The Copernicus Award is conferred every two years to two researchers, one in Germany and one in Poland, for outstanding achievements in German-Polish scientific cooperation, in particular for promoting young researchers. It is conferred jointly by the DFG and the Foundation for Polish Science (Fundacja na Rzecz Nauki Polskiej, FNP).
The prize money of €100,000, which is donated by the DFG and the FNP in equal shares, is divided evenly among the laureates. Award winners - individual researchers or, under certain circumstances, teams of researchers - may use the prize money for any scientific purpose that is within the scope of the funding programmes of both organisations. The funds should be used to further advance research cooperation or the promotion of young researchers.
The award is granted on the basis of nominations received by a third party. Researchers working at universities or research institutions in Germany or Poland are eligible to nominate candidates for consideration. Previous laureates and research institutions that are devoted to German-Polish cooperation are invited to propose names as well. Laureates will be selected by a jury of six researchers, three of whom will be working in Germany and three in Poland. The German members will be appointed for a three-year term of office by the DFG's Joint Committee, and the Polish representatives will be selected by the FNP. The award ceremony will take place alternately in Poland and in Germany.