The International Advisory Board of the International Conference on Noncovalent Interactions (ICNI) has awarded Dr. Alexander TKATCHENKO ( , Professor of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics at the Department of Physics and Material Sciences of the University of Luxembourg, the  « van der WAALS prize for Young Scientist 2020 ».
This distinction marks the recognition of the scientific community to a researcher aged up to 45 years who has made major and influential contributions to the field of noncovalent interactions in the early stage of his/her career.

The  award ceremony will take place during the second ICNI to be held from the 19th to the 23rd of July 2021 at the University of Strasbourg, France.  For further information see .

On this occasion of the first International Conference on Noncovalent Interactions (ICNI 2019) which was held in Lisbon in 2019, its International Advisory Board has formally agreed on a proposal, from the Chairs of the Conference, for the establishment of a prize, named the van der Waals Prize, to distinguish scientists of high scientific merit who have contributed in an outstanding way to the development of the field of Noncovalent Interactions in Science.

It was further agreed that this Prize should distinguish a senior and a young (not older than 45 years) scientist in alternating years.

The van der Waals Prize for a senior scientist was already awarded for the first time on the occasion of the 1st ICNI (2019) to Prof. Pavel Hobza, and the prize for a young scientist should thus be awarded for the first time in 2020 and the respective Call is open during the period of March 1 – June 30.

In 2021, the van der Waals Prize will concern a senior scientist. Both these distinctions will be presented to the awardees (the senior and the young one) during the ICNI 2021.

Call for the van der Waals Prize for Young Scientist  

The van der Waals Prize for Young Scientist aims to recognize relevant achievements by a young scientist in the field of noncovalent interactions in science.

General information

  1. Run biennially
  2. The winner will be elected by the van der Waals Award Committee (IAB members of ICNI)
  3. The winner will receive €1000 and a certificate during the ICNI 2021 in Strasbourg
  4. The winner will deliver a Plenary Lecture at the ICNI 2021.

Guidelines for Applicants

  1. Call opens on 01 March 2020 and closes on 30 June 2020.
  2. The winner will be announced by 01 November 2020 at the ICNI 2021 Website.
  3. The call is open to all young scientists (of any nationality) with the age limit of 45 (including it, until 31.12.2020).
  4. The applicant should send the following required documents to (Dr. Kamran T. Mahmudov, ICNI Secretary) and Cc to (Prof. Jean-Pierre Djukic, Chairman of ICNI 2021):
  1. Copy of Passport or Identity Card (in order to prove the age)
  2. Curriculum vitae which should include, inter alia, a summary of the main achievements in noncovalent interactions, the Web of Science Citation Report, a list of 10 selected publications and the list of all publications.

Supporting Letters are not required.

The Award Committee has the right to rescind the application, if applicant provides a wrong information.

Award Committee (International Advisory Board of ICNI)

Award Commitee foe VdW Prize


Download the « van der Waals » pdf file