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The Copernicus Award is conferred every two years to two researchers, one in Germany and one in Poland, for outstanding achievements in German-Polish research cooperation in all fields of science and the humanities. It is conferred jointly by the DFG and the Foundation for Polish Science (Fundacja na rzecz Nauki Polskiej, FNP). The prize money of € 200,000, which is donated by the DFG and the FNP in equal shares, is divided evenly between the laureates. Award winners may use the prize money for any academic purpose that is within the scope of the funding programmes of both organizations. The funds should be used to further intensify Polish-German research cooperation.
The award is granted on the basis of nominations received by a third party or on the basis of self-nominations. Researchers holding a PhD working at universities and/or research institutions in Germany and Poland are eligible to nominate candidates. Laureates will be selected by a jury of eight researchers, four of whom are working in Germany and four in Poland. The German jury members will be appointed for a four-year term of office by DFG and FNP. In order to cover all fields of science and the humanities represented by the candidates, up to two associate jury members may be appointed . The award ceremony will take place alternately in Poland and in Germany.