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Luxembourg National Research Fund





FNR Awards


Since 2009, the FNR annually presents awards in the categories ‘Outstanding PhD Thesis’; ‘Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public’, ‘Outstanding Mentor’ and ‘Outstanding Scientific Achievement’. With the FNR Awards, the FNR aims to encourage communication between researchers, and to promote science-related activities aimed at the general public and the young. The FNR Awards highlight such work and reward both the awardees and their institutions. More than 80 FNR Awards have been awarded over the years.

The call for the 2024 FNR Awards is open! Deadline is 12 February 2024, 14:00 CET.
FNR Award winners by year FNR Award winners by category

Outstanding Mentor

The category Outstanding Mentor was introduced in 2021. With this award, the FNR recognises outstanding mentorship and reward this important but sometimes unappreciated element of research.


Pierre Verge (Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology – LIST)


Susanne Siebentritt, Physics Professor, University of Luxembourg

Christoph Odenbreit, Arcelor Mittal Chair of Steel Construction at University of Luxembourg


Andreas Fickers, Director C2DH, University of Luxembourg

Pablo Elias Morande, Senior Post-doc Luxembourg Institute of Health.

Outstanding Scientific Achievement

The category Outstanding Scientific Achievement was introduced in 2021, absorbing the former categories Outstanding Scientific Publications and Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation. The new category rewards research shaping its field, rather than only looking at publications or marketable products.


Andy Chevigné; Martyna Szpakowska; Max Meyrath; Christie Palmer (Luxembourg Institute of Health – LIH)


Rejko Krüger and Ibrahim Boussaad (LCSB | CHL | the Luxembourg Institute of Health) receive the Award on behalf of a large team that has made big strides: They’ve successfully developed the first proof of concept for precision medicine in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.


Anna Golebiewska and Simone Niclou from the Luxembourg Institute of Health receive the Award on behalf of a large team for many years of research towards a better understanding and personalised treatment of brain cancer.

Emmanuel Defay & team from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology received an FNR Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement for having achieved a breakthrough in a new technology that could be used in more eco-friendly and efficient cooling systems in the future.

Outstanding PhD Thesis

Each year, the FNR attributes the FNR Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis to an individual who has concluded their PhD with a dissertation of outstanding scientific quality.


Emmanuele Penocchio (University of Luxembourg)


Aakash Arora for his PhD project designing algorithms to help satellites cope with increasing demand.


Christa Birkel (University of Luxembourg) for her PhD thesis on the ruling structures and processes in the medieval Duchy of Luxembourg.

Giuseppe Bengasi (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), in collaboration with the University of Mainz) for his PhD thesis on engineered porphyrins (chemical compounds) for functional applications. The colourful material could one day turn solar light and electricity into clean hydrogen.


Maciej CHRZANOWSKI (University of Luxembourg & ArcelorMittal Belval & Differdange S.A.) for the PhD thesis “Shear Transfer in Heavy Steel-Concrete Composite Columns with Multiple Encased Steel Profiles.”

Thierry TITCHEU CHEKAM (University of Luxembourg – SnT) for the PhD Thesis “Assessment and Improvement of the Practical Use of Mutation for Automated Software Testing.”


Riccardo RAO for the PhD Thesis “Conservation Laws in Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics: Stochastic Processes, Chemical Reaction Networks, and Information Processing.”  (PhD project conducted at the University of Luxembourg, in the research group of Prof Dr Massimilliano Esposito.)

Linda WAMPACH for the PhD Thesis “Colonization and succession of the human gastrointestinal microbiome in neonates and infants at high risk of metabolic disease in adulthood.”  (PhD project conducted at the LCSB at the University of Luxembourg, in the research group of Prof. Dr Paul Wilmes.)


Eric Finn SCHAANNING (Imperial College London) for the PhD thesis ‘Fire sales and systemic risk in financial networks.’


Esther BREITHOFF (University of Bristol) for the PhD thesis “Conflict Landscapes of the Chaco War.”


Zhe LIU (University of Luxembourg): ‘Lightweight Public-Key Cryptography for Wireless Sensor Nodes.’


Shree K. SHARMA (University of Luxembourg – Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust): Interweave/Underlay Cognitive Radio Techniques and Applications in Satellite Communication Systems.

