Practical Information

Presentation and objective

EUNMUTE Centre of Excellence awards every year two Fausta Deshormes La Valle Prizes for the best research papers on “Un-muting Europe”.

The prize is named after Fausta Deshormes La Valle, an Italian journalist who joined the European Commission in 1961 and dedicated most of her career in the Press and Information Service to raising awareness among and mobilising young people and women in favour of European integration. She was a pioneer who worked hard to give a voice to the voiceless.

The Fausta Deshormes La Valle Prizes aim to recognize outstanding research papers and theses related to the EU’s “un-muting power” and foster professional skills development among students.

Description and co-working framework of the activity

The Fausta Deshormes La Valle Prize operates within a collaborative framework, where the choice of the subjects and the writing of the research papers are supervised by the academic members of the EUNMUTE team.

The Prize then entails a selection process for the best research papers aligned with the thematic focus of the EUNMUTE Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. The selection of the best papers is conducted by members of the EUNMUTE team who were not involved in the supervision of the papers, ensuring a rigorous and fair evaluation process (see below).

Selected students present their research papers during a ceremony hosted by the Institute for European Studies, providing an opportunity for academic exchanges and valorization of their work.

The Prize promotes cohesion and a collaborative approach from the guiding of students’ research to their presentation and discussion, both for faculty and students, while contributing to the Centre’s mission of excellence in EU studies.

The Fausta Deshormes La Valle Prize and professional skills development

The Prize fosters professional skills development among students.

First, the awarding highlights their research skills, their ability to conduct extensive research and to gather, synthesize and interpret information effectively. Awarding research papers in social sciences is also a way to encourage students to engage with theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence and as such to challenge them to think critically. Out of the process, students of course also develop their writing skills, time management and organizational skills, as well as developing a heightened awareness of ethical issues in research, preparing them to conduct themselves ethically and responsibly in their future careers.

Specific to the reception of the Prize is also the public presentation of the research findings during a ceremony gathering the community of the Institute for European Studies (faculty, staff, students, parents), which provides students with a rare opportunity to develop their communication skills in front of a large audience.

Finally, the publication of the awarded research papers on the EUNMUTE website offers students an acknowledgement and valuation of their work.

As a bonus, students can mention the prize on their CVs, demonstrating academic excellence.

The Fausta Deshormes La Valle Prize contributes to the acquisition of a range of professional skills that are highly valued in academia, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Outcomes and impact

The Prize contributes to increased student engagement and participation of EU studies, including in the thematic fields covered by the EUNMUTE project. It serves as a valuable co-working activity that fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among the students and the faculty but also contributes to the development of essential professional skills among students. The awarding of the prize enhances the visibility and reputation of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and underscores its commitment to promoting excellence in EU studies and nurturing the next generation of European scholars and professionals.

Practical details


Students authoring the best papers receive €500. Moreover, the winning research papers are published on the project website as an online series.


Every year, a prize is awarded to the best research papers by two students enrolled in one of the Institute for European Studies master’s degree or in BA programmes organised by other USL-B faculties.

To be awarded, research papers have to focus on the themes related to the EUNMUTE project in order to foster students’ analytical interest for the current challenges related to the legitimacy of the EU.

Research papers co-authored with faculty are not eligible. Only student-authored papers are eligible. Research papers may be co-authored by more than one student.

Each paper must be and original analysis and must be the author(s)’ own work. Papers previously published are not eligible.

Nomination and selection

Nomination for the prize is made by the academics teaching within the concerned BA and MA programmes.

The nomination must be accompanied by a short support letter highlighting the major achievements and the research paper, together with the paper itself in an electronic format.

Responsibility for the selection of the recipients rests with the EUNMUTE Steering Committee which in this matter acts as the award selection committee.

Please send submissions by email to and (in cc).