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Best Paper Prizes

Every year, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) seeks to recognise excellence in research through the award of prizes for research papers. Prizes are funded by the IFoA Foundation. 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. The Brian Hey Prize is usually awarded for the best paper submitted to each year’s GIRO Conference.

Nominations for the Best Paper Prizes 2021 closed on 22 August 2021. A form for nominations for the 2022 awards will be made available soon.

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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