The purpose of the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science is to reward the activities of individuals and groups in the field of ethics in science. The objective of the Prize is in conformity with UNESCO’s policies, and is related to the programme of the Organization in the field of ethics of science and technology.
- Designation, amount and periodicity of the Prize
(2.1) The Prize shall be entitled the “UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science”.
(2.2) The Prize shall be funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran and shall consist of a recurrent payment of US $ 65,000 in each biennium. The value of the Prize shall be determined by the Director-General in consultation with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the basis of the contribution received, the interest on the sum deposited in the special account, in accordance with the Financial Regulations of UNESCO, and the charges to be borne by the account for the cost of administering the Prize. In addition to the monetary value of the Prize as thus determined, the prizewinner shall receive a gold medal of Avicenna along with a certificate. Costs relating to the academic visit specified in Article 7.3 shall not be covered by the special account.
(2.3) All funds received and the interest accrued thereon shall be kept in a special interest-bearing account for the Prize.
(2.4) The full staff support and operating/management costs of the Prize, including all costs related to the award ceremony and public information activities, shall be fully covered by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The direct support and operating/management costs are estimated at US $ 46,772. In addition, the Director-General will determine a mandatory overhead cost amount to be applied and charged against the funds in the Special Account, which is to be established under the Financial Regulations for the Prize.
(2.5) The Prize shall be awarded biennially.
- Conditions/qualifications of candidates
Candidates shall have contributed to high-quality research in the field of ethics of science and technology. Prizes may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations.
- Designation of the prizewinner
The prizewinner shall be designated by the Director-General of UNESCO, on the basis of the assessments and recommendations made to him/her by a jury.
(5.1) The jury shall consist of three members, of different nationalities and gender, appointed by the Director-General from among the members of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) for a period of six years or for the remaining length of time that the jury member concerned is a full COMEST member, whichever is shorter. Representatives and alternatives of Members of the Executive Board may not be appointed as jurors. Jurors involved in a real or potential conflict of interest shall recuse themselves from further deliberations or be asked by the Director-General to do so. The Director-General may replace members of the jury for reason.
(5.2) The jury shall elect its own chair. Members shall receive no remuneration for their work, but will receive allowances for travel and accommodation, where required. A quorum of two present will be required for jury deliberations to proceed. The working languages for deliberations by the jury shall be English and French.
(5.3) The jury shall conduct its business and deliberations in conformity with these Statutes and shall be assisted by a member of the UNESCO Secretariat designated by the Director-General. Decisions shall be taken by consensus to the extent possible, and otherwise by secret ballot until a simple majority is obtained. A member shall not take part in a vote concerning a nomination from his or her country.
(5.4) The jury shall meet once every two years.
(5.5) The jury shall send an assessment on nominations and accompanying recommendations to the Director-General of UNESCO no later than 1 September of the second year of each biennium.
- Nomination of candidates
(6.1) When the Secretariat has received funding of the Prize, as specified by Article 2 above, the Director-General of UNESCO shall invite the submission of nominations to the Secretariat of the Prize, by 1 November of the first year of each biennium, from the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, and from non-governmental organizations maintaining official relations with the Organization and active in relevant fields covered by a prize.
(6.2) Nominations shall be submitted to the Director-General by the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, and by non-governmental organizations maintaining formal relations with UNESCO. A self-nomination cannot be considered.
(6.3) Each nomination shall be accompanied by a written recommendation, which shall include, in English or French, inter alia:
- a description of the candidate’s academic background and achievements;
- a summary of the work submitted for consideration, publications and other supporting documents of major importance submitted for consideration;
- a review of the way in which the work submitted has contributed to the development of research in the field of ethics of science and technology.
- Procedure for the awarding of the Prize
(7.1) The Prize shall be awarded by the Director-General at an official ceremony held for that purpose in a location and on an occasion determined by him/her with due regard for their significance with respect to the ethics of science and technology. UNESCO shall present to the prizewinner a cheque for the amount of the Prize along with a certificate and a medal. UNESCO shall officially announce the name of the prizewinner.
(7.2) If a work being rewarded has been produced by two or three persons, the Prize shall be awarded to them jointly. In no case may a prize amount be divided among more than three persons.
(7.3) Following the Prize ceremony, at a date to be determined by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the prizewinner shall be invited to participate in a weeklong academic visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the delivery of speeches in the relevant academic gatherings. Costs relating to the academic visit shall be borne directly and exclusively by the Islamic Republic of Iran and are not included in the recurrent payment specified in Article 2.2.
(7.4) The work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for a Prize. If, however, a prizewinner dies before receiving the Prize, then the Prize may be presented posthumously.
(7.5) Should a prizewinner decline the prize, the jury shall submit a new proposal to the Director-General.
- Sunset clause – mandatory renewal of the Prize
(8.1) After a period of six years, the Director-General of UNESCO together with the Islamic Republic of Iran will undertake a review of all aspects of the Prize and decide about its continuation or termination. The Director-General will inform the Executive Board of UNESCO about the results of this review.
(8.2) In case of termination of the Prize, the use of any unspent balance of funds shall be determined by the Director-General, in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Special Account for the Prize.
No appeals shall be allowed against the decision of UNESCO with regard to the award of the Prize. Proposals received for the award of the Prize may not be divulged.
- Amendments to the Statutes of the Prize
Any amendment to the present Statutes shall be submitted to the Executive Board for approval.
Back to top
Financial Regulations of the Special Account