The Foundation for Fiscal Studies presents the annual Miriam Hederman O’Brien Prize to recognise outstanding contributors in the area of Irish fiscal policy. The aim is to recognise those who promote the study and discussion of fiscal, economic and social policy, and work that attempts to answer questions that relate to how we might make Ireland a better place to live.

The Prize forms an important part of the Foundation’s objective of promoting understanding and knowledge in these areas. Winners and shortlisted work from previous years are listed on the Foundation’s website (

Call for Nominations

Nominations are invited for work completed during 2020 that has added to the public knowledge or understanding in areas such as taxation, public expenditure and other related fiscal policy topics. The Prize aims to recognise work that focus on practical problems rather than abstract puzzles, that raise questions about how policy impacts and might improve outcomes, or shed light on issues that really matter to the future of Ireland as a society as well as an economy.

Nominated work may include individuals or institutions with output such research papers, reports, books, book chapters, blog posts, opinion pieces, newspaper articles, television or radio contributions/documentaries or any other method which has publicly provided new and relevant insights into these topics in Ireland.

A shortlist of nominations will be compiled with the winners selected by a judging panel for the Prize. The judging panel will consist of national and international experts and is chaired by Foundation’s Chairman.

The successful contribution will be awarded the Miriam Hederman O’Brien Prize for 2020, which includes a cash prize of €1,000 and commemorative Gold Medal. The judging panel may also recognise other contributions from different categories or other types of contributions and award them appropriately.

Criteria / Eligibility

  • The Prize is for work completed during the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.
  • There are no age or nationality criteria.
  • No individual may be awarded the Prize more than once. Previous winners can still be nominated and may be recognised for an award other than the main prize.
  • Jointly-produced work will be considered, provided that no contributor has previously been awarded the Prize.
  • Work produced by an institution rather than a named or specific author may be submitted and institutions are eligible even if they have previously won the Prize.

The Nomination Process

  • The closing date for nominations is 28 May 2021.
  • Those making nominations should briefly specify (100-150 words) why they believe the work is suitable for consideration for the Prize. They should also provide a weblink or other details of the work being nominated.
  • Those making nominations may nominate more than one piece of work.
  • Those making nominations are encouraged to nominate any pieces of work they feel meet the criteria for the prize, regardless of whether or not they themselves are the author. Authors may also nominate their own work.
  • Nominations for the Prize should be made by email to

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