The Zeiss Post-doctoral Keynote Award

The Zeiss Postdoctoral Keynote Award may be made annually to the lead author of an outstanding paper on a topic within the VMSG remit, who has also made an exceptional contribution to supporting individuals or the wider research community, or to broader society, commensurate with their career stage.

The Award winner will have the opportunity to present their research as a keynote talk at the 2025 VMSG conference in Dublin.

An eligible individual may be nominated by one or more nominators. Nomination is by the identification of one research publication, accompanied by one support letter signed by up to three nominators. The nominee should have been awarded their PhD but not yet hold a permanent or tenure-track position, or hold an independent fellowship that is three or more years in total duration. We particularly encourage nominations that support individuals from historically under-represented groups.

All nominations will be evaluated by the VMSG Committee. The awarding panel reserves the right to make no award in any given year. It may also be appropriate for a joint award to be granted in any given year. The awarding panel reserves the right to re-advertise if the applicant pool is not diverse.

The awarding panel will review all nominations based on the following criteria:

Research paper (70%)

  • Novelty, significance or innovation in the research design
  • Quality of the research
  • Accessibility of the research (e.g., open data and reproducible code)

Exceptional contributions (30%)

  • Contributions by the nominee to supporting individuals (e.g., mentorship) or the research community, or to generating impact for broader society.
  • Contributions will be evaluated commensurate to career stage

Full details for the Zeiss Postdoctoral Keynote Award can be found here. The application form to accompany the support letter can be downloaded here.

Applications are currently closed. However, when open should be sent to the VMSG Awards Officer (

Past winners:

2024: Martin Mangler

2023: Nick Barber

2022: Penny Wieser

2021: Jamie Farquharson