Hans Vontobel Award for Agronomy

The most valuable or original doctoral thesis receives an award

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Since 1989, the Hans Vontobel Award has been given every year to the author of a doctoral thesis that has produced outstanding findings in the field of agricultural sciences.

On 26 November 1987, Dr Hans Vontobel († 2016) established the Hans Vontobel Award with a generous donation to ETH Zurich. The award is given to the author of the best, most valuable or most original doctoral thesis on a topic in the field of agricultural sciences.

Nature, animals and agriculture were very close to Dr Hans Vontobel’s heart and he recognised the importance of agricultural sciences to ensure the preservation of nature as well as the welfare of animals. This motivated him over 30 years ago to establish the Hans Vontobel Award to promote young scientists in the field of agricultural sciences.

On 28 March 2019, the "30 years of the Hans Vontobel Award" anniversary celebration took place, for which all award winners from eight different countries were invited to Zurich. Under the theme "Sustainability and agriculture – a contradiction?", the more than 100 guests experienced an evening of a special kind. This was also an honourable tribute to Dr Hans Vontobel and a reminder of the great value of research funding in the field of sustainable agriculture.

Recipients of the Hans Vontobel Award from 1989 to 2019, together with Lieni Dürst (far left), who accompanied Dr Hans Vontobel for decades at the award ceremony.
(Photo: ETH Zurich)