Awards and prizes


Tilburg University frequently presents awards to people in recognition of special achievements: honorary doctorates, PhD Thesis Awards, Master’s Thesis Awards and Best Teacher Awards. In addition, there are honors conferred by the University, such as the E. du Perron Prize, the Human Rights Award and the Willem Witteveen Fellowship. Honorary doctorates have been awarded since 1947 to individuals in recognition of exceptional social merit, usually in a lustrum year or on special occasions. In 2017, 51 honorary doctorates had been awarded to people like Marga Klompé, Kofi Annan and, on the occasion of the University’s 90th dies natalis, to Alexander Rinnooy Kan. Best PhD Thesis Awards are presented on the dies natalis, in the third week of November, every year.

Best teachers

Best Teacher Awards are presented by the faculties on the basis of students’ assessment scores. There are many Master’s thesis awards, including external ones. The alumni society Friends of Cobbenhagen, for example, has a Best (Research) Master’s Thesis Award to be presented at its annual fall meeting. Since 1995, the Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award has been presented to people who have made an exceptional scientific contribution to the field of human rights. In 2013, the Research Award for Best Research on Statelessness was instituted by the UNHCR and Tilburg University. Universities worldwide may nominate students for this award, whose research is then assessed by an international jury consisting of renowned academics in the fields of citizenship, statelessness and human rights.

Mutual understanding

The E. du Perron Prize has been presented to honor people or institutions that have made an active contribution to culture, promoting mutual understanding among multicultural population groups living in the Netherlands. It has been awarded by Humanities together with the Tilburg local council since 1986, and its laureates include Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Ramsey Nasr, Adriaan van Dis, Kader Abdolah and Marion Bloem. The KUBBIK Award has been regularly awarded since 1994 to people in the Netherlands or Flanders who have made significant contributions to the field of information science and the use of Information Technology (IT).

Witteveen Memorial Fellowshiop

The Witteveen Memorial Fellowship on Law and Humanities and the Marit Witteveen Award were instituted to commemorate Willem and Marit Witteveen, both of whom perished in the MH17 air disaster in 2014. Willem Witteveen held a professorship at the Tilburg Law School, and Marit Witteveen was a student of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Fellowship enables a junior (PhD or postdoc) researcher to specialize in a subject at the interface of Law and the Humanities. The Award is destined for the best first-year Liberal Arts and Sciences student. Tilburg University student athletes who engage in top-class sports have been granted a position of honor on the Wall of Fame at the Sports Center since 2015.