Brussels Hosted by The Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp (KMDA) & The Royal Belgian Society for Zoology (RBZS)

Are you a graduating Master student with an innovative thesis in Zoology? Are you eager to pursue an academic career? The Jacques Kets Award for Zoology wants to give you a head start in boosting your academic skills and building your professional network. Award prizes include a travel grant, a presentation workshop and attendance as an invited speaker at the ZOOLOGY 2023 conference. Deadline for application is 23 September 2023.

Who can participate?

Each Masters student in biology, molecular biology, bioscience-engineering or related scientific disciplines who wrote a Master’s thesis at a Belgian university or research institute during the academic year 2022-2023 or even 2021-2022, and received a grade of at least 14/20 for their thesis.

The only requirement is that the subject of the thesis is in a zoological discipline in the broadest sense; this includes fundamental and applied studies in biodiversity conservation, ecology, population & conservation genetics, behavioural ecology & ethology, animal physiology, endocrinology, evolutionary biology, comparative anatomy & morphology, taxonomy & phylogeny, neurobiology or related disciplines.

Participation requires candidates to be able to join us at the Kets Award Finals in Brussels on 18 November 2023.

How do you participate?

Submit a detailed English abstract of your thesis (maximum 500 words), fill out the registration form below, and don't forget to answer the two questions. Deadline for submission is 23 September 2023, 23:59.

The abstracts will be evaluated by an expert jury comprising professors representing the Belgian universities and will pass two selections:

  • First, the scientific jury will select the four best abstracts from the submitted contributions.
  • Second, the four shortlisted candidates will be invited to give an oral presentation of their work (in English) during the Kets Award Finals which is embedded within the yearly Master Day in Biology to compete for both a Jury Award and an Audience Award.

Prior to the Kets Award Finals, the shortlisted candidates will be offered a workshop by “The Floor is Yours” on how to present your research in a clear and convincing way.

Award prizes

The Jury Award will be provided by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, who will give the winner a Conference Travel Grant worth € 1,000.

The Public Prize will be provided by the Royal Belgian Zoological Society, who will give the winner the opportunity (registration, travel and accommodation included) to present his/her work as an invited speaker for an international audience of zoologists at the ZOOLOGY 2023 conference (formerly Benelux Congress of Zoology).

About the award

The Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp and the Royal Belgian Zoological Society annually award a scientific award for the best Belgian master thesis presentation in Zoology.

The “Jacques Kets” Award was first installed in 1953 by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp to arouse the love for nature in young people and to encourage them to pursue a career in natural sciences. The award was named after Jacques Kets, a naturalist and taxidermist from Antwerp who in 1843 became the first director of the newly established Antwerp Zoo.

In 2007 the Jacques Kets Award was modified into a “booster grant” to give promising Masters students the opportunity to build upon their achievements, to stimulate them to pursue an academic career in zoology, and give them a head start in building a professional network.