Future Built on Knowledge

Paolo Prodi Award 2017 call for nominations

September 5, 2017

An award to honor the memory of the founder of the Italian-German Historical Institute

“If research has reached these levels of excellence today, we have to thank two people, Paolo Prodi and Bruno Kessler. We decided to remember Prof. Prodi in a tangible and long-lasting way, with what we imagine would please him the most: dedicating to him a research award. These were the words of President Francesco Profumo during the end-of-year speech at Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trento last December.

Now the Bruno Kessler Foundation, with the Autonomous Province of Trento, the University of Trento, and the Centro Studi Paolo Prodi of Bologna has launched an award in honor of Paolo Prodi, founder and first director from 1973 to 1997 of the Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico / Italienisch-Deutsches Historisches Institut (ISIG).

FBK-ISIG deals with the study of European history, with particular attention to the relations be-tween Italy and the German speaking areas. The Center mainly focuses its research on Italian and German history from the early modern period to the contemporary age in a European context.

Paolo Prodi was an eminent scholar of the Age of the Reformation and Church history from the early modern period to the contemporary age. Under his direction, the Institute developed into an internationally renowned place for meeting and exchange on the main topics of European history.

To honor the memory of Paolo Prodi, FBK will award a prize for a PhD thesis on one of the following topics:

  • Early Modern and/or Contemporary Church History
  • Relations between States and Churches in the Early Modern Period
  • History of the Reformation and its Repercussions in the Early Modern and/or Contemporary Period

The thesis will be selected by a panel of jurors expressly nominated for this purpose. The award winner will receive a prize of 3,200 euros (gross) and he/she will be offered the opportunity to pub-lish his/her thesis in one of FBK-ISIG’s book series. Furthermore, he/she can benefit from a month’s stay at ISIG in order to continue research on the topic. The cost of accommodation for this period will be covered by FBK.

Participation is open to young scholars under 35 years of age. To be eligible, candidates must have submitted their PhD thesis between November 1, 2013, and October 31, 2017, at a European university. The thesis must be written in one of the following languages: Italian, English, French, German, or Spanish.

Submit all application material to 

  1. Filled out form Candidatura Premio Prodi 2017
  2. PDF file of the thesis
  3. CV with a list of publications

by no later than October 31, 2017

The winner will be announced during the Giornata in ricordo di Paolo Prodi, with the participation of important personalities, and which will be held on December 13, 2017, at the Foundation’s seat in via Santa Croce 77 in Trento.

From the end-of-year speech of Fondazione Bruno Kessler’s President Francesco Profumo – Trento, December 2016

When Paolo Prodi arrived in Trento, called by Bruno Kessler to take the lead of the newly established “Free University”, of which he was the first Chancellor from 1972 to 1978, Trentino had recently regained pacification with South Tyrol (with the 1969 “Package”) and was preparing to pass the Second Statute of Autonomy (1972).
A Catholic intellectual marked by the “dossettian lesson” (Giuseppe Dossetti) and a keen scholar of the Council of Trento and its links with the modern European civilization, Prodi immediately recognized in Trentino a natural “staging post” between the Latin and the German cultures.
Based on these premises, he conceived, along with Bruno Kessler and Msgr. Iginio Rogger, what in 1973 became his most important achievement in our area, the Italian-German Historical Institute, of which he was director until 1997.
He supported, in the following years, the birth of the other research centers of the then called Istituto Trentino di Cultura – the Center for Religious Studies in 1975 and IRST in 1977, convinced as he was that historical and humanistic research, and scientific research were to go hand in hand in the name of a comprehensive vision of man.
Through his research at ISIG, as well as his lecturing at the School of Humanities, of which he was Dean from 1985 to 1988, Paolo Prodi helped training generations of young students and teachers of the highest quality, who in turn started new lines of research, in the name of that rigor and that free and unconventional thinking typical of the “secular spirituality” of Paolo Prodi.


The author/s