Applications for the 2023 Open Science Award for Open Source Research Software are now open! 

News from the Committee

The Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Committee for Open Science are pleased to announce that candidates can now apply for the 2023 Open Science Research Award. Applications are open until May 15th 2023 at midday.

To apply:

Sandrine Blazy, professor of computer science at the University of Rennes will chair the multidisciplinary jury for the 2023 edition.

Software plays a key role in scientific research and can simultaneously be a tool, a result and an object of study. Making software source codes available along with the possibility of modifying, reusing and disseminating them is a major challenge as this enables the reproducibility of scientific results and supports the sharing and creation of knowledge, all of which is very important for an effective Open Science approach.

France has a special place in this culture of sharing software with its wealth of reference tools for scientists combined with the country’s international renowned achievements which have had a scientific, societal, cultural and/or industrial impact. This software results from hours of work by scientists, researchers, engineers and doctoral students in teams that are passionate about software and also committed to Open Science. It is important to highlight projects that further the development and dissemination of open source software and contribute to the construction of a common good of prime importance. The Ministry of Higher Education and Research’s 2021-2024 roadmap on data, algorithms and source codes policy stresses that “Open source software is a particularly strong lever for research innovation” and sets out the objective “that the source codes and software produced by the administration, higher education and public research should be sustainably developed and maintained, preserved and also valued“.

The Open Science Award for Open Source Research Software began in 2022. It contributes to efforts in this area by promoting outstanding and promising achievements to the scientific community. The award enhances the visibility of software that may serve as models for future generations of scientists.

The design, development, distribution, maintenance and support of open source software involve several fields of expertise. These include the scientific and technical dimension, software engineering, the ability to construct and drive an active community and finally essential work on providing and maintaining documentation that facilitates the software use and appropriation.

The Open Science Award for Open Source Research Software has four categories that reward exemplary projects:

  • Open Science Open Source Software Award Scientific and technical category
  • Open Science Open Source Software AwardCommunity category
  • Open Science Open Source Software AwardDocumentation category
  • Open Science Open Source Software Award – the jury’s ‘coup de coeur’ special prize for an exemplary project that covers more than one of these dimensions

The jury can award one main prize and one ‘promising entry’ prize in each category,.

As well as the aforementioned scientific, technical, community and documentary aspects, the jury also makes sure to:

  • Reward software at different stages of development by awarding prizes to ‘promising’ software that may sometimes only be a few months or years old (typically less than five years) and resulting, for example, from a recent thesis as well as perennial and more mature software resulting from several years of development and use;
  • Highlight the variety of national research production in terms of scientific fields, the people involved and the professions and statuses of staff members who contributed to the software’s design, development and maintenance.

Conditions for participation

All open source research software from higher education and research in France qualify for the award regardless of their discipline or research area.

  • Research software has been defined as having been designed, maintained and/or used by scientists and/or research institutions. It is developed to respond to a specific scientific requirement, is the result of research and/or enables scientific work which is notably enhanced and conveyed by publications before/on/around/with the software.
  • The software must be disseminated under a free license.
  • The software can be stand-alone and/or interact in an ecosystem. It can be a platform, middleware or another software’s library, module or plug-in.
  • However, software that has been awarded a prize or an honourable mention in one of the two previous editions of the award cannot apply. Also, the members of the jury and of the Committee for Open Science’s Software College cannot neither submit nor support a nomination. 

The prize is awarded collectively to the software’s designers, developers, those who maintain it and to its community. However, the application form requires candidates to indicate a contact person who is a member (or former member) of higher education and research and/or a research laboratory. This person must belong or be linked to the development team and/or the project’s management.

Applications are now open and can be submitted to: 

When applying, we request that you describe your software precisely so it can be referenced in the research software open catalogue:

Candidates are also invited to provide all the relevant information so the software can be evaluated in all the categories set out above. However it is not necessary for candidate software to be exemplary in all of the categories to apply.


  • Announcement of the award: December 15th 2022
  • Deadline for applications: April 3rd 2023
  • Closing date for applications: May 15th 2023, 12 noon Paris time
  • Awards ceremony: November 29th 2023