Q1: Are there any updates to the XPLORER PRIZE this year?
A1: Applicants may now apply from a broader range of areas. Starting from 2021, applicants wishing to apply should be young scientists engaged in full-time scientific research in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao.
Q2: How to apply?
A2: There are two channels: nomination and self-nomination.

Nominations: Nominators are invited by the XPLORER PRIZE. Nominators must provide the information of two referrers in support of the nominee’s application. The Secretariat shall contact nominees by email to submit their application.

Self-nomination: Applicants who meet the requirements of the XPLORER PRIZE can log on to the official XPLORER PRIZE website to submit their applications along with the contact details of three referrers, who hold professorships or above and specialize in the same field as the applicant.
Q3: What are the application requirements?
A3: Applicants should not be more than 45 years old (born after January 1, 1975), have obtained the highest level of academic degree in their major and must be engaged in full-time scientific research in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao.
Q4: Can people from other countries apply?
A4: Yes. All applicants engaged in full-time scientific research in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao, regardless of nationality, can submit an application for review.
Q5: Can previous unsuccessful applicants apply again?
A5: Yes. Unsuccessful applicants can apply again if they are eligible. However, a new application must be made.
Q6: What is the deadline for applications?
A6: The application period is from January 1 to April 15, 2021, Recommendation letters must be submitted by April 30, 2021.
Q7: Is a self-nominated applicant required to resubmit an application if nominated by someone?
A7: No. After nomination, the nominee can log on to the official XPLORER PRIZE and submit his/her unique nomination code.
Q8: Do nominated applicants have a higher possibility of winning than self-nominated applicants?
A8: No. Both are treated equally during the review.
Q9: How many nominees can one nominator endorse?
A9: Nominator can only nominate one applicant per year and in principle are advised not to write recommendation letters for other rival applicants in the same field. However, they can provide recommendation letters for applicants in other fields if appropriate.
Q10: How many applicants can one expert recommend?
A10: In principle, one expert is advised to write only one letter of recommendation per field.
Q11: Which is more important, proposals or achievements?
A11: The award is future-orientated to support the most promising candidates. Therefore, proposals are given more weight during the review process.
Q12: How does the XPLORER PRIZE support young researchers?
A12: When all the required criteria are met, the younger an applicant is, the better chance for them to win. For those aged 35 or under, the XPLORER PRIZE also includes five New Star initiative grants.
Q13: How does the XPLORER PRIZE ensure impartiality?
A13: Judges are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest and abstain from the process before conducting a review. Conflict of interest may evolve from, but is not limited to, working for the same employer, teacher-student relationship, familial ties, project cooperation (up to five years after completion), business partnership, rivalry, nomination or recommendation.
Q14: What was the success rate of applicants in 2019?
A14: The success rate between applicants and award-winners stood at about 25:1.
Q15: How are applicants’ intellectual property and information protected?
A15: All online and offline documents are watermarked, and all individuals with access to applications must sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure intellectual property, and the personal information of each individual is protected.
Q16: Will unsuccessful applicants receive feedback?
A16: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants. However, applicants who reach the final review stage will receive feedback during their face-to-face review and evaluation.
Q17: Does the grant come with any spending requirements?
A17: No. The EXPLORER PRIZE is a no-strings-attached award program; how the grant is used is decided solely by the award-winner.