three parts:

  • A cash prize of 1,000 €;
  • Financial support (up to 1,000 €) to facilitate a scientific visit of the Award Winner to one of the CETAF institutes;
  • An invitation to the next CETAF Governing Board meeting for a (virtual) presentation of the winning research.


The CETAF E-SCORE AWARD is issued every year to one early-career researcher who meets the following three criteria:

  • Conducts research, including taxonomy, based on natural history collections, which directly or indirectly contributes to addressing global challenges, including biodiversity sustainability;
  • Has published research (e.g. a taxonomic monograph, paper, database, thesis or software) that presents innovative aspects of research approach, methods/techniques, and theory that align with the principles of open science;
  • Is enrolled in a graduate school programme to obtain a Doctoral degree or has a maximum of 5 years of postdoctoral experience (excluding career breaks) when the prize is awarded (May 22, 2020).

Awards will be made considering the scientific relevance, innovation, societal impact and international impact of the research. We encourage applications from all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in science, and especially from women and minorities. Affiliation with a CETAF member is not mandatory. For those without current affiliation, their application shall include a nomination from a member of a CETAF institution.

For more information and the Application Form, please head to the CETAF website!