The Palaeontological Association recognizes excellence in our profession by the award of medals and other prizes. The Association sees its lists of medals and award winners as a record of the very best palaeontologists worldwide, at different career stages, and offering different kinds of contributions to the field. The Association stresses the importance of nominations and encourages all members to make nominations. Members considering making nominations should first read the Palaeontological Association ‘Statement of Diversity’ below.
Statement of Diversity
The Palaeontological Association has an Unconscious Bias document, the recommendations of which will be adhered to at all times. All decision-making for Palaeontological Association awards and prizes will be carried out objectively and professionally. The Association is committed to making award and prize decisions purely on the basis of the merit of the individual(s). No nominee for awards or prizes will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of: gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins, religion or similar philosophical belief, spent criminal conviction, age or disability. Equally, all nominations will be assessed on equal terms, regardless of the sex, age and/or ethnicity of the nominee. Nominations will therefore be assessed and graded on their merits, in accordance with the criteria and the aims and objectives set for each award or medal. Due consideration will be given to any period away from science due to parental leave, illness and any other such career break. Nominators are reminded that neutral language (e.g. gender neutral) should be used in all nominations.
Palaeontological Association Awards/Medals selection procedures
The Palaeontological Association Council discusses Awards and Medals at the May Council meeting and votes to select awardees. The benefit of using Council to select awardees, rather than a dedicated awards committee, is that it draws on the wider experience of the entire Council. Voting is preceded by an introduction from the President that: (i) includes a diversity statement to remind Council of their responsibility in terms of fairness and diversity issues (including impact of non-standard careers etc.); (ii) outlines the remit and selection criteria for each award; (iii) considers the impact of awardees in terms of increasing the diversity of recipients. Each award is considered in turn with every application considered except those that clearly fall outside of the remit. Each Council Member will vote by listing their three preferred candidates in rank order. The candidate with the most votes as preferred candidate will be awarded the award/medal. If there are only two candidates and they are tied the President shall have the casting vote. If there are three or more candidates and there is a tie the vote will be recounted including the second ranked candidate for all of the votes. If the vote remains a draw after second and third ranked candidates are considered the President will cast the deciding vote.
The Lapworth Medal is the most prestigious honour bestowed by the Association to a palaeontologist who has made a highly significant contribution to the science of palaeontology by means of a substantial body of research and service to the scientific community. It is not normally awarded on the basis of a few good papers, but Council will look for breadth as well as depth in the contributions in choosing suitable candidates.
The candidate must be nominated by two members of the Association (proposer and seconder; names and contacts details required). The nomination must consist of: (i) a two-page career summary (font-size 12); (ii) a list of 10 papers that demonstrate significance and breadth of research. The two-page career summary should outline the significant contribution to the science in terms of research and also other activities such as outreach, teaching, mentoring and administration (including that relevant to palaeontology at their home institutions, scientific societies and at higher levels, such as funding bodies and government advisory panels). We are looking for evidence of both depth and breadth in research with clearly identified achievements and breakthroughs. Relevant honours and awards may be mentioned. If a candidate has taken time out from their professional career for family or other purposes this should be highlighted. Nominations must be compiled into a PDF file of less than 10 MB and uploaded via this webpage by the deadline.
The award will be considered by Council at its May meeting and awardees will be invited to a ceremony at the Annual Meeting in December. Awards will also be announced in the Newsletter, on the Association website and through social media. Council reserves the right to not make an award in any year.
Nominations are invited by 31st March each year.
Full list of previous recipients can be viewed here: Medal and Award Winners
31st March at 23:59 GMT