Future Proef Award

Compete in the Future Proef Award! Registration is possible until the 6th of October.

An award for sustainable master theses

Future Proef Award Ghent University

The Gent Future Proef Award rewards UGent master’s theses that contribute to a sustainable future. We seek graduating students who have conducted (a) high-quality research that (b) has an impact, (c) is future-oriented, and (d) contributes to a more sustainable society, economy, and planet.

Sustainability is one of the most guiding concepts of our time. Its definition varies from context to context and from person to person. Consequently, many master’s theses have a link to sustainability and are eligible for this award.

The Ghent Future Proef Award serves as a pre-selection for the Flemish Future Proef Award.

Flemish Future Proef Award

The three laureates that were selected by the jury of Ghent University, advance to the Flemish level, where an independent jury will select a top three across institutions. The main prize is 3000 euros, and the 2nd and 3rd place will each receive 500 euros.

For whom?

Each student enrolled at Ghent University can register until the 6th of October, 2024, providing the following requirements are met:

  • The master’s thesis was completed in the past academic year.
  • The participating candidates scored at least 16/20 for the master’s thesis.
  • The master’s thesis is written in Dutch or English.
  • The master’s thesis can be on any subject, as long as it contributes to a sustainable future.
  • Confidential theses are not a problem, but please let us know so we can make proper arrangements.

How to participate?

The registration happens online via the platform of the Flemish Government and consists of your master's thesis itself and a registration form. This counts as your motivation, and is based on the assessment criteria below. On the ‘apply’ page you will find a template per educational level (graduate, bachelor and master). Use this template to explain how your final thesis contributes to the criteria. You should then attach this completed template to your application.

After the registration deadline, all participants will receive a confirmation email from duurzaam@ugent.be with the necessary information about the further course of the competition.

Assessment criteria (compass)

The Future Proef Award rewards master’s theses that focus on sustainability. This can range from promoting sustainable thinking or devising sustainable solutions to societal challenges, to actually taking sustainable action.

The jury takes into account the following criteria when assessing the final projects:

  • Having a broad vision on or understanding of sustainability, with attention to ecological (for our planet), economic (for our prosperity), and/or social (for people) dimensions.
  • (Potential) impact on society.
  • Being innovative and/or creativein terms of sustainability, in ideas or approach, while considering a sustainable future.

To understand and interpret the criteria properly, we have prepared a sustainability compass. This compass includes a series of in-depth questions for each criterion. These questions can help you to gain a broader understanding on the topic and make you reflect critically. The questions are not all-encompassing, they are a guide for developing your final thesis and for writing your motivation.

The compass can be supplemented with elements you identify yourself that are important to you in interpreting the criteria. After all, sustainability is a multifaceted concept with different interpretations.

The course of the competition

You have time to register until the 6th of October

In the course of October, a pre-selection will be made based on the application forms. On the 29th of October, you will find out if you are one of the ten nominees for the Ghent Future Proef Award.

All participants must also submit an article by the 29th of October (midnight). If you are nominated, you also have a chance at the audience award. If not, we will place your article on our website in the second semester.

The jury will select three winners from the ten nominees, and a public vote will take place based on the articles on the Future Proef website.

The official award ceremony of Ghent University will take place on the 10th of December, 2024.

At the Flemish level, the three laureates from Ghent University will compete against students from other educational institutions. This selection will be based on the registration forms. An independent Flemish jury will then select three Flemish Future Proef winners.

The winners of the Flemish Future Proef Award will be announced in the spring of 2025.

Your thesis on the Future Proef website

Every thesis that is registered gets a place on the Future Proef website in the form of a readable article. Like that, we make sustainable student research accessible for everyone, and we take many interesting theses out of their figurative drawer.

To compete for the audience award, all laureates also have to write an article. The public can then vote on the website.

All articles will also be put in the spotlight by us on our social media.


You can always e-mail us for further questions.