Awards Committee

Continuing committee


Bruce Smith - Chair/président(e)
Ex officio 
Wendy Lou
Ex officio 
Julie Zhou
Sanjoy Sinha
Karen Kopciuk
Changbao Wu

Terms of Reference


The Awards Committee was established as a continuing committee at a meeting of the Board of Directors on 27 October 1984, with a mandate to make recommendations for the awarding of Gold Medals and Plaques (the Plaque became the "SSC Service Award / Prix pour services à la SSC" in 1998 and the "Distinguished Service Award / Prix pour services insignes" in 2003). In 1987 a decision was made to amalgamate the Awards Committee and the Honorary Members Committee, and to call the resulting committee the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee was given the mandate to make recommendations for all awards that are offered by the Society (except the Pierre Robillard Award and the CRM-SSC Prize). At a meeting of the Board of Directors on 10 June 2007, new awards were established, and the composition of the Awards Committee changed. The committee had the mandate to serve as the selection committee for the Gold Medal, Award for Impact of Applied and Collaborative Work, Honorary Membership and Distinguished Service Award. At a subsequent meeting of the Board of Directors held on 23 October 2010, the selection responsibility for the Award for Impact of Applied and Collaborative Work was transferred to the Award for Impact of Applied and Collaborative Work Committee, a separate continuing committee. On June 3, 2012, the Board of Directors modified the composition of the committee. In 2007, when new awards were added, it was decided that the chairs of the selection committees for the various awards would also serve on the Awards Committee either as voting or non-voting members. In 2012, the size of the committee and the presence of voting and non-voting members led to the current configuration of the committee. Since the chairs of the other award selection committees are no longer serving on the Awards Committee, the mandate of the committee was modified to require that the Awards Committee Chair shall be in touch with the chairs of all the SSC committees responsible for awards and oversee the process. Among its other duties, the Awards Committee will also provide input to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors on any issues surrounding the awards, including implementation of new awards, changes to award criteria, etc. It also has the mandate to make recommendations for awards offered by other societies or bodies, such as membership in the Royal Society of Canada or awards offered by the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies.


Chair: Past Past-President.
Membership: Past-President and five members in good standing, appointed by the incoming President.
All committee members, including the chair, are voting members.

Terms and Duties:

The Awards Committee shall:
  • solicit nominations for awards through announcements in the August and November issues of Liaison;
  • shortly after the announcement appears in the August issue of Liaison, the committee chair writes to the heads of Canadian university departments of statistics and related fields and to local representatives encouraging their members to consider nominating deserving colleagues.
  • recommend to the Executive Committee by the end of February, via the President, potential recipients of Honorary Memberships and submit short citations and accompanying documentation. Ratification by the Board of Directors is required; this is normally done by a conference call;
  • by March 31, recommend to the Executive Committee, via the President, potential recipients of the SSC Gold Medal and the Distinguished Service Award, and submit short citations and accompanying documentation for each award;
  • after the above recommendations have been ratified, make arrangements with the Executive Secretary for the medal to be engraved and certificates to be prepared (the President should contact recipients of the awards, inviting them to be present at the Annual Meeting for presentation, also by the President, of the awards);
  • submit articles for publication in Liaison, announcing the winners of these awards;
  • prepare the Awards booklet which is distributed at the Annual Meeting and to the winners of the various SSC awards, as well as to their institutions.
  • review the selection criteria for awards and recommend changes to the Board of Directors, as appropriate; and
  • actively encourage nominations for all awards from a wide spectrum of the membership through various venues including, but not restricted to, announcements in the August and November issues of Liaison, general e-mail notices through g-ssc and personal contact with local representatives as well as Section presidents and Regional Association presidents;
  • be in touch, through the chair of the committee, with the chairs of all the SSC committees responsible for awards and oversee the process.
The Awards Committee is expected to adhere to the SSC’s conflict of interest policy (pdf).  When a potential conflict of interest arises, the Chair of the committee should manage the conflict on a case-by-case basis. Please also see the SSC guidelines on implicit bias (pdf).
SSC Gold Medal Award

The Gold Medal of the SSC shall be awarded to a person who has made outstanding contributions to statistics, or to probability, either to mathematical developments or in applied work. The recipient should be Canadian or permanent resident of Canada, and must have made high quality research contributions to the statistical sciences in Canada. A recipient of the Gold Medal must be a member of the SSC.

  • The Gold Medal is intended to honour current leaders in their fields and is normally expected to be awarded to someone still active in research.
  • Publicity should be given to the announcement of the award of the Gold Medal each year (in Liaison, the media and newsletters of other societies) in order to draw attention to the excellent work being done in Canada and by Canadians.
  • A nomination consists of a recent curriculum vitae of the nominee, at least four letters of support, and a suggested citation to accompany the award.
  • Nominations for the Gold Medal should be considered valid for three successive competitions unless withdrawn by the nominators. Nominators of unsuccessful candidates should be asked to add, replace or update biographical information and letters of reference as appropriate.
Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award should be awarded to a person who has made substantial contributions to the running or welfare of SSC, over a period of several years. A recipient of the Service Award must be a member of the SSC.

  • A nomination for the Distinguished Service Award should include a CV, at least 2 letters of support which address the award criteria, and a suggested citation to accompany the award.
  • The Distinguished Service Award will go to someone who, for several years, has worked hard in the service of the Society. Academic reputation, current research, or reputation in the world-wide statistical community will not be major concerns; the award is intended to reward devotion and service to statistics in Canada, as shown by exceptional service to the SSC.
  • The award of the Service Award should not be regarded as a run-of-the-mill reward to retiring officers of the Society, even though their service may have been meritorious, unless the Awards Committee truly regards that service as exceptional.
Machinery for the Awarding of the Gold Medal and the Distinguished Service Award:

The Awards Committee will decide whether the awards will be given, and to whom.  The Awards Committee shall report its decisions to the President by March 31. Ratification of the decisions shall be made by the Executive Committee by April 30, in time for the recipients to be alerted to receive the award at the Banquet held in conjunction with the SSC Annual Meeting. A short citation, approved by the Awards Committee, shall accompany each award. A person may receive the Gold Medal and the Distinguished Service Award in different years.

Frequency of the Awards:

Not more than one Gold Medal will normally be awarded each year; if no suitable candidate is found, or if the decision of the Awards Committee is not ratified by the Executive Committee, then no award shall be made. The same provisions shall apply to the Distinguished Service Award.
Honorary Membership Award

Honorary Membership in the SSC may be awarded to statistical scientists, or in special circumstances other individuals, of outstanding distinction who have made exceptional contributions to the development of the statistical sciences. The recipient should be someone whose work for which the Honorary Membership is awarded was substantially done in Canada or has had a major impact in Canada. The recipient need not be a member of the SSC.

  • This award is intended to recognize individuals who have had a substantial and longstanding impact on the development of the statistical sciences in Canada; it would normally be expected to go to retired individuals.
  • This award is not intended to recognize individuals whose impact is based primarily on research contributions, of either an applied or theoretical nature, in the statistical sciences. Such individuals would more appropriately be considered as nominees for the more prestigious Gold Medal award. Of course, individuals holding the Gold Medal are eligible for consideration for Honorary Membership.
  • The extent to which an individual's activities have contributed toward the achievement of the goals proclaimed in the Society's published Mission Statement might serve the Awards Committee as a useful guide in their assessment of individuals nominated for this award.
  • A nomination consists of a recent curriculum vitæ, at least three letters of support, and a suggested citation to accompany the award.