Yearly Competitions Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences (RAOS)



Information about the Competitions 2024 and 2025


In order to stimulate high-quality scientific research regarding problems inherent to overseas regions, the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences (RAOS) organizes yearly competitions.


  1. Every year, each Section of the Academy puts one question forward on specific subjects. In its February meeting, each Section sets the theme on which the question will be focused and appoints two members in charge of writing it. In its March meeting, each Section approves the final text of the question. Each question should be worded as broadly as possible in order to generate a real competition.
  1. The competition is open to all scientists worldwide without any age restriction. Academy members are not allowed to take part.
  1. Each award-winning work in the yearly competition is granted a cash prize (2,500 EUR).
  1. The work submitted to the Academy’s yearly competition should be an original and recent (max. five years old) scientific manuscript: a PhD thesis or a work of at least the same level. Submitting a work to yearly competition implies that the potential laureate subscribes to the conditions linked to the acceptance of the prize.
  2. Only the works written in English, French, Dutch, German and Spanish will be taken into consideration by the Academy.
  1. The authors of works intended for the competition may remain anonymous. In this case, they should add to their submission a sealed envelope containing their name and address and bearing a distinctive sign or motto reproduced at the beginning of their work. This envelope is opened after awarding the prize.
  2. The works submitted to the competition should reach the Academy’s secretariat by 1 March of the year following that of the announcement of the question: five paper documents and an electronic version. For the candidates from overseas countries (developing and emerging countries) three paper copies and one electronic document will do. Candidates will enclose in their request an abstract of maximum 1,200 words and a curriculum vitae.


Questions for the Competition 2024

First question. — An original study is requested on the current transformations, within an overseas community, of the social practices in relation to the environment.

2nd question. — A study of traditional sustainable irrigation systems in overseas semi-arid and arid regions is requested.

3rd question. — A scientific and/or technical study is requested on sustainable circular economy models in emerging countries based on one or more successful examples.


Questions for the Competition 2025

First question. — A study is requested on the judicial system in an African or Asian colony in the first half of the 20th century.

2nd question. — A study is requested on the impact of climate change on the productivity of tropical lakes and on the management of these aquatic resources by the local population.

3rd question. — A study is requested on the lessons learned so far in emerging countries on the first concrete achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030, UN 2015), in particular SDG 4 (good quality education) in connection with SDG 2 (hunger and food security), SDG 6 (water and sanitation) and/or SDG 7 (clean and affordable energy).


More information