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 to an outstanding 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.


The criteria, requirements and processes for the Peter Clark and Geoffrey Heywood prizes are currently under review. Information relating to the 2023 prizes will be updated once confirmed.

Criteria and Requirements for 2022 awards:

  • Eligible papers are those:
    • Presented at an IFoA conference or a Sessional Research Meeting; and/or
    • 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.

All papers published in the British Actuarial Journal and Annals of Actuarial Science during the time period will be automatically considered for the prizes. Individuals are not permitted to self-nominate papers, whether sole or co-authored. Presentations consisting of slides only are ineligible. Nominated papers must be in the public domain.

  • No paper will be considered for a Peter Clark or Geoffrey Heywood prize on more than one occasion.
  • Nominated papers will be automatically considered for both the Peter Clark and Geoffrey Heywood Prizes. There is no requirement to specify either prize when nominating a paper.
  • Papers that 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.
  • Prizes for papers may be awarded posthumously.
  • There are no requirements for authors or those making a nomination to be affiliated to the IFoA. Nominating parties are asked in the form to briefly outline their reasons for nomination. Nominations should include clear evidence that papers have been peer-reviewed, and should specify where and when the paper was presented if it was presented to a conference or meeting but has not been published.

Closing date and decision-making process

  • Prize nominations received by a set date (to be advised) will be considered by the IFoA Publications Committee.
  • 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.

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?


If you have any further questions about the criteria or nominations please contact us at