To: System Dynamics Society Policy Council

From:  John Morecroft

Subject:  Changes to the Eligibility Criteria for the Dana Meadows Student Award

Date:  4th February 2004

The Dana Meadows Student Award is the Society’s principal way of recognising students and their important contributions to the field.  Since the award was established in 2001 by John Sterman it has been a great success, attracting many fine student manuscripts.  Nevertheless some members have expressed concerns about eligibility criteria, suggesting that some students face barriers (financial or personal) to attending the annual conference and may therefore be deemed ineligible.

As Chair of the Awards Committee I agreed last summer in New York to address these concerns.  During the autumn of 2003 I consulted the other members of the DHM Committee (Bob Cavana, Andy Ford, George Richardson and John Sterman).  We agreed several changes to the eligibility criteria designed to encourage participation.  The changes, which apply for 2004, are now incorporated in the ‘Call for Nominations’ on the Society’s web page (see also the attachment).

The most important changes are:
1.  Pre-conference notification (privately) of the winner and runners-up, to help students strengthen their own case for attendance. Until now the winner and runners-up have been informed at the conference and not before.

2. Travel and registration expenses for the winner if he/she attends the conference, to encourage attendance and to overcome financial barriers.  Until now winners have paid their own expenses in the year of winning and have then received funding for the next year’s conference.

3. Under exceptional circumstances the winner or runners-up may be recognised without attendance.  Until now students who were unable to attend the conference (no matter what the circumstances) were not eligible for the award.   Now they are eligible.  However, we strongly encourage attendance.

There has also been some discussion in the DHM Committee about whether or not to accept non-student co-authors.  For the time being we have retained this option, subject to various safeguards described in the call for nominations.  However we will review this topic again post-Oxford.

Attachment: Excerpt of Text for DHM Award on the Society’s Web Site

Call for Nominations for the Dana Meadows Student Prize 2003/04

The Dana Meadows Prize is an award of the System Dynamics Society given annually for the best paper by a student presented at the annual System Dynamics Conference.  Established in 2001, the prize celebrates and recognizes high quality student work in the field of system dynamics.  In addition to an overall prizewinner, several papers may be selected for honorable mention.  The winner will receive a cash prize of  $500 as well as conference registration plus travel expenses (up to a combined maximum of $700).  Students are strongly encouraged to attend the conference and present their work.  However, under exceptional circumstances the winner or runners-up may be recognised without attendance.  A winner who is unable to attend will not receive travel or registration expenses.

For the purpose of the prize, a student is anyone who, at the time of writing the manuscript, is enrolled in an accredited program of study, in any subject.  The paper can be co-authored with other eligible students.  If such a co-authored paper is selected as the winner, the authors will share the prize equally. Papers may also be co-authored with a non-student (such as a faculty advisor or consultant) but only if accompanied by a statement from the advisor that the intellectual content arises from the student’s own work.  In all such cases the student must appear as the first author and non-students do not receive a share of the prize. Any paper authored by an eligible student and accepted for the conference can be considered for the award, whether presented in a plenary, parallel, or poster session.  Brevity is a virtue.  Papers must not exceed 5,000 words and should adhere to general conference guidelines.  However, essential documentation or model code can appear in a technical appendix without adding to the word count.

Nomination Procedure    To be considered for the prize you should follow the self-nomination procedure when you submit your paper to the conference, or no later than the submission deadline of April 2, 2004.  You will be asked to affirm that you meet the requirements for the prize and agree to the review terms.  If your paper is co-authored, you will be asked to identify which authors are students.  Non-student co-authors must each write a statement to the Society indicating that the student author(s) is/are responsible for the content of the paper.  Scroll down to see a sample statement included below for reference.

The Dana Meadows Student Prize is generously funded by Jane and Allen Boorstein.