RULES REGARDING THE AWARDING OF THE BIENNIAL JOHN STEWART BELL PRIZE FOR RESEARCH ON FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES IN QUANTUM MECHANICS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS:
- The John Stewart Bell Prize for Research on Fundamental Issues in Quantum
Mechanics and their Applications (hereafter "Bell Prize") will be awarded every
other year, starting in 2009, for significant contributions first published in the
6 years preceding January 1st of the award year. The award is meant to recognize
major advances relating to the foundations of quantum mechanics and to the
applications of these principles – this covers, but is not limited to, quantum information
theory, quantum computation, quantum foundations, quantum cryptography, and
quantum control. The award is not intended as a "lifetime achievement" award,
but rather to highlight the continuing rapid pace of research in these areas. It is
intended to cover even-handedly theoretical and experimental research, both
fundamental and applied.
- The award will be funded and managed by the University of Toronto Centre
for Quantum Information & Quantum Control (hereafter "CQIQC"), but the award
selection will be the responsibility of an arms-length selection committee.
This committee will be composed of 5 members, including an ex officio vice-chair
chosen from the CQIQC management committee, and 4 internationally respected
scientists in the fields covered by the award (none of whom should be from the
University of Toronto), one of whom will serve as committee chair. Members of the committee will be ineligible to receive the award while
they are serving and in the subsequent award cycle, as will their close
relatives. Regular collaborators of committee members over the preceding
6 years will similarly be excluded; the committee has the discretion to
determine what constitutes "regular" collaboration.
- The awardee will be invited to deliver a prize lecture, open to the public, as
part of the biennial CQIQC conference. All reasonable travel and accommodation
expenses (as well as the conference registration) will be covered; in addition,
the award will consist of a medal, a certificate, and a $1000 honorarium.
- Nominations are to be solicited from a broad group of researchers in the
covered fields. Self-nomination is prohibited. It will be recommended that
nominations include the name and affiliation of the nominee, a 1-2 paragraph
statement of the importance of the contribution for which he or she is being nominated,
and the principal literature citations to this work. The selection committee will, however,
not be bound to limit itself to the names it receives from external nominations, nor will it be
required to provide any explanation of why any given nominee was not selected. There
are no other restrictions related to the age, nationality, or educational/employment
history of the awardee, aside from the conflict-of-interest exclusions described in (2).
- The selection will typically take place by email and/or teleconference as follows:
- The vice-chair will solicit nominations internationally, with the assistance of the
CQIQC management board and the CQIQC international advisory board, in the
Fall of the year preceding the award year.
- The vice-chair will forward the nomination packages to the committee members,
typically in November of the year preceding the award, and request that they reply
with information about any additional nominees they believe should be considered.
- The vice-chair will send the expanded list of nominees to the committee by December,
and invite the committee to make any comments or pursue any discussions about
the nominees by email or teleconference, as appropriate.
- The members of the committee will then be asked to provide a numerical score
for each nominee and send these scores to the committee chair. (The precise
method of scoring – e.g., a ranked list, scores from 1 to 10, or others – will be at
the discretion of the chair.)
- The chair will use these scores to select a proposed awardee. He will have the
discretion to "process" the scores as he deems most reasonable (e.g., by taking the
mean or the median, before or after discarding the highest and/or the lowest ranking,
et cetera), and in cases where two awardees have very similar rankings, shall have
the discretion to select the candidate he believes is most deserving. He shall share
the full set of scores with the committee, along with his proposed awardee and his
reasoning. Typically this will happen by the second week in January of the award
year. The selection should be accepted, by a vote of at least 4 of the 5 committee members.
- If the selection is rejected, the chair should make an alternate suggestion and submit
it to the committee for approval. This process may continue so long as the chair feels there
are suitable candidates. If none of the chair's suggestions is approved by a 4/5 majority
of the committee, then the award will not be offered in that year.
- Typically, the awardee will thus be determined by the end of January, and the
CQIQC management board will be informed of the decision. They will have the responsibility
to ensure that the rules concerning the award (specifically relating to conflict of interest) have
been respected, and unless they find otherwise, the selection committee chair will be invited
to inform the awardee of the decision by early February. The CQIQC management board
will handle the subsequent practical arrangements along with the public announcement
of the award.
- At the start of each award cycle, the CQIQC Management Committee will select one of its members
to serve as ex officio vice chair of the selection committee. The four non-CQIQC members of the
committee will typically serve 4-year terms (covering two award cycles). After the selection
of the awardee, the selection committee will be invited to provide 4-5 names of potential replacements
for the 2 members whose terms are ending. This list will be forwarded to the CQIQC management
committee, which will select 2 names from the list. These proposed members will be invited to
serve, subject to final approval by the International Advisory Board. If either or both of them
decline, then the CQIQC Management Committee shall choose alternate members until it
has found two who agree to serve. The names of these two shall be forwarded to the International
Advisory Board, who will be given 2 weeks to raise any formal objection. If any member of the Board
objects, the Management Committee has the option to immediately seek a new committee member
or to request a full vote of the International Advisory Board to override the objection; in such cases, a
simple majority of the Board members who respond within 2 weeks will decide the issue.
- In the first year of the award, the CQIQC Management Committee and the inaugural award
committee chair shall agree on the composition of the selection committee, designating two
of the members to serve for a single term and two to serve for two consecutive terms.
- In cases where a committee member steps down unexpectedly, the CQIQC Management
Committee shall select a replacement subject to approval by the International Advisory Board,
under the same guidelines as described above in (6).
- These rules will take effect after approval by the CQIQC Management Board and the International
Advisory Committee. Any changes to these rules should be approved by a majority of the Management
Committee (abstention counting as a negative vote) and by a majority of the responding members
of the International Advisory Committee (who will be given two weeks to respond once an
amendment has been passed by the Management Committee and forwarded to them; abstention
in this case will count as an affirmative vote).
- These rules, along with the membership of the selection committee, the CQIQC
management board, and the CQIQC international advisory committee, shall all be
made public, but the names of the nominees, all information related to the nomination
packages, and everything concerning the deliberations shall be strictly confidential.