ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

Each year, the Foundation awards the ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize to a winner for a clinical and basic scientific research project in the area of neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders. The value of the prize currently amounts to 750,000 euros.

The winners

Professor Pierre VANDERHAEGHEN

2009 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Pierre Vanderhaeghen, member of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. cvvanderhaeghen

“Study of the mechanisms of the development of the cerebral cortex, from stem cells to circuits, in health and disease.”


Professor Pierre GRESSENS

2010 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Pierre GRESSENS, Hôpital Robert-Debré, Inserm and Université Paris Diderot. CV-Gressens

The research of Professor Pierre Gressens concerns the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for brain damage in new-born babies and the identification of new strategies to protect the brains of these infants.


Professeur Alexis BRICE

2011 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Alexis BRICE (Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpétrière à Paris)

“Élucidation des bases moléculaires des maladies neurodégénératives”

“Elucidation of the genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases.”


Professor Stanislas DEHAENE

2012 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Stanislas DEHAENE (Collège de France) CV_StanDEHAENE

“Signatures of consciousness : From theory to clinical applications in coma and vegetative patients.”


Professor Andreas MEYER-LINDENBERG

2013 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Andreas MEYER-LINDENBERG CV Meyer-Lindenberg Spoelberch

“Advancing treatment discovery in schizophrenia through functionally relevant neuronal intermediate phenotypes.”


Professor Oscar MARIN

2014 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Oscar MARIN (King’s College London) CV Oscar Marin

“Understanding the aetiology of neuropsychiatric illness trough neural circuit interrogation in animal models.”


Professor Franck POLLEUX

2015 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Franck POLLEUX  CV Franck Polleux 

“Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development, maintenance and evolution of cortical connectivity”


Professeur Magdalena GÖTZ

2016 ROGER DE SPOELBERCH Prize

awarded to Professor Magdalena GÖTZ CV Magdalena Götz

The Götz lab works on the mechanisms of neurogenesis and applies these after brain injury towards replacing degenerated neurons and improving scar formation.

The regulations

Regulations relating to the awarding of the prize for medical research in the area of neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders

Article 1

The Fondation ROGER DE SPOELBERCH, a foundation based in Geneva, was set up in order to implement the wishes of certain members of the De Spoelberch family, a very reputable Belgian family, in particular to grant funds to research programmes in the areas of neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.

Article 2

In order to fulfil its purpose, the Foundation decided to award an annual prize. The Prize awarded by the Foundation is reserved for clinical and basic scientific research projects. The Prize amount awarded is the amount that is determined by the Foundation Board and which is made known in good time. The Foundation Board determines the prize amount at its sole discretion.

The Prize is awarded annually.

Until otherwise decided by the Foundation Board, the value of the Prize is fixed at 750,000 euros, at least two-thirds of which must be used for the costs of developing the research that is the purpose of the Prize, with the balance potentially being awarded to the individual Winner in person.

The Prize may, if applicable, cover the staff, investment or operating costs of the Winner and/or his or her team after the Prize has been awarded. In this case, the Winner will inform the Scientific Committee in writing of his or her intention to proceed in this manner, notwithstanding Article 7 below.

Article 3

The Winner must be proposed by a person duly qualified to assess the value of his or her work.

Applications must be submitted prior to 30 June of the current year and sent to the Chair of the Scientific Committee by email to Fondation.roger.de.spoelberch@gmail.com or Fondation.rds@gmail.com, or to the Foundation’s postal address: 17, Chemin Rieu, 1208 Geneva.

The upper age limit for all candidates is set at 55 at the time of the filling of the application. The nominees may not have previously won a prize equivalent to the ROGER DE SPOELBERCH prize. The Foundation Board may permit an exception if there are exceptional circumstances, as well as on a duly reasoned proposal from the Scientific Committee.

There is no application form. The candidat should send a full CV, with top ten peer-reviewed publications, research achievements, project proposal for the prize with precise budget plan.

Article 4

The candidates for the Prize must hold a Ph.D.

The Prize may not be divided up among different persons.

Article 5

The projects are analysed by the Scientific Committee. The latter will make award recommendations to the Foundation Board, which will alone be authorised to take award decisions based on the proposal(s) that has (have) been submitted to it.

The proposal is subject to an absolute majority of the votes cast. In the case of a tie, the Chair of the Scientific Committee has the casting vote.

The Scientific Committee gives its decision in the four months following receipt of the application, carried by an absolute majority of the votes cast, without possibility of appeal. In the case of a tie, the Chair has the casting vote.

If the Scientific Committee considers that none of the projects are of sufficient value it will inform the Foundation Board of this as soon as possible. In this case, no Prize will be awarded. In this case, the Foundation Board may ask the Chair of the Scientific Committee to introduce a new procedure with the aim of awarding a Prize during the course of the same year.

Article 6

The Prize amount is awarded through a one-off payment, subject to exceptions agreed to by the Foundation Board. The value of the prize is transferred to the bank account of the institution to which the Winner is attached as well as, in respect of the share given to the Winner himself or herself pursuant to Article 2, to his or her personal account.

The amount reserved for the Winner may be paid to directly to him or her, to his or her personal bank account.

The Winner is required to personally take the necessary steps necessary in order to receive the Prize amount net of any deduction that the institution to which he or she is attached may wish to make.

If the Winner leaves the institution to which he or she is attached before the prize has been used in its entirety, the balance of the prize must be retained by the Winner and must be transferred to the new host institution.

In the case of the death of the winner before the Prize amount has been used in its entirety, the institution to which the Winner was attached before his or her death may keep the unspent share of the prize and use it to undertake the contractual commitments made, or to continue ongoing work that has not yet been completed.

When the institution to which the Winner is attached requests the drawing up of an ad hoc agreement, the Foundation Board provides for the drawing up of the necessary document, in collaboration with the institution concerned.

Article 7

The Winner is required to provide to the Chair of the Scientific Committee an annual report on the scientific work for which he or she was awarded the Prize, as well as on the allocation of the prize amount and the justification of the costs incurred.

The Foundation Board may request a more detailed analysis from the Scientific Committee if it is deemed necessary.

On the expiry of a period of three years or at a later date if the Foundation Board deems it appropriate, the Winner must submit to the Scientific Committee a summary report on its work and a final report on the use of the funds that he or she received.

The Scientific Committee examines these reports and confirms to the Foundation Board that the information provided justifies the allocation of the Prize amount.

If necessary, the Scientific Committee requests the further information required.

Article 8

The recipients of the Prize, namely the Winner and the members of his or her team whose work was the reason for the awarding of the Prize, for whom the Winner vouches, undertake to explicitly mention the name of the Foundation in their acknowledgements in any publication, in particular a scientific publication, that deals with the work carried out with the assistance of the Foundation or refers to this work.

Article 9

In the case of a difference of opinion on the admissibility of applications submitted with a view to winning the Prize or concerning the awarding of it, the Foundation Board takes the appropriate decisions and measures, for which it may request the opinion of the Scientific Committee.

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