Catherina SCHREIBER (University of Luxembourg – Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education): Curricula and the Making of the Citizens. Trajectories from 19th and 20th Centrury Luxembourg.


Bob C. SCHROEDER (Imperial College London): New Thiophene Based Semiconducting Materials for Applications in Plastic Electronics.

Patrick AUGUSTIN (Stockholm School of Economics): Essays on Sovereign Credit Risk and Credit Default Swap Spreads.


Christian JUNG (Technische Universität München): Patient-specific Induced Pluripotent Stem-cell Models of Cardiac Disease.


Claire MICHEAU (University of Luxembourg): State aid, subsidy and tax incentives under EU and WTO law.

Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public

Each year, the FNR attributes the FNR Award for the Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public, which may go to individuals (scientists, teachers, etc.), institutions or non-profit associations that have successfully contributed to the promotion of science to the public in Luxembourg.


Dominique Santana (C2DH, University of Luxembourg)


A small team led by David Degouis from Ecole Privee Notre Dame (Sainte Sophie) for making it possible for pupils to imagine the future and grasp technological advances of tomorrow with science at the heart of the whole project.

A team headed by Sergio Coronado from the Luxembourg Tech School (LTS) for having already helped hundreds of young people to get ready for the world of tomorrow.


A team headed by Stefan Krebs from the Luxembourg Center for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) at the University of Luxembourg, win the Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public award for setting up interactive video installation in the middle of Esch to investigate the industrial history of the Minett region.


Sophie WAGNER, Sabine SCHMITZ, Ruxandra SOARE LELUBRE, Lucie DEBROUX, Lisa SMITS, Philippe LAMESCH (LCSB, University of Luxembourg) for the science-meets-art exhibition “Mind the Brain”.

Carole BLOND-HANTEN (Luxembourg Institute of Socio–Economic Research) for activities surrounding the gender board game “GG”


Juliette PERTUY, Laura STAR, Noémie GUERISSE, Malou FRAITURE, Joanna MUZ, Arnaud D’AGOSTINI, Federica AMATO (Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH); Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL) for the activity “Science Quest”.

Carlo HANSEN; Natalia SLIOUTOVA; Sousana EANG (Fondation jeunes scientifiques Luxembourg) for the activity / national contest “Jonk Fuerscher”


Nicolas DIDIER & Guillaume TRAP / Luxembourg Science Center team for the activity “Luxembourg Science Center”

Thierry LUTGEN and Jutta SIEREN (Elisabeth anne asbl) for the activity “Indiana Jos”


Guy PUTZ & Will REITER (Lycée Technique d’Ettelbruck) for the activity “Projektwoche „Windmobile.”“

Christian PENNY (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) for the activity “What do we bring home from school?”


Astrid MAISCHAK (Déi Kleng Fuescher a.s.b.l.); Gérard WAGENER (Lycée des garcons Esch); Maryse LALLEMAND (École Fondamentale Dellhéicht): ‘Die Alchemisten von Dellhéicht präsentieren: Au, das Element der Befreiung.’


Elisabeth JOHN (University of Luxembourg): Hands-on-science – The Scienteens Lab, das erste luxemburgische Schülerlabor.


Danielle HOFFMANN, Pascale ENGEL DE ABREU, Caroline HORNUNG, Romain MARTIN, Christine SCHILTZ, Anne-Marie SCHULLER and Sonja UGEN (University of Luxembourg): LEARN Newsletter.

Jeff KOHNEN (Olympiades Luxembourgeoises des Sciences Naturelles asbl): 11th European Union Science Olympiad.

Pascal DAMAN (Lycée de garçons de Luxembourg): Foire aux Sciences.


  • Benoît SMETS (European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology – ECGS), Nicolas D’OREYE (ECGS / Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle – MNHN), François KERVYN (Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale) & Adrien OTH (ECGS): Nyiragongo, expédition sur un lac de lave.
  • Patrice CAIRE/ Grégory NAIN (Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust at the University of Luxembourg, SnT): A Convivial, Private and Secure Home Care Assistant.


