Marthe Engelborghs-Bertels Prize for Sinology

Text approved by the Administrative Commission during its session of 28 September 2016 and modified during its session of 9 April 2018.

1. In order to promote sinology studies in Belgium and in Europe, the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences has set up a Marthe Engelborghs-Bertels Fund.

2. The Fund is composed of start-up capital left from a legacy. It will be increased with potential donations made to the Academy in order to increment the fund. The unspent surplus interests for awarding the Prize will be allocated to possible publications.

3. The Fund is managed by the Administrative Commission of the Academy under a separate account.

4. The Fund has been set up in order to award a prize named “Marthe Engelborghs-Bertels Prize for Sinology” to the author of a memoir of great scientific value, unpublished or published for less than five years, written in English, French, Dutch or German, on a subject related to the Chinese world in the broader sense of the word, i.e. continental China, Taiwan and Chinese diaspora.

5. The Prize is intended for scientists coming from a European country who know Chinese or a language of the minorities living in China. These scientists should either have completed higher education studies in Belgium or in a member state of the European Union, or be attached to a higher education or research establishment located in a member state of the European Union.

6. The Prize temporarily amounts to 12,500 EUR.  It will be awarded every five years and for the first time in 2018. The Administrative Commission is allowed to alter the amount of the Prize and its periodicity ten years after the Fund’s establishment at the earliest.

7. Memoirs submitted should be sent to the Academy’s secretariat before 1 February of the year in which the Prize is awarded: six paper copies and one electronic version. Candidates will append to their application a summary of 1,200 words maximum, a curriculum vitae and a covering letter.

8. The Prize will be awarded by the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences on a proposal from an ad hoc Committee including:

a) the Permanent Secretary, who acts as chair and is in charge of the secretariat;
b) three Academy members appointed by the Section of Human Sciences depending on submitted subjects. One member at least should belong to the Section of Human Sciences. The appointment will take place during the February session after receipt of the memoirs;
c) at least two sinologists from outside the Academy, attached to the following universities: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université catholique de Louvain, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Universiteit Gent and Université de Liège, and appointed by the Section of Human Sciences.

The ad hoc Committee will appoint by show of hands the proposed candidate who shall have obtained the absolute majority vote. If no candidate obtains such a majority after three rounds, the Prize will not be awarded and a call for candidates will be launched after a two-year period.

No correspondence will be exchanged concerning the Committee’s deliberation.

9. The report of the ad hoc Committee should be submitted to the Section of Human Sciences before 1st May following the constitution of this Committee.

10. The Section of Human Sciences will nominate the winner during its May session.  This nomination will be the result of a show of hands vote by the fellow, associate and corresponding members present. To be appointed, a candidate should obtain the absolute majority vote.

11. The Prize cannot be split.

12. The author of the award-winning work will be conferred the title of “Laureate of the Marthe Engelborghs-Bertels Prize for Sinology”.

13. If the prizewinning memoir is unpublished, the Academy may decide to publish it.

14. If the assets of the Fund are no longer sufficient to award a prize of a reasonable amount, the Administrative Commission is allowed to decide to integrate the balance of it into the Academy’s general assets. However, a decision to integrate the Fund into the Academy’s property may not be taken less than fifty years after its creation.