Best Paper Prizes

Every year, the 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.

Criteria and requirements

The criteria, requirements, and processes for the Peter Clark and Geoffrey Heywood prizes are as follows:

  • From 2023 onwards, papers will be chosen from the IFoA’s outputs during the calendar year. That is, papers published in The Actuary, Annals of Actuarial Science, British Actuarial Journal, Longevity Bulletin, or as an output of an IFoA event, such as a sessional meeting. Papers published in other journals or websites will not be considered. Members of the IFoA Publications Committee will select a shortlist of papers and decide the winners.
  • Papers will be automatically considered for both the Peter Clark and Geoffrey Heywood Prizes.
  • Papers 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.
  • There are no requirements for authors to be affiliated to the IFoA.
  • Presentations consisting of slides only are ineligible.
  • No paper will be considered for a Peter Clark or Geoffrey Heywood prize on more than one occasion.
  • Prizes for papers may be awarded posthumously.
  • It is the intention to award prizes annually, but this will not override the aim to ensure that prizes are awarded only to papers of a commendable standard. There is no requirement for the judges to award any of the prizes.

The following criteria are used by the committee when considering papers.


  • 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