Young Researcher Award: How Young is Young?

It is indeed encouraging to learn that numerous research awards have been created by Malaysian universities to reward their staffs for research excellence (click here for a sample). One of those categories is the Young Researcher Award, which serves to encourage and reward excellence in research by young researchers or early career researchers. As an academic with immense curiosity, I was wondering how academia defines ‘youth’.

To satisfy my curiosity, I just do a quick Google search. The relevant results are summarized as follows:

  1. Monash University, the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research by Early Career Researchers: An ECR is someone who has had a PhD awarded (or equivalent research qualification/experience) within ten years of the date of application (click here).
  2. National University of Singapore, Young Researcher Award: A young researcher is someone who is below 40 years of age at the time of application (click here).
  3. Scopus Young Researcher Award: The award is open to those 40 years of age or less at the time of application (click here).
  4. Prosper.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award: Candidates should be less than 40 years old at the time of application (click here).

There are also a number of distinguished awards in academia that are open to those 40 years of age or less, though they are not explicitly labeled as Young Researcher Award:

  1. Moran Medal: The Moran Medal in Statistical Sciences is awarded every two years by the Australian Academy of Science to recognize outstanding research by Australian scientists under 40 years of age in the fields of applied probability, biometrics, mathematical genetics, psychometrics, and statistics (click here).
  2. Fields Medal: Its purpose is to give recognition to young mathematicians under the age of 40 (click here).
  3. John Bates Clark Medal: It is awarded to American economist under the age of 40 who has made significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge (click here).
  4. Fischer Black Prize: Eligible scholars must either be below age 40, or under age 45 but not have been awarded a PhD (or equivalent) by age 35 (click here).