The Future Proef Award Ghent University

The Future Proef Award Ghent University awards the three most sustainable master's theses. They are chosen by an expert jury that looks at sustainability in the broad sense: ecological and social. We reward research that is renewing, accessible and can positively influence our society; in other words: truly future-proof! The public also votes for a favourite to receive the audience award. The award ceremony always takes place on the second Tuesday evening of December.

The Flemish Future Proef Award

The three winners of the Future Proef Award Ghent University move on to the Flemish level, where they compete against students from other Flemish higher education institutions for the Flemish Future Proef Award. The first selection is based on the registration sheets (more info under 'register'). In the subsequent phase, an independent jury debates a smaller number of theses, from which they choose the winners, which are announced in the spring . The winner receives a cash prize of 3000 euro, and the 2nd and 3rd place each receive 500 euro!

Previous editions of the Future Proef Award

First Flemish edition 2024

At this first edition of the Flemish Future Proef Awards , the Ghent University student Fien Vansevenant won first prize in the category of master's theses with her thesis on local food production for care institutions around Ghent. The jury praised her 'holistic approach', innovative visions, and social anchoring. Prizes were also awarded for the most sustainable bachelor's theses and associate degree projects. 

Watch the aftermovie here!

Third edition Ghent University 2023

Second edition Ghent University 2022

Niko Vandebos is the well-deserved winner of the second edition of the FUTUREproef Award! She enchanted the jury with her thesis on civil aid after the floods in Wallonia in 2021. The thesis of Klara Vanstraelen captured second place with her creative plea for more inclusivity in the city development of New Ghent. In third place came Matthias van Der Heyden. He took a closer look at the DICE-model and was not shy about criticizing where the author of this model got his sources.

The Award ceremony of the Future Proef Award took place in person for the first time, in the Pacificatiezaal of Ghent City Hall. After a short preface by Mayor Mathias Declercq, the ten nominees gave a short presentation about their theses. Then we announced both The Audience Award and the top three, and celebrated them with a snack and a drink during our reception. Anyone who wants to briefly relive this evening is welcome to watch the video report or this visual by Els Vrints:

First edition Ghent University 2021

Lies Hens is the big winner, with her thesis about sustainable city development in social housing. The second place goes to Edith Declercq and Fien Mertens bemachtigt de 3e podiumplaats. Ook jullie hebben massaal gestemd – 2.311 stemmen in totaal! – en ervoor gezorgd dat Fien Mertens met 455 stemmen met de publieksprijs wordt bekroond.

Congratulations to our winners and a big thank you for voting so numerously!