The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Call for Nominations: 2021 Mahathir Science Award

06 January 2021

On behalf of the Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF) and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia has invited national academies such as the Royal Irish Academy to submit nominations for the 2021 Mahathir Science Award.

The Mahathir Science Award recognises the best contributions and innovations towards solving problems of the tropics through science and technology. The award is conferred to individuals, groups of not more than three individuals, and organisations worldwide who have made significant and internationally recognised contributions in tropical science.

Award recipients receive USD100,000, a gold medal, and a certificate.

For 2021, nominations are sought in the following categories:

  • Tropical Agriculture
  • Tropical Architecture/Engineering

The Royal Irish Academy will nominate suitable individuals or groups of not more than three individuals to be considered for the 2021 Mahathir Science Award. To express an interest in put forward by the Academy please submit the following to by midday on Friday, 22 January 2021:

  • A nomination form for an individual / a nomination form for a group of individuals
  • A letter of explanation clearly outlining how candidates’ experiences meets the criteria listed below (see ‘Achievements and contributions’) and other such criteria as relevant for the prize in question.
  • Two letters of support for each candidate. At least one letter must be by a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and at least one letter must be by a person not currently employed by the same institution as the nominee.
  • A full academic CV, including a list of publications, for each candidate.

Candidates are also expected to be employed at an institution on the island of Ireland and/or be a permanent resident of Ireland

Achievements and contributions

Nominees will be assessed by the Royal Irish Academy on their track record of:

  • Publishing high-impact work
  • Publishing high-impact work as first-author
  • Presenting work at international conferences
  • Raising the profile of their field in Ireland
  • Securing research funding from international sources
  • Supervising doctoral candidates and supporting early career researchers

This opportunity is publicly advertised by the Royal Irish Academy.

All expressions of interest received will be considered by the Academy’s Policy Oversight Group - the unit tasked with advising upon the initiation and implementation of all of the Academy’s policy and international activities and responsible for overseeing a standardised quality process for all outputs. Chaired by the Academy’s Secretary of Policy and International Relations, the six members of this group are all elected Members of the Royal Irish Academy and come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds in several institutions across the island of Ireland- both north and south of the border. On occasions, the Policy Oversight Group may also consult additional experts to inform their assessments and evaluations.

The Royal Irish Academy values diversity and strives for a culture of equality and inclusion in all of its activities. As outlined in its Strategic Plan 2019-2023, the Academy is committed to ensuring greater gender, disciplinary, institutional and overall diversity in every area of the Academy and its work throughout the island of Ireland.  It particularly welcomes nominations from under-represented groups and communities.

Please direct all queries to 

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