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Brian Hey Prize 2021: Open Invitation & Guidance for Authors

Researchers are cordially invited to submit their GI Actuarial research papers for the Brian Hey Prize, 2021. 

The Brian Hey Prize has a great history in helping to highlight research that is practical and helpful for members of the IFoA GI practice area. Each year, it is awarded for the best paper at the GIRO conference according to the following set of criteria:

  1. Practical application for IFoA general insurance actuaries
  2. Technical content
  3. Innovative content
  4. Readability
  5. Wider appeal for other professionals

The Brian Hey Prize is open to authors inside or outside of the IFoA. The contents of the paper should normally have been or plan to be substantially covered at an IFoA event, in the twelve months prior to the year's GIRO convention, by the authors.  (Papers whose contents were wholly or partially funded through research grants by the IFoA would not normally be considered.)

The following is a set of guidance that the IFoA General Insurance Research & Thought Leadership committee (GIRTL) has put together for the 2021 prize year, for authors intending to submit an entry for 2021.

Guidance notes for the selection Panel of the prize are attached as an appendix of this note. The committee would also be happy to answer any queries from authors considering putting in a submission via the Communities Enagagement team.

The Brian Hey Prize is an award for research. This could be primarily technical in nature, in which case we would expect submissions to demonstrate novel techniques or novel applications of existing techniques. It could also be practical in nature, in which case we would expect to see development of evidence-based guidelines or recommendations for good practice. Exceptionally, a literature review that did not advance any new techniques might be considered, but it would have to demonstrate a clear contribution to the research effort. The prize will not generally be awarded for a new presentation of existing ideas for didactic purposes.

Submissions should constitute self-contained pieces of research. They should enable the reader to understand the problem they are addressing, to form an initial view on some of the consequences of adopting the proposed approach and to implement the approach independently in the context of their own work, should they wish to. Submissions that do not satisfy one or more of these requirements on the grounds that they are addressed in a separate paper or presentation are unlikely to receive the award.

GIRTL does not wish to prescribe the form of submissions in minute detail. There are many good models to follow, both in previous winning submissions and in the thousands of journal articles on actuarial topics. A common structure involves the following:

  • an abstract;
  • a “Background” section containing the problem statement and possibly a brief survey of existing literature;
  •  the technical details of the new techniques in sufficient detail to allow the reader to replicate them;
  • some numerical examples by way of illustrating the techniques in action and demonstrating the potential consequences of adoption;
  • a conclusion that allows a more general discussion of the points that have been addressed and those that remain open.

As a matter of good scholarship and integrity, we would expect any text or figures that have been taken from other sources to be appropriately cited, regardless of whether they comply with the relevant intellectual property laws.

Submission may be in any format, including research papers, presentations or collections of blog articles. Please see the FAQs for further discussion of issues relating to specific formats.


The GIRTL subcommittee looks forward to receiving entries by Thursday 30 September, please send to the Communities Engagement team.

The entries should be accompanied by an indication of when and at which IFoA event the contents of the papers were presented. The selection panel decision, which is final, will be announced during this year’s GIRO Conference. 

The opinions expressed in the papers will always remain those of the authors. The selection panel, the IFoA and the GIRTL subcommittee accept no liability of damages derived from use of the papers.