XPLORER PRIZE Charter

The following Charter serves as a guide to operations, principles and processes of the XPLORER PRIZE.

Chapter 1: General Guidelines

Article 1: About the Prize
The XPLORER PRIZE is a non-governmental, non-profit and public benefit award designed and run by a select group of scientists. The XPLORER PRIZE was initiated in 2018 by Ma Huateng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent and Founder of the Tencent Foundation, and Professor Rao Yi of Peking University, in cooperation with Nobel Laureate, Chen Ning Yang, and renowned professors Chen Shiyi, Cheng Taining, Gao Wen, He Huawu, Li Peigen, Mao Shude, Pan Jianwei, Shi Yigong, Wu Heqan, Xie Kechang and Xie Xiaoliang.
Article 2: Mission Statement
The XPLORER PRIZE focuses on fundamental science and research. It is a no-strings-attached award for extraordinarily talented young scientists, as an investment in their potential at the forefront of scientific discovery.
Article 3: Fundamental and Guiding Principles
The XPLORER PRIZE is an Independent and non-profit award. Applications are evaluated by an independent judging panel, with all decisions made in the public interest, irrespective of short term benefit or financial gain.

Chapter II: Details of The Grant

Article 4: Name
In Chinese: 科学探索奖
In English: XPLORER PRIZE
Article 5: Applicants
Young scientists aged 45 and under who are working full-time in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao.
Article 6: Fields
Fundamental science: Mathematics and Physics, Life Sciences, Astronomy and Geoscience, Chemistry and New Materials.
Frontier technologies: Information and Electronics Technologies, Energy and Environmental Protection, Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation and Construction, and Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies.
Article 7: Number of Recipients
Up to 50 winners per year.
Article 8: Grant
The XPLORER PRIZE awards a grant of three million RMB per recipient, to be paid in equal instalments of RMB600,000 over five years.

Chapter III: Management

Article 9: Governance Structure
The XPLORER PRIZE is headed by an Executive Committee, who manages the prize and a supporting Advisory Board.
The Executive Committee consists of Review, Oversight and Operations Committees.
Article 10: Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the highest decision-making body for the XPLORER PRIZE. It is responsible for setting the grant’s objectives, appointing the Review, Oversight and Operations Committees, and approving the final results of the review.
Article 11: Advisory Board
Members of the Advisory Board have been selected as leaders within their respective science & research fields and have served as senior members in the public sector. The Advisory Board provides strategic counselling for the Executive Committee.
Article 12: Review Committee
The Review Committee decides the guiding principles for multiple-step reviews, and the selection of final award winners, who are to be confirmed by the Executive Committee.
Article 13: Oversight Committee
The Oversight Committee is composed of specialists in law, finance, auditing, philanthropy, public policy and other fields. The duties are as follows: to provide professional advice; to oversee the review and selection process and to ensure the award’s credibility.
Article 14: Operations Committee
The Operations Committee is responsible for the administration, and day-to-day support to all the above mentioned Committees. It also looks after the public communications of the program, and the advocacy of science among the public.

Chapter IV: Review and Selection

Article 15: Candidates
Candidates are selected either through nomination or self-nomination. The requirements of each are specified in a separate document.
Article 16: Nomination
Each nominator may nominate one candidate in their field per year.
Article 17: Individual application
Applicants are welcome to self-nominate themselves for the award by submitting an online application on the official XPLORER PRIZE website.
Article 18: Review Process
The review process is made up of three steps, including preliminary review, review and a final, face-to-face presentation and evaluation.
Article 19: Announcement
Winners shall be announced online by the Operations Committee in September.

Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions

Article 20: Duties of Award Winners
Winners are required to submit an annual progress report of their project to the Review Committee and are expected to adhere to academic principles, uphold the scientific spirit and ensure the integrity of their research. They are also expected to support the advocacy of science among the public.
Article 21: Withdrawal
If an award-winner violates the provisions of this charter, the Executive Committee reserves the right to terminate the grant.
Article 22: Disclosures and Abstention
Judges are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest 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.
Article 23: Confidentiality
All members of the XPLORER PRIZE Committees and judges involved in the review process are subject to confidentiality obligations.
Article 24: Amendment and Interpretation
The Operations Committee reserves the right to amend the rules subject to approval from the Executive Committee. The final right of interpretation belongs to the Operations Committee.
Article 25: Enforcement
This Charter shall be implemented on the date of issue.

Operations Committee of the XPLORER PRIZE
January 2021