From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

The IEA-Liberty Mutual Prize in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

Through this prestigious award, the IEA seeks to recognize outstanding original research leading to the reduction or mitigation of work-related injuries. The main criteria include significant advancement of theory and understanding, innovation and development of new directions or approaches.

The award recipient will receive a prize of $5,000. In addition, the award recipient will be automatically competing for the 2003 Liberty Mutual Medal. The Medal, carrying an additional stipend of $15,000, will be awarded during the IEA Triennial Congress (Seoul, Korea) to the best of the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Prizewinners.

Applicants need not belong to the IEA or any of its constituent groups. Relevant disciplines include ergonomics, epidemiology, biomechanics, cognitive and behavioural psychology, design, physiology, medical sciences, economics, engineering, etc.

Submission Requirements

The applicant must submit a letter of application and a research paper in the domain of accident prevention, injury reduction and/or early return to work, including rehabilitation. The paper must:

  • be scholarly in nature such as an original paper describing laboratory, field, or intervention research (see Q&A for further elaboration)
  • contain non-proprietary data
  • be unpublished at the time of submission (but may have been submitted for publication)
  • be thirty pages or less, single-spaced using point size 12 with 1 inch margins

The paper should address the following topics:

  • contributions of the research to theory, i.e., how the work had advanced the understanding of the causes of accidents and/or ability to mitigate occupational injuries or disability
  • aims of research
  • originality and creativity
  • study methodology
  • implications for risk reduction

The cover letter should highlight:

  • main innovative aspects of the study (e.g., approach, methodology, analysis, etc.)
  • anticipated contribution to occupational safety

An international review committee established by the IEA will select the winning contribution

The authors of the winning paper are expected to submit the paper to Ergonomics for publication. The authors may make a case to have the paper submitted to an alternative journal for publication.

Persons wishing to be considered for the 2002 prize should submit an application, including separate cover letter and paper, both in electronic format, to the IEA Awards Committee Chair at the following address:

Y. Ian Noy, Ph.D., P.Eng., CPE
IEA Awards Chair
c/o Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, Tower “C”
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1A 0N5
Tel: +1 (613) 998-2268
Fax: +1 (613) 998-4831

The deadline for receipt of applications is March 1, 2002. Applicants should be notified of the results by mid-June. Announcement of the award winner will be made public in July 2001.

If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the IEA Awards Committee Chair at the above-noted address.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the purpose of the prize?

The purpose of the prize is to recognize individuals whose efforts have contributed the reduction or mitigation of work-related injuries. In particular, the prize is awarded to recognize original research leading to a better understanding of avoiding or mitigating, occupational accidents or injuries, or to rehabilitation and return to work of injured workers. The main criteria, therefore, include significant advancement of theory and understanding, innovation and development of new directions or approaches.

Q: What is the difference between the Prize and the Medal?

The prize is awarded each year and has a monetary value of $5,000. The medal is awarded during the IEA Triennial Congress to the best of three most-recent prizewinners and carries an additional stipend of $15,000.

Q: What is meant by scholarly work?

Originality is the key defining characteristic of scholarly work. Originality is to be interpreted broadly. One common form of scholarship is the discovery of new knowledge, which may take on many different forms and includes the generation of new concepts, ideas, principles and theorems. Another form of scholarship is the innovative coordination, synthesis or integration of knowledge. This type of scholarship seeks and promotes understanding in a broader context, by organizing knowledge in a new and useful way, by illustrating new relationships between the parts and the whole, by relating the past in a new way to the present and future, or by demonstrating new and significant patterns of meaning.

Q: Does the IEA endorse Liberty Mutual policy directions?

The establishment of the prize should not be construed as endorsement of Liberty Mutual. However, it is recognized that Liberty Mutual sponsors a variety of activities aimed at improving worker health and safety. The IEA shares the belief that the prize will stimulate efforts to combat the unacceptably high incidence of work-related injuries and raise awareness within the industrial, governmental and academic communities of the pervasive nature of the problem and its associated high social and economic consequences.

Q: Is this prize limited to ergonomics?

No. Significant contributions can come from a variety of disciplines such as ergonomics, epidemiology, biomechanics, design, cognitive and behavioral psychology, physiology and anatomy, economics, etc. Submission from any discipline that is consistent with the purpose of the award will be considered.

Q: Why is Liberty Mutual doing this through the International Ergonomics Association?

The IEA is the federation of ergonomics and human factors societies throughout the world. As such, it fosters an extensive network of experts in work sciences and related disciplines. This network will ensure that the selection of the winners reflects the best judgment of the international scientific community. Furthermore, the implementation procedures established by the IEA ensure that decisions are impartial.

Q: What does the prize comprise?

The annual Liberty Mutual Prize consists of a financial award of US$ 5,000. Every three years, the best of the three most-recent winners will receive the Liberty Mutual Prize Medal, which consists of a further award of US$ 15,000.

The prize will be awarded to individuals, not organizations. If the winning submission names more than one individual, the named individuals shall share the award.