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Best Paper Prizes

Each year, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) seeks to recognise excellence in research through the award of prizes, funded by the IFoA Foundation, for research papers. The Peter Clark Prize is awarded for the best paper written by members of the profession, and presented or published for an actuarial audience. The Geoffrey Heywood Prize is awarded to a paper that displays excellent levels of communication and engagement with a general actuarial audience.

Nominations for the Peter Clark Prize and the Geoffrey Heywood Prize for 2021 are now open and should be made through the online nomination form. The closing date is 22 August 2021.

The criteria for Paper Prizes are as follows:

1.  Self-nominated papers will not be eligible.

2.  No paper will be considered for a Peter Clark or Geoffrey Heywood prize on more than one occasion.

3. Prizes are awarded to authors - single or joint - of exceptional eligible papers in actuarial science or related disciplines.

4. Eligible papers are those:

  • Presented at an IFoA conference or a Sessional Research Meeting;
  • Presented to a mainly actuarial audience; and/or
  • First published in any actuarial or related journal, conference or congress proceedings or transactions, either in print or electronically.
  • Nominations should include clear evidence that papers have been peer reviewed.
  • Nominations should specify where and when the paper was presented to an actuarial audience.
  • Nominated papers must be in the public domain.
  • Presentations consisting of slides only are ineligible.

5.  The period under consideration is:

  • Papers presented at an IFoA conference or Sessional Research Meeting, or to a mainly actuarial audience, no earlier than 31 May 2020;
  • Papers published in final form in an actuarial or related journal in 2020.

6.  Prizes for papers may be awarded posthumously.

7.  Prize nominations received by 22 August 2021 will be considered by the IFoA Publications Committee.

8.  It is the intention to award prizes annually, but this intention will not override the aim to ensure that prizes are awarded only to papers of a commendable standard.

9.  Papers which are nominated but not selected for a prize may be awarded a Certificate of Commendation, if this is appropriate. The Certificate states that the paper has been 'Highly Commended', but there is no financial award to accompany it.


The following criteria are used by the Committee when considering papers. Nominating parties may find this helpful:


  • Analysis – is the paper a good analysis of the subject?
  • Communication – is the paper likely to advance the reader’s understanding of the topic?
  • Originality – does the paper advance actuarial thinking and practice?

Research impact

  • Take-up of the research – how far is the research expected to be taken up by the actuarial community?
  • Promoting actuarial science – does the research have application outside traditional actuarial practice? For example, helping to inform public policy.


  • Mathematics – is the level of detail appropriate, accurate and clear?
  • Practicality – does the paper contribute to good practice by actuaries and others?
  • Presentation – is the paper well-written, ordered, summarised and concluded?
  • References – does the paper cite sources with a good bibliography and references?


  • Relevance – is the paper likely to have enduring relevance and serve the public interest?
  • Topicality – is the paper topical and relevant to the time?


  • Inspiration – will this paper inspire actuaries in their work and further development?
  • Substance – is the paper of substance, with ideas which are original and will last?

Contact Details

Any queries about the nomination process should be directed to the IFoA’s Research and Knowledge team

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Events calendar

  • Pensions Conference 2021

    Online webinar series
    16 June 2021 - 22 June 2021
    Spaces available

    Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Virtual Pensions Conference. This year's conference features 11 webinars offering members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the pension industry. There will also be opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.

  • Spaces available

    Mathematical Futures: The Actuary in a World Transformed – Sir Adrian Smith will outline how advances in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the world of big data will transform the nature of many industries, including financial services. The broader environment within which mathematics is applied will change rapidly, often led by innovative yet disruptive forces outside. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on the work of actuaries - and the profession will need to adapt quickly to thrive.


  • Spaces available

    This session will explore how the new index has revealed previously uncaptured mortality inequalities by using predictive variables at a high degree of granularity. Globally renowned leader in actuarial science Professor Andrew Cairns and his co-investigator Torsten Kleinow will demonstrate the uses of new LIFE index such as the causes of high or low mortality and regional differences in mortality.

  • Spaces available

    Given our commitment to the safety of our members and employees, and as the easing of restrictions in respect of COVID-19 cannot be guaranteed at this point in time, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year.

    The Business of the AGM

  • Spaces available

    Join newly inaugurated IFoA President Dr. Louise Pryor as she explores what we need to do to keep abreast of the changing world – and how we can seize the resulting opportunities – in her Presidential Address, ‘A Learning Society’

  • Spaces available

    The world is changing. The fourth industrial revolution, globalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic are up-ending traditional social and business norms around the world; changes that were once predictable and steady are now faster and more profound.

  • Spaces available

    This is a free webinar on the consultation on changes to the Practising Certificates (PC) Scheme.

    The proposals come from a recent review of the PC Scheme which was the first substantive look at the IFoA’s approach to the requirements and process for PCs since 2010. It responds directly to feedback received on how the current scheme works especially that received from members and PC Holders.

  • Spaces available

    We have entered the global age which is invalidating most of the assumptions upon which our success up till now has depended. For example, in the global planetary society there can be no externalities. Although there is increasing clamour for new ways of thinking, sadly, our attempts to invent such new ways remain trapped in the same historical set of assumptions. The result is that we are faced with three tragedies.

  • Spaces available

    The paper “Asset liability modelling in the quantum era” shall be presented by its authors, Tim Berry and James Sharpe, and chaired by Andrew Smith, Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin.

  • Spaces available

    Today’s breakneck pace of technological change has an immense impact on leaders—and as a result, on their organizations’ capacity to transform. All too often, executives remain stuck in outdated mindsets and modes of operating, even when they recognize the need to reinvent themselves. Leadership expert Herminia Ibarra upends traditional, introspective advice and says act first—in order to change your way of thinking. Following her presentation, Herminia Ibarra will be joined by Louise Pryor, incoming IFoA President and Hash Piperdy, Managing Director at Epitome Global, for a panel discussion around the themes of the session. The panel will be chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA’s Actuarial Review Team will publish its second thematic review in June 2021. The review is looking at the involvement of actuaries in the pricing of UK home and motor insurance, during a period of significant developments in the sector from both regulation and innovation.

  • Spaces available

    As part of the Behavioural Science Series, David Rooke will explore the leadership capacities and capabilities that may enable actuaries to successfully navigate the challenges of our times. He will discuss how actuaries can apply these principles to ensure the profession succeeds, flourishes, and plays a positive societal role in our global community.

    Following his presentation, David Rooke will be joined by Stephen Mann, CEO at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Anusha Thavarajah, Allianz’s Regional Chief Executive Officer, Life and Health for Asia Pacific for a panel discussion around the themes of the session The panel will be chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

  • Asia Conference 2021 webinar series

    Online webinar series
    26 July 2021 - 30 July 2021
    Spaces available

    We have made it through 2020 but the COVID-19 crisis continues to have a significant impact on individuals, societies, businesses and the wider economy across the globe. Navigating the world post COVID-19 in an uncertain and highly unstable time brings along many uncertainties, challenges and exciting opportunities. Hence the theme of this year’s IFoA Asia Conference Webinar Series is “Risk. Adapt. Thrive.”

  • Spaces available

    Risk Management Webinar ProgrammeInternal audit is often the Cinderella of the audit world. It’s a regulatory requirement for insurance companies to have an internal audit function, so why not make it as useful as possible?  This session will look at how to link an internal audit plan to the risk register, and how that helps audit committees and boards to spot problems and fix them.