  • Gérard WAGENER / Astrid MAISCHAK / Sandra THERWER (Déi kleng Fuerscher): Wasser, ein edles Tröpfchen & Wunderwelt der Farben.
  • Amandine BERNARD (CRP Santé): La cellule qui voulait devenir immortelle.
  • Thierry FRENTZ / Romain KAELL (Ville de Differdange): Technikschoul Déifferdeng


  • David DEGOUIS & Virginie SCHMITT (Ecole Privée Notre-Dame Sainte-Sophie): Schoolproject ‘Semaine de la Science 2010’.
  • Pascal DAMAN & Janine GOEDERT (Lycée de Garçons Luxembourg): Schoolproject ‘Michael Frayn’s COPENHAGEN on stage’.
  • Danièle MOES, Anne-Marie TERNES & Monika DIETERLE (CRP-Santé): Workshop ‘Experimental Cosmetics» and Science Café ‘Wissenschaft in der Werbung’ presented at the Researchers’ Night 2010.


  • Eric BUTTINI (MNHN): ‘Année Internationale de l’Astronomie 2009’.
  • Georges KOHNEN, Stuart ATKINSON & Michèle GOEDERT (Association Maarkollef Niederanven éducation aux sciences asbl) : ‘Lernwerkstatt Niederanven’.
  • Aline FISCHER & Sandrine AMANN (MNHN): ‘Galileo Science Mobil’.


  • Patrick DELHALT (MNHN) / Nicole SCHLICHTENHORST (Syndicat PRO-SUD) / André Stemper (Université du Luxembourg) : ROBOTEC SUD.
  • Pierre GALLEGO / Véronique DEGARDIN (MNHN): Science Club: Delfinen a Walen erfuerschen.
  • Paul ZIMMER (AJSL) / Patrick DELHALT (MNHN): Science Camp 2008.


From the 2017 to the 2020 FNR Awards, the FNR attributed the FNR Award for Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation to researchers who have made an effort to turn their publicly (co)funded research into innovations of a commercial or social nature. In 2021, this category was absorbed into the new category Outstanding Scientific Achievement.

Up until the 2020 FNR Awards, the FNR attributed the FNR Award for Outstanding Scientific Publication for articles released in peer-reviewed journals or for scientific monographs. In 2021, this category was absorbed into the new category Outstanding Scientific Achievement.

The FNR Special Award rewards individuals, associations or institutions for their outstanding contribution to the promotion and/or development of science and research in Luxembourg or in relation with Luxembourg.


Claudine KIRSCH, Simone MORTINI (University of Luxembourg) for a series of educational videos on language learning practices in daycare and nursery schools. [2020]

Pascale ENGEL DE ABREU (University of Luxembourg) for the project “LALA – Lauter lëschteg Lauter” (FNR Proof-of-Concept project) [2018]

Tom WIRTZ; David DOWSETT; Rachid BARRAHMA; Olivier BOUTON and Jean-Nicolas AUDINOT (LIST – Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) for the project for the project “VECTOR500 SIMS: a unique tool for high resolution high-sensitivity nano-analysis.” [2018]

Pranjul SHAH and Paul WILMES (LCSB at the University of Luxembourg) for the project “HuMiX technology (host-microbe interaction modelling).” (FNR Proof-of-Concept project) [2017]

Pouyan ZIAFATI (LuxAI S.A.) for the project “Programming Cognitive Robots (ProCRob).” (FNR Proof-of-Concept project, “The “QT” Robot”)


Laurent PFISTER, Núria MARTÍNEZ-CARRERAS, Christophe HISSLER, Julian KLAUS, Gwenael E. CARRER, Mike K. STEWART, Jeffrey J. McDONNELL (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) “Bedrock geology controls on catchment storage, mixing, and release: A comparative analysis of 16 nested catchments.” [2020]

Carole LINSTER, Nicole PACZIA, Julia BECKER-KETTERN, Jean-François CONROTTE, Daniel KAY (LCSB, University of Luxembourg) for the publication “NAD(P)HX dehydratase (NAXD) deficiency: A novel neurodegenerative disorder exacerbated by febrile illnesses.” [2020]

Eva LAGUNAS, Shree Krishna SHARMA, Sina MALEKI, Symeon CHATZINOTAS and Björn OTTERSTEN (SnT, University of Luxembourg) for the publication “Ressource Allocation for Cognitive Satellite Communications With Incumbent Terrestrial Networks.” Published in IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking, Vol. 1, No. 3, September 2015 [2019]

