Best Negative Data Prize

The Best Negative Data Prize is a collaboration between ECNP and U.S.-based non-profit research organisation Cohen Veterans Bioscience, under the aegis of the Global Preclinical Data Forum (GPDF), to recognise published “negative” scientific results or results of studies that do not confirm the expected outcome or original hypothesis.

The award is conferred at the ECNP Congress and comes with a € 10,000 prize provided by Cohen Veterans Bioscience.

The GPDF, comprised of members from the academic, non-profit, government, publishing and industry sectors, is a joint US and European initiative to encourage global collaboration to address the challenge of ensuring that preclinical research is reproducible, robust and translatable to support disease research utility for clinical research & development (R&D). One of the group’s major focuses is to provide quality resources and promote the publication of “negative” data—or results of studies where researchers are not able to confirm or replicate previous findings—which are often not submitted for publication. The failure to publish negative findings can lead to unnecessary duplication of research efforts and the loss of time and money as researchers pursue scientific avenues that have no promise for success. The Best Negative Data Prize provides an incentive for preclinical researchers of all fields to publish their “negative data” results and ensure that studies in neuroscience properly advance knowledge.

“Science is historically self-correcting. This process is most effective when both positive and negative results are published. However, negative results are less likely to get published because they are often believed to generate less “value” for an individual scientist, organisation or journal. Indeed, compared with the positive data, negative data may appear less exciting, are less likely to open new avenues of research and therefore new funding opportunities. Unpublished data is effectively a waste of valuable real and human capital, particularly in the face of the reproducibility challenge currently discussed in various fields of science: reproducibility in neuroscience has come under particular focus in recent years. It’s startling to realise that over 50% of published biomedical data cannot be reproduced”.

Thomas Steckler (Belgium), co-chair ECNP Preclinical Data Forum Network

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Advisory Board


 2020 The Prize in 2020 was awarded to Jeremy Bailoo for the following paper:
Evaluation of the effects of space allowance on measures of animal welfare in laboratory mice. Jeremy D. Bailoo, Eimear Murphy, Justin A. Varholick, Janja Novak, Rupert Palme & Hanno Würbel.
Scientific Reports 8, 713 (2018)

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 2018 Based on the evaluation, the Prize in 2018 was awarded to Laura Luyten and Tom Beckers (KU Leuven, Belgium) for the following paper:
Luyten L, Beckers T (2017) A preregistered, direct replication attempt of the retrieval-extinction effect in cued fear conditioning in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 144: 208–215

About ECNP
The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is the parent organization hosting the Preclinical Data Forum Network. The ECNP is an independent scientific association dedicated to the science and treatment of disorders of the brain. It is the largest non-institutional supporter of applied and translational neuroscience research and education in Europe. Read more.

About Cohen Veterans Bioscience
Cohen Veterans Bioscience is a national, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) research organization dedicated to fast-tracking the development of diagnostic tests and personalized therapeutics for the millions of veterans and civilians who suffer the devastating effects of trauma-related and other brain disorders. To support & learn more about our research efforts, visit this page

More information
Please contact Anton Bespalov (PAASP) via e-mail.