The BIAL Award was created in 1984 to encourage and promote highly influential works in the area of medical research. Since then the award has been granted every two years, enjoying the support and collaboration of the President of the Republic, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities and the Portuguese Medical Association.
Recognising and distinguishing clinical research, the BIAL Award established itself as one of the most prestigious awards in the area of health in Europe. Up to its edition of 2016, it has been establishing two prizes: the BIAL Merit Award in Medical Sciences, designed to distinguish an intellectual written work, on any freely chosen medical topic, of high quality and scientific relevance; and the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica, designed to distinguish an intellectual written work, on any freely chosen medical topic, of high quality and relevance, on clinical practice. At least one of the authors must be a native physician of a Portuguese speaking country.
Throughout its various editions, this award has followed the evolution and trends within the field of medicine, having recognised several works in the fields of civilisation diseases, genetics, molecular medicine, imaging, substitutive and regenerative therapies, and many more.
Since its establishment, the BIAL Award has considered 686 entries from 1742 researchers, doctors and scientists from 20 countries. In 19 editions, it has recognised 105 works by 302 authors, with more than 320,000 copies of 41 award-winning works having been published and distributed free of charge to health professionals.
The BIAL Award in Biomedicine was created in 2018 to extend the scope of the BIAL Foundation’s activity and to recognise the most remarkable and relevant discoveries in that field. This new award, which is worth three hundred thousand Euros, aims to recognise a work of a broad biomedical nature with exceptional quality and scientific relevance results published within the last ten years. Only works nominated by the members of the Jury, some Board members of the Foundation and Scientific Societies may be considered candidates.
The BIAL Award in Biomedicine has the patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities and the European Medical Association.
The awarding of the BIAL Award in Biomedicine alternates each year with the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica, which maintains its purpose of distinguishing an original work of a medical nature directed to clinical practice.
To honour the memory of the physician and great researcher Maria de Sousa, the Portuguese Medical Association and the BIAL Foundation decided to promote, from 2021 onwards and in exclusive partnership, the Maria de Sousa Award, which aims to award and support young Portuguese scientific researchers, up to the age of 35, with scientific projects in the area of Health Sciences, including an internship in an international center of excellence.
With a global amount of up to 125 thousand euros, this Award includes among its patrons the Portuguese President and aims to support up to five scientific research projects which are either ongoing or yet to be started, for a maximum period of two years.
Maria de Sousa will always be remembered as a unique personality of science worldwide, which has marked not only the scientific and academic development in Portugal, but also the path and history of this Foundation. By awarding young researchers we are perpetuating the unique work of Maria de Sousa, who has always strived to create conditions for young scientists to make their dreams come true.
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