Fondation de Villette Antarctica Prize

The award recognizes outstanding Master or PhD research projects that address key sustainability issues.

The Fondation de Villette Antarctica Prize is rewarding a distinguished Master or PhD student having completed an EPFL thesis in any research field in 2020.

The award recognizes an outstanding research project that addresses an important sustainability problem. The prize-winning project should stand out through its excellence, particularly in terms of social and/ or environmental impact and the prospects related to tackling sustainability problems.


The Polar Journey in November/December 2021

The award consists of joining a polar odyssey from 26 November to 10 December 2021 to one of the most remote corners of our globe for a chance to witness a wondrous natural phenomenon: a full solar eclipse. You will be awarded a flight to Ushuaia, Argentina, where you will join one of the newest vessels in the polar regions – a Polar Class 6 ice-strengthened ship that is one of the most environmentally friendly vessels ever to visit the Southern Ocean.

The bespoke expedition to the White Continent will be led by Ben Saunders, one of the world’s leading polar explorers. Ben will be joined by Jamie Carter, an astronomy and travel writer who focuses on solar eclipses, stargazing, and nature, and is the editor of, as well as a team of experts in geology, polar wildlife, photography, and climate change. Finally, Bruno Giussani, the International curator of TED and the lead curator of TED’s global climate initiative will curate talks and conversations throughout the journey.

All information about this journey can be found in the appendix of this call.

Candidates must have defended publicly a Master or a PhD thesis at EPFL between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

The candidates’ thesis must be related to sustainable development.

Outstanding candidates are encouraged to apply until 15 March 2021 (17:00 CEST) by sending the required application materials to [email protected].


Application Materials

Motivation Letter

A letter of the candidate explaining why s/he is interested in joining the Antarctica Solar Eclipse Expedition (maximum 2 pages, 11-point Arial font, 2-centimer margins)

Reference Letter

A supporting letter, written by the professor or principal investigator of the unit in which the candidate wrote the thesis. This letter should explain why the candidate’s thesis is outstanding and what its potential social and/or environmental impact may be

Research Project

Full text of the Master or doctoral thesis or the weblink to your thesis on Infoscience if the full PDF text is publicly available
CV A complete Curriculum Vitae of the candidate, including a list of publications if applicable (maximum 3 pages)


No additional documents can be submitted other than those listed above, unless specifically requested by Tech4Impact. No applications will be considered if received after the submission deadline or if they do not strictly meet the guidelines.