Research awards 2024

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The 2024 4iP Council Research Award is an international research competition for European University students studying at Masters and PhD levels.

The competition aims to foster students' interests, and validate new ideas on key topics related to the interplay between intellectual property rights and innovation, such as patents and competition regulation, trade and regulation, computer implemented inventions, patent litigation and patent quality, standardisation and patents, NFTs and copyright, counterfeit and design rights, etc.

Students are invited to submit papers for review by 4iP Council’s Research Award Jury of intellectual property experts from academia, government and industry. Winning publications will be published on 4iP Council’s website and promoted for third party review and publication. Prize winning authors may also be invited to present their work in person to 4iP Council’s distinguished Advisory Committee.

The following cash prizes should be given to the winner and runners-up:

  • First place €2000
  • Second place €1500
  • Third place €1000

The Jury might decide not to award any of the submitted papers if none of them are considered suitable enough following the Selection Criteria explained below, or to grant more than three awards if the quality of the papers justifies this. The same will apply to the runners-up papers.


All current postgraduate students will be eligible for the 4iP Council Research Award. The papers should have the support of their supervisors or sponsoring academics.

Research topics are not limited to any type of IPRs.
It is recommended that entrant research should address one or more of the following policy areas:

  • Patent and competition law
  • Technology and technology policy regulation
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Research and development policy
  • Industrial organisation and management
  • IP and Trade
  • Open source
  • The interplay between patent law and policy
  • Investment and funding
  • SME businesses and start-ups
  • The role of IP in innovation
  • The Non-EU IP landscape
  • IP and fiscal policy
  • Artificial intelligence in IP
  • Standardisation


  • Only unpublished papers will be eligible for an award.
  • All papers should be in English.
  • Papers should meet a word limit of 4,000-6,000 (including footnotes) and should be accompanied by a brief summary that should not exceed 1,000 words. Please follow the Guidelines for papers.
  • If the submitted paper reflects the outcome of a Masters thesis, which has already been accepted by the entrant’s university, the university must give express consent to 4iP Council to publish the summary.
  • One co-author maximum is permitted. The cash prize is awarded per paper.
  • Entries submitted after the submission deadline will not be considered.

Submission requirements

Entries should be submitted by email to

Papers and summaries should be in the same Word document without any reference to the author(s), her/his university or sponsoring academic.

Proof that the entrant is studying (e.g. certificate) is required. This should include details of the university and course.

The support of professors can be demonstrated with a scanned letter or email to The name and contact details of the supervisor or sponsoring academic should be cited.

Selection criteria

4iP Council’s aim is to further the understanding of patent related topics in Europe through high quality, empirical research. Our jury, composed by members of 4iP Council and its Advisory Committee, will therefore evaluate the papers and select the winners at its full discretion, considering in particular:

  • Original thinking that broadens the debate on the chosen topic
  • Evidence based arguments and empirically sound data
  • High quality written expression
  • Relevance to current IP problems and debate


Submission deadline for the next awards: 31 December 2024.
Winner and runner-up announcements: early 2025.


By submitting their papers, entrants grant to 4iP Council the right to publish and reproduce their texts. Winning entrants also grant to 4iP Council the right to use their names, affiliations and images in connection with this Award. No fee will be payable for this use. Entrants also declare that their texts are their original work and that they do not, to the best of their knowledge, contain anything that is libellous, illegal or that infringes anyone’s copyright or other rights.