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 Proposals: Wolf Prize 2021

25 June 2020


PDF icon Instructions for nomination candidates PDF icon Nomination form: 2021 Wolf Prize in the sciences PDF icon Nomination form: 2021 Wolf Prize in music

The Academy has been invited to submit one or more candidates for the 2021 Wolf Prize.

The Wolf Prize in the Sciences and Arts have been awarded since 1978 to outstanding artists and scientists for their achievements for the benefit of mankind and brotherly relations among peoples, regardless of nationality, race, color, religion, sex or political views. Each nominee must have had a distinguished international career.
In 2021 prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

The prize in each area consists of a diploma and 100,000 US $. In the event of co-recipients sharing one prize, the honorarium is equally divided among them. The selection is made by an international Prize Committee of experts in each field. The decisions shall be announced in January 2021.

To express an interest in being nominated for this prize by the Royal Irish Academy please complete the appropriate nomination form and submit it, along with the ‘Mandatory criteria to accompany nominations’ outlined below, to by close of business on Friday 4 September 2020.

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.

Protocol for Academy endorsement of nominations for international prizes

1. Background

The President of the Royal Irish Academy has charged the Policy Oversight Group with responsibility for the assessment and endorsement by the Academy of nominations of academic candidates for international prizes and programme such as the IAP World Young Scientists Programme. This document details the protocol for assessment of such nominations.

Academy stakeholders are alerted to opportunities to apply for international prizes via the Members Newsletter, Academy website and associated social media activities.  

2. Mandatory criteria to accompany nominations

To be considered by the Policy Oversight Group, a nomination must:

  • Provide a letter of explanation from interested candidate(s) clearly outlining how their experience meets the criteria listed below (see ‘Achievements and contributions’) and other such criteria as relevant for the prize in question.
  • Provide a full academic CV.
  • The letter of explanation must be signed by two peers as an indication of their support- at least one peer must be a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and at least one peer must not be employed by the same institution as the nominee. Self-nominations alone will not be accepted.
  • The nominee is expected to be employed at an institution on the island of Ireland and/or be a permanent resident of Ireland

3. RIA assessment process for nominations

RIA nominations for all international prizes such as the International Balzan Foundation Prize and all international programmes such as the Young Physician Leaders Programme will be assessed as follows:  

  • Nominations are submitted to
  • Each nomination is shared with the chair of the appropriate multi-disciplinary Committee, who in consultation with two other members of the Committee will provide written guidance on whether in their opinion the candidate meets the stated criteria for nomination. The selection of the two members should be in accordance with the Academy’s equality and diversity recommendations
  • This written guidance is shared with the Policy Oversight Group.
  • Informed by this guidance, the Policy Oversight Group will reach a decision on whether to endorse the nomination on behalf of the Academy.
  • The RIA Council and Executive Committee will be advised of nominations endorsed in this manner.

3.1. Achievements and contributions

Nominees will be assessed 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.

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