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The Awards

This page contains links to information about the different prizes that the Royal Statistical Society awards.


Named after the distinguished statistician, William Guy FRS, the Guy medals are intended to encourage the cultivation of statistics in their scientific aspects and promote the application of numbers to the solution of important problems in all the relations of life in which the numerical method can be employed, with a view to determining the laws which regulate them.

There are three medals, in gold, silver and bronze. The Guy medal in gold is normally awarded every three years. The silver and bronze medals are awarded every year.

A Gold Medal may be awarded to fellows or others who are judged to have merited a signal mark of distinction by reason of their innovative contributions to the theory or application of statistics.

The Silver medal may be awarded to any fellow or, in exceptional cases, to two or more fellows in respect of a paper/papers of special merit communicated to the Society at its ordinary meetings, or in repect of a paper/papers published in any of the journals of the Society. General contributions to statistics may also be taken into account.

The Bronze Medal may be awarded to fellows, or to non-fellows who are members of a section or a local group, in respect of a paper or papers read to a section or local group or at any conference run by the Society, its sections or local groups, or published in any of the Society's journals. Preference will be given to people under the age of 35. Exceptionally two or more authors of a paper/papers may be considered for the award provided they are members of sections or local groups.

Named after Sir Paul Chambers, a former president of the Society and chairman of ICI, this gold medal is awarded once every three years to a fellow of the Society for outstanding services to it. All fellows are eligible for nomination whether or not they have held any honorary office in the Society.

The Bradford Hill medal was established in memory of Sir Austin Bradford Hill FRS, former president of the Society, and is awarded every three years to a fellow of the Society for outstanding or influential contributions to the development, application or exposition of medical statistics.

Nominees must have contributed in at least two of these areas. There is no requirement that nominees shall have published their contributions in the journals of the Society.


While methodological contributions are not the sole criterion for the award of the medal, they are not excluded from consideration. Unlike the Guy Medal in silver, there is no requirement that nominees shall have published their contributions in the journals of the Society. In recent years there have been those whose contributions are of very similar character to that of Guy Medallists in silver, but for whom it has proved difficult to make a case for the award of that medal because they have published almost exclusively in journals such as Biometrika, Biometrics and Statistics in Medicine.


Many medical statisticians work as part of an inter-disciplinary team, most often on epidemiological investigations and clinical trials, but also in many other areas, often defined by the medical, rather than the statistical speciality. Increasingly such work leads to publications in medical journals with the statistician as senior author. Many of these papers have profound public-health implications (for example, cancer and nuclear installations, oral contraceptive use and breast cancer, cardiovascular risk factors, AIDS, organ transplantation). Consequently these include some of the applications where Fellows of the Society have their greatest influence on society, and the medal allows distinguished Fellows working in this way to be acknowledged by their peers.


It is inevitable given the number of medical statisticians currently in post that many, and probably most, medical studies are planned, executed and analysed without any direct contact with a professional statistician. Therefore exposition of good statistical practice, together with clear and comprehensible criticism of bad practice, is an important role for the medical statistician. This can be discharged in a number of ways, including expository articles in medical journals and refereeing and editing of the medical, as well as statistical, literature. In a community where originality is often the most admired quality it is all too easy to undervalue exposition. However, not only can a comprehensible and appropriate article be very influential and do much more to ensure good statistical practice than many more technical contributions, it would also be wrong to underestimate the intellectual challenge posed by exposition. Those who can meet this challenge are worthy of recognition.


1. As there is no link with the Society through publication in its journals, the link is created by restricting the award to Fellows.

2. The term 'medical statistics' defines the intended field of application but should be interpreted flexibly.

3. The medal should be awarded to an individual whose experience and expertise is similar to that required of Guy Silver Medallists. As no link with a paper is needed, joint awards are not expected.

4. In the award of the medal, weight will be given particularly to most recent work (i.e. that completed in the last five or ten years).

This medal, founded in 1991, is aimed at encouraging, and promoting the recognition of, the application of statistical methods to industrial processes. It is awarded for contributions to the effective application of statistical methods to the manufacturing and allied industries. Submissions for the award may be supported by published papers and/or industrial reports for which publication in whole or in part is not restricted. The emphasis will be on effective application.

Total quality management demands the application of statistical methods at so many points and levels. These methods can help all manufacturers to improve their product performance characteristics and the efficiency of their manufacturing processes.

This is just one area where the application of statistical methods can make substantial contributions to the management of manufacturing companies. There are many others: manpower and resource management, production control, purchasing and stock control, and sales forecasting are just some of them.

The objective of the award is to encourage manufacturing companies to pay full attention to the great benefits of statistical methods.

Fellows, non-Fellows or organisations may submit nominations.

The West Medal was established in memory of John Howard West, a Chartered Statistician and Fellow who died in 1998. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in, contributions to or influences on the development and use of statistics in the fields of official or social statistics.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, a research prize of £500 is awarded biennially for an outstanding original contribution to statistical theory or application as shown in work published in open literature.

It is intended for research workers near the beginning of their research career. Eligible candidates may be of any age, but must have been research workers for not more than seven years (excluding any period out of employment) and have been Fellows of the Royal Statistical Society for at least one year prior to 1 September in the session in which the prize is awarded.

Although the prize is not restricted to post-doctoral candidates, in such cases the seven-year time-period would normally be deemed to have started at the commencement of the candidate's Ph.D. studies.

Nominations for the award should be accompanied by a summary (in not more than 500 words) of published research on which the nomination is based.

Honorary fellowships are awarded for the Society to recognise the contribution of individuals of great eminence working in fields related to statistics who are not members of the statistical profession. The award is open to all nationalities.

Nominations for Honorary Fellowship must be accompanied by a written statement of the grounds on which the proposal is made. Council will then consider recommendations from Honours Committee. For a nominee to be elected as an Honorary Fellow, at least three quarters of the members of Council voting must be in favour of the nomination.

Honorary Fellowship will not necessarily be awarded every year.

The Fellowship remembers Sir Harry Campion who was a distinguished statistician. Sir Harry died in 1996 and bequeathed to the Society half the residue of his estate. It was decided by Council to commemorate Sir Harry and the prominent part he played in the development of official statistics in the UK and internationally through a Campion Fellowship. This Fellowship is awarded to Fellows of the Society to promote a specific piece of work or project that would make a significant contribution to the development, use or exposition of statistics on the economic or social well being of the population. The Society welcomes applications from statisticians working in all sectors. The Fellowship is awarded every two years with the maximum sum of money available on any occasion being £10,000.

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