Environmental Law Scholarship Awards

Call for Nominations

The IUCN Academy recognizes that its member institutions are actively involved in advancing knowledge of environmental law through research on a wide range of topics from an array of perspectives. The Academy’s member law schools and their scholars frequently produce outstanding publications, organize conferences and undertake other scholarly activities of international significance. These scholarly activities directly promote the aims of the Academy.

The Academy introduced the annual scholarship prize competition to recognize outstanding publications and other scholarly achievements by individuals in its member institutions. A Scholarship Prizes Subcommittee of the Academy’s Research Committee oversees the competition.

This announcement details the criteria and procedure for nominating individuals for the scholarship prizes. The deadline for making nominations is 29 February 2012.

Awarding of Prizes to Date

The Academy has thus far awarded three prizes each in the junior and senior categories. Professor Klaus Bosselmann of New Zealand, Professor Jamie Benidickson of Canada and Professor Svitlana Kravchenko of the United States received the senior scholar prize in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Dr. Christina Voigt of Norway, Professor Tim Stephens of Australia and Professor Louis Kotze of South Africa received the junior scholar prize in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. The prize winners of the fourth competition will be announced at the Academy’s Colloquium, 1-5 July 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Prize Categories

The Academy awards two prizes, based on scholarly achievements in the field of environmental law:

  • One prize (Junior) for an academic with less than 10 years academic experience since the completion of their first law degree (i.e, LLB or JD).
  • The second prize (Senior) for an academic with more than 10 years academic experience since the completion of their first law degree.

Academic experience includes graduate-level research, post-doctoral positions and traditional academic appointments as lecturers, professors and similar positions.

Eligibility and Criteria

The prizes will be awarded on the basis of ‘scholarship’, defined primarily to include published research such as academic books (edited or authored), journal articles and book chapters, as well as commissioned policy reports and studies of research value. The scholarship could be published in any language. Although other criteria factor into the selection of the prize winners (see below for additional criteria), the quality of scholarship will serve as the primary factor in evaluating candidates for the prize.

The Academy strongly encourages nominations from all regions in the world, particularly from non-OEDC countries.

In addition to ‘scholarship’, defined above, the prizes also recognize other additional scholarly-related activities, such as:

  • Editing an environmental law journal
  • Organizing academic conferences and workshops
  • Obtaining substantial research grants
  • Building collaborative research networks, and
  • Other innovations that advance research in environmental law.


The following additional requirements apply:

  • Only scholars within the IUCN Academy’s member law schools are eligible to nominate or be nominated for the prizes.
  • At least one nomination must be provided, though a nominee may receive more than one nomination.
  • The nominator may be a member of the nominee’s law school, but preferably would be from a different law school amongst the IUCN Academy’s member institutions.
  • The nominator must also propose possible reviewers who know the nominee's scholarship and who would be able to comment upon it. Such a reviewer should not be from the same law school as the candidate.
  • The nominator must complete the attached nomination form. Further, on request, the nominator or the nominee may be requested to provide the Academy’s Scholarship Prizes Subcommittee with supporting documents, such as copies of representative publications and other supporting documents (e.g., book reviews and conference programmes). Please note that the subcommittee does not have the resources to obtain information in support of the scholarship prizes; therefore, nominators should recognize that the strength of the nomination will depend, in part, on the materials submitted in support of the nomination.
  • Each prize is based on the scholarly achievements of nominated individuals in the immediately preceding five years determined from the closing date in the call for nominations (i.e., between January 2007 and February 2012 for the forthcoming round).
  • The candidate’s research output is normally expected to be a sustained performance over this period, rather than a one-off achievement.
  • The scholarly activities in question must relate to ‘environmental law’, in its broadest understandings.


In future scholarship prize competitions, an individual may be re-nominated if he or she was unsuccessful in the previous years. However, former prize winners within the previous five years are ineligible for re-nomination.

Evaluation criteria

The criteria for evaluation of the nomination are as follows, listed in order of importance:

  1. Quality, originality and intellectual influence of the scholarship.
  2. International significance of the scholarship, as against merely having relevance in one jurisdiction or region.
  3. Enhancement of research collaboration among scholars and other persons from different institutions and regions.
  4. Advancement of the aims of the IUCN Academy:
    • Build individual talent and institutional capacity in environmental law and policy as a vital contributor to effective international environmental governance
    • Advance understanding of some of the most pressing environmental law and governance issues and propose strategies to address these issues from a legal perspective
    • Contribute to developing new legal mechanisms to meet urgent demands for sound global, regional and national governance

The awards are made on merit and the Scholarship Prizes Subcommittee may in a given year decide not to award any prizes.

Nature of the Prizes

The prizes will take the form of a commemorative certificate endorsed by the IUCN Academy. No monetary payment is provided.

Composition of the Scholarship Prize Subcommittee

The Prizes Subcommittee will include five members: two from the Research Committee, one from the Academy’s Governing Board and two independent expert reviewers, to be determined annually. Each member of the committee must be at arms-length from the nomination process.

Further Information

If you have any questions about the Scholarship Prizes competition, please contact Winnie Carruth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Willemien du Plessis, Co-Chair of the Academy’s Research Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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