Selecting the Finalists and Winner of the Indianapolis Prize is an intense two-step judging structure undertaken by the Prize Nominating Committee and Jury.
Nominating an individual is simple and includes a 500-word narrative about the individual along with two to four letters of support. All applications will be reviewed for appropriateness and completeness. A staff member will then contact the applicant and request additional documentation including a CV and supporting materials.
To receive an application or find out more information, please complete the form below.
Thank you for your interest in the Indianapolis Prize. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. The following information details the criteria needed to nominate an individual.
To be nominated, applicants must have accomplished an individual achievement or series of achievements that have resulted in a demonstrable positive impact on an animal species or group of species that is likely to improve long-term sustainability. The impact of achievements under consideration must be clearly recognizable when evaluated by the Nominating Committee and Jury*.
Consideration will be given to:
Nominations are open to anyone with knowledge of an individual whose work has had a great impact upon a species or group of species that can be measured over time. Their work must demonstrate the improvement in long-term sustainability was the result of direct and specific actions of the applicant.
The Indianapolis Prize Nominating Committee and Jury each consist of nine different individuals, from across the globe, who are representative of the scientific and conservation sector, the Indianapolis community and the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.
At the close of the nomination period, all applications are reviewed for completeness and qualification requirements by the Indianapolis Prize Steering Committee. Once the applicant list is final the Nominating Committee begins the first round of discussion.
In closed deliberation, Nomination Committee members have roughly three months to thoughtfully review the materials and determine the six individuals who will advance to the level of Finalist. Once chosen the Jury then analyses the six Finalists’ work, in a second closed deliberation spanning three months, to select the award recipient.
The Nominating Committee and the Jury utilize the following criteria to give thorough consideration to the nominee’s scientific impact and sustainable conservation methods:
*Nominating Committee and Jury members change each Prize cycle.
Steve Cagle: Trustee, Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.
Dr. Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz: Associate Professor, School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Dr. Heather DeCaluwe: Society for Conservation Biology
Dr. Peter Etnoyer: Marine Biologist, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Michael Huber: President and CEO, Indy Chamber
Dr. Lynn Maguire: Professor of the Practice of Environmental Decision Analysis, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
Dr. Crickette Sanz: Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University
Michele Schilten: Director of Education and Conservation, Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.
Dr. Richard Wrangham: Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University
Dr. Jonathan Baillie: Chief Scientist, National Geographic
Dr. Kamaljit Bawa: Distinguished Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston
Dr. Paula Kahumbu: CEO, WildlifeDirect
Dr. Mark Penning: Chair, Field Conservation Committee, AZA; Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks
Dr. Jeff Proudfoot: VP, Veterinary Sciences, Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.
Myrta Pulliam: Director, Special Projects, IndyStar
Dr. Jon Paul Rodriguez: Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission
Cindy Simon Skjodt: Chairman, Samerian Foundation
Dr. Christopher Wemmer: Honorary Fellow, California Academy of Sciences; Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Disclaimer of Responsibility, Rejection of Applications, Disqualification. The Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc. is not responsible for lost, late, non-delivered, or misdirected mail, e-mail, or communications malfunctions of any kind in the administration of the Indianapolis Prize or for the failure of any application to be received by the Indianapolis Zoo on account of postal or courier delays or losses, technical problems, or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site, or any combination thereof. The Applicant acknowledges and accepts that the Indianapolis Zoo reserves the absolute right to reject any late or incomplete application. Likewise, if the Applicant or the Nominating Party omits any material fact on the application form or in any other submitted materials, or if Applicant engages in immoral, improper, unseemly or illegal behavior, or any behavior adverse to the Indianapolis Zoo or the other Applicants, whether intentional or unintentional, the Applicant may be disqualified at any point in the process at the Indianapolis Zoo’s sole discretion. If any disqualifying information or provision of false information is discover.