Each and every PC may nominate up to 3 candidates for the competition. Eligibility is defined below. Each PC decides on its own process by which it chooses its candidates, based on a rational process with clearly defined criteria and group selecting entries. The selected candidates are be required to submit 3-page summaries of the research to be judged by the da Vinci Jury - drawn from distinguished academics and industrialists. Summaries should cover: objectives, research route, methodology, outcome (including major results and graphical representation) and conclusions, with particular emphasis being placed on novelty and originality. The Jury will decide on a shortlist of entries to be presented at the actual da Vinci event at the Autumn Festival.
Candidates may be PhD students or PhD graduates who have submitted their PhD theses no earlier than 1st January in the preceding year. The institutions with which the candidates are associated need not be members of ERCOFTAC, although some PCs have indicated their wish to restrict their selection to ERCOFTAC members only.
Travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses incurred by the candidates are reimbursed by ERCOFTAC. Travel will be by the most economical means of transport available (usually economy flights booked well in advance), and quality accommodation will be chosen by the ERCOFTAC ADO.
The winner will be awarded the annual da Vinci Prize, in the form of a medal, certificate and a cash prize of 1000 Euros. The runners-up (i.e. the other finalists) will receive certificates and medals.