Antonio DEL SOL MESA & Satoshi OKAWA (LCSB, University of Luxembourg) for the publication “Transcriptional synergy as an emergent property defining cell subpopulation identity enables population shift.” Published in Nature Communications, 2018, 9:2595 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05016-8 [2018]

Pranjul SHAH & Paul WILMES (LCSB at the University of Luxembourg): “A Microfluidics-Based in Vitro Model of the Gastrointestinal Human-Microbe Interface.” Published in: Nature Communications [2017]

Mahesh DESAI (Luxembourg Institute of Health): “A Dietary Fiber-Deprived Gut Microbiota Degrades the Colonic Mucus Barrier and Enhances Pathogen Susceptibility.” Published in: Cell [2016]

Matteo POLETTINI (University of Luxembourg): ‘Efficiency statistics at all times: Carnot limit at finite power.’ [2016]

Ivan NOURDIN and Giovani PECCATI (University of Luxemburg – Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication):  ‘Normal Approximations with Malliavin Calculus: From Stein’s Method to Universality’. [2015]

Alex REDINGER, Dominik M. BERG, Phillip J. DALE and Susanne SIEBENTRITT (University of Luxembourg): ‘The Consquences of Kesterite Equilibria for Efficient Solar Cells’. [2014]

Joanna BAGINSKA and Bassam JANJI (CRP-Santé): ‘Granzyme B Degradation by Autophagy Decreases Tumor Cell Susceptibility to Natural Killer-mediated Lysis under Hypoxia’. [2014]

Alessandro MICHELUCCI, Thekla CORDES and Karsten HILLER (University of Luxembourg): ‘Immune-responsive Gene 1 Protein Links Metabolism to Immunity by Catalyzing Itaconic Acid Production’. [2014]

Pascale M. J. ENGEL DE ABREU (Université du Luxembourg): ‘Bilingualism Enriches the Poor: Enhanced Cognitive Control in Low-income Minority Children’. [2013]

Fabrizio FENICIA (CRP Gabriel Lippmann): ‘Elements of a flexible approach for conceptual hydrological modelling – Water Resources Research’. [2012]

Etienne MOUSSAY and Guy BERCHEM (CRP Santé): ‘MicroRNA as biomarkers and regulators in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA’. [2012]

Alex BIRYUKOV and Dmitry KHOVRATOVICH (Université du Luxembourg): Related-key Cryptanalysis of the Full AES-192 and AES-256 published in LNCS, ASIACRYPT’ 2009. [2011]

Adrien OTH (European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology): Evaluation and optimization of seismic networks and algorithms for earthquake early warning – the case of Istanbul published in Journal of Geophysical Research. [2011]

Guy SCHUMANN (University of Bristol; doctoral thesis carried out at the Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann 2005-2008): ‘Spatially distributed water stages from remotely sensed imagery: Prospects for improved flood inundation modelling’ (published in 2009, VDM Publishing). [2010]

Simone NICLOU et Uros RAJCEVIC (CRP-Santé): ‘iTRAQ-based proteomics profiling reveals increased metabolic activity and cellular cross-talk in angiogenic compared with invasive glioblastoma phenotype’ (published in 2009 in “Molecular and Cellular Proteomics” by the editor “American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology”. [2010]

Nicolas D’OREYE (MNHN): Strain accommodation by slow slip and dyking in a youthful continental drift, East Africa (published in 2008 in Nature) [2009]

Joël MOSSONG (Laboratoire National de Santé): ‘Social Contacts and Mixing Patterns Relevant to the Spread of Infectious Disease’ (published in 2008 in PLoS Medecine) [2009]

Michel PAULY (Université du Luxembourg): Peregrinorum, pauperum ac aliorum transeuntium receptaculum. Hospitäler zwischen Maas und Rhein im Mittelalter. (Habilitation, published in 2007 in Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Beiheft 190). [2009]


Claude WEHENKEL, former Director of the Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor (now part of the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology). [2015]

Fernand WAGNER, Vice-President, President and Honorary President of the European Association for Astronomy Education. [2013]
Pierre SECK, President of the Section des Sciences de l’Institut Grand-Ducal. [2011]