Student Award

The SPR Student Research Award

The Dutch SPR has introduced a new award to encourage students from all over the world to engage in robust scientific research of anomalous and scientifically controversial phenomena, more specifically the phenomena telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition/presentiment and psychokinesis.
Every two years a prize of 1500 euros is awarded to a student or a group of students with or without supervision, either from the Netherlands or from abroad, who submit the best scientific research report where at least one hypothesis is controversial and deals with the aforementioned paranormal phenomena.

The deadline for submission for the 2023 prize is Januar 1st, 2023. The winner will be announced on June 1st, 2023.

Judging Criteria
The research report should conform to the rules for a normal scientific publication. (see for instance: Raw Data should be kept available for inspection by the reviewers. Preferably a research plan with the hypotheses and planned method and analyses should be submitted to the Dutch SPR before starting data collection. In an academic environment this would count as a pre-registration. The outcome of the experiment has no influence on the judging. Independent academic judges will first be provided the introduction, hypotheses and methods to evaluate. That evaluation is the most important. The Results and Conclusion sections will be less important though conclusions should be consistent with the results.

Possible Student projects
Students are advised to choose a general scientific question that allows for a neat introduction of a psi hypothesis. In that way their research will primarily fall into the mainstream scientific tradition. This approach allows students to do interesting research without compromising their career.
Just to give an idea: ‘memory after training’ research. You will normally have a few training conditions and you would compare memory performance. However, there is a paranormal hypothesis that ‘training after the measuring the performance’ still enhances ‘retroactively’ the performance. So you could add this hypothesis as an extra training condition called ‘training in the future’ to your research. More detailed examples can be found here. [Link]

When properly set up experiments of this kind can provide a unique teaching opportunity for careful methodology and proper use of single and multi-variate statistical methods. Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with the particular methodological challenges that investigating controversial topics presents.

The SPR is prepared to provide didactical support and other materials like relevant literature, protocols or even experimental software directly to the student(s) or to their supervisor.
Please mail if you intend to enter this competition.

Other examples of possible projects will be published soon on this page.