Prize Yola Verhasselt for Tropical Geography

Text approved by the Administrative Commission during its session of 21 September 2006, modified during its session of 23 March 2011, 25 September 2013 and 28 September 2016.

1. On the occasion of the academic retirement of Professor Yola Verhasselt, Permanent Secretary from 1995 until 2005, the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences of Belgium has set up a fund intended for the award of a prize named "Prize for Tropical Geography Yola Verhasselt".

2. The Fund is composed of start-up capital consisting of gifts to the Academy for this purpose. It will be increased with the interest on its capital, as well as with potential donations and legacies made to the Academy in order to raise the Fund.

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

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, any decision to integrate the Fund into the Academy's property may not be taken less than fifty years after its creation.

4. Members of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences cannot be awarded the Prize.

5. The winner of the Prize for Tropical Geography will be granted a travel credit for financing field work in tropical geography.

6. The Prize amounts to 2,500 EUR. It will be awarded every three years and for the first time in 2007. The Administrative Commission is allowed to alter the amount of the Prize and its periodicity.

7. Five copies of the projects should be sent to the Academy secretariat before 1 February of the year in which the Prize is awarded.

8. The Prize is awarded by the Section of Human Sciences, on the proposal of an ad hoc Committee. This Committee includes:

a. Ms Yola Verhasselt;
b. The Permanent Secretary, who is in charge of the secretariat;
c. One member, preferably a geographer, of each Section (i.e. the Section of Human Sciences, the Section of Natural and Medical Sciences, the Section of Technical Sciences), appointed by his/her respective Section, during its February session following the submission of the projects, among (honorary) fellow, (honorary) associate and (honorary) corresponding members of the Academy.

Should the topic of a research project require it, the Committee may appoint one or two specialists, even from outside the Academy, for its assessment.

9. The report of the ad hoc Committee is sent to the Section of Human Sciences before 10 May following deliberation of this Committee.

10. No correspondence will be exchanged concerning the committee's deliberation

11. The Section of Human Sciences will nominate the winner during its May session. This nomination will result from a vote by a show of hands by the (honorary) fellow, (honorary) associate and (honorary) corresponding members. To be appointed, a candidate should obtain an absolute majority of the votes. If no candidate obtains such a majority after three rounds, the Prize will not be awarded and the amount intended for this award will remain part of the Fund.

12. The Prize cannot be split.

13. The candidate selected will be conferred the title of "Laureate of the Prize for Tropical Geography Yola Verhasselt". The proclamation will take place during the academic opening session.

14. The Academy may decide to publish the results of the research. In all his/her future publications relative to the award-winning work, the laureate should refer to the Academy and to the Prize.


Rules for the Introduction of Projects and for the Use of the Travel Credit

1. General Requirements

Any candidate for the Prize for Tropical Geography should necessarily meet the following requirements so that his/her project can be considered as valid by the jury in charge of awarding this Prize.

1. Holding a doctorate in geography (obtained for the last five years) or being registered to the doctorate in geography;
2. Being attached to a Belgian university or a scientific institute;
3. Introducing a research project (motivation and description) in tropical geography accompanied with the advice of a research director or promoter being Doctor in Geography or equivalent.

2. Procedure for Introducing the Projects

In order to be admissible, the outlines of the projects should necessarily include the following indications:

1. The aim of the project, a description and a detailed work plan;
2. The candidate's motivation for achieving this field work;
3. The proof of the candidate's collaboration with local scientists;
4. A budget estimate (see below);
5. Other financing requested or received for achieving the project;
6. The candidate's curriculum vitae;
7. The research director's or promoter's advice both on the validity of the project and on the candidate's ability to achieve it.

3. Payment and Use of the Travel Credit

1. The amount of the Prize is put at the laureate's disposal at the latest thirty days following the Section's decision.
2. The travel credit is intended, within the scope of the amount granted, to cover the return journey – in economy class – of the laureate from his/her place of residence in Belgium to the place of his/her work overseas, the overseas accommodation expenses, the local trips, the small equipment, the material and the products necessary for the accomplishment of the planned field work.
3. The expenses exceeding the amount of the travel credit will not be supported by the Academy.
4. The travel credit granted can by no means be a remuneration profitable to the laureate.
5. The award of the Prize for Tropical Geography does not entail any obligations by the Academy towards the laureate.
6. The Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences takes no responsibility, neither towards the laureate nor towards third parties, for disease or accident occurring during the trips, moves and stays of the person concerned. It will not intervene in the medical and hospital fees, even if these result from the execution of the work programme for which the travel credit has been intended.

It is up to the laureate to take out the necessary insurance policies.

4. Travel Report

Within a three-month period following his/her journey overseas, the laureate of the Prize for Tropical Geography will send to the Permanent Secretary of the Academy, a report on the accomplishment of his/her research work, on the expected publication of the results, and he/she will supply the detailed account of his/her expenses together with the written proofs.