Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.

Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award regulations

Eligible candidates

The award is conceived as an incentive award for young researchers, and the nominations are limited to undergraduate, graduate, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Senior academic staff cannot compete. Each year, awards are presented in two categories:

  • (a) category 1 for the best doctoral dissertation;
  • (b) category 2 for: Best non-dissertation academic text (notably a Bachelor or Master thesis, or a paper published in an academic journal).

Each faculty can nominate only one candidate in each category. The total prize money is € 5,000, to be distributed as indicated by the jury.


'Human rights' are conceived of in a broad sense, to include such traditional human rights as the right to free speech and the right not to be tortured, as well as social and economic rights, such as the right to food, housing, education, and health care.

Publications may also look at human rights enjoyment by specific groups, for instance through the lens of gender, age or ethnicity, or human rights in specific situations, such as emergencies and during or after violent conflicts. Studies can focus as well on human rights procedures, institutions and other forms of implementation, monitoring and enforcement.

They may be theoretical in nature or based on empirical research. To be eligible for nomination:

  • doctoral dissertations must have been defended between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2019
  • manuscripts in the second category, non-dissertation academic texts, must have been defended or published between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019. Only manuscripts written in Dutch or English will be considered.

Procedure and deadlines

Candidates or nominators must inform their faculty board of their intended submission in due time. Each faculty can nominate only one candidate in each category and nominations will be made according to the faculty's internal procedures.

There are two separate deadlines to submit the manuscripts:

  • Doctoral dissertations (category 1) the deadline for submission is 1 July 2019;
  • Non-dissertation academic texts (category 2) the deadline is 1 October 2019.

Five copies of each text must be submitted and contact details must be provided of the candidates and their supervisors.

The nominations can be sent to:

  • Tilburg University
    Tilburg Law School
    Department European and International Public Law
    attn. Mrs. M. Bosscher, Room M533
    PO Box 90153
    5000 LE Tilburg
    The Netherlands