The goals of the award are as defined in the public statement.
The BEST Award Fund:
The BEST Foundation will provide an annual monetary gift to Duke University (for an undetermined period) to be administered through the Department of Statistical Science via a 39X gift fund account named the BEST Award Fund. The gift made in the founding year 2007 - for the first award in academic year 2008 - is $5,000. The intent of the Foundation is to maintain the annual gift at or above that level, though the level may vary from year to year. The funds will be used for the annual financial prize and the expenses associated with advertising the award, its presentation and accompanying plaque and certificate. The BEST Award Fund may receive contributions of additional funds from the Department of Statistical Science and others associated with Duke and the Bayesian statistics community.
Each academic year based on review of student projects by the BEST Award Selection Committee. In any year that the Selection Committee decides to make no award the funding made available for that year's award will remain in the BEST Award account, and will be used at the discretion of the BEST Award Committee in support of student research in areas defined under the Criteria of the charter and for students satisfying the Eligibility criteria of the charter.
The annual award will be a monetary prize of $4,000. It is expected that the award will be made to one project of a student or collaborating group of students, although two equal awards of $2,000 may be made if there are judged to be two equally competitive submissions.
Administration of the award is overseen by the BEST Award Committee, comprised of (one) representative of BEST as Chair, and (one) representative of the professoriate of the Department of Statistical Science. The founding committee members are Dr Jose M. Quintana of BEST and Arts & Sciences Professor Mike West of Duke. Diana Wyant of the BEST Foundation is Secretary to the BEST Award Committee. Personnel changes will be decided by the BEST Foundation in consultation with the Department of Statistical Science.
The BEST Award Committee appoints a three-member BEST Award Selection Committee (hereafter the Selection Committee) to publicize the award, promote student interest and run the review and selection process. At least two of the committee members are professors in the department, one of whom will be designated by the BEST Award Committee as chair; the third member may be another professor from the Department of Statistical Science or from another Duke department, or an alum of the Department of Statistical Science. Rotation and term of membership is decided by the BEST Award Committee.
Review and Selection of Awardees:
The Selection Committee is responsible for updating Award information on the departmental web site, electronic advertising to Duke undergraduate and graduate students, timetable for submission for the annual award, review and selection of awardee(s), award plaque and certificate, award presentation and any associated ceremony or events. Well before the beginning of each academic year (in late August/early September), the Selection Committee will announce the competition for that academic year and include in that announcement the deadline for submission.
Duke Undergraduates registered for the Major or Minor in Statistical Science, and Duke Students registered for the PhD or MS in Statistical Science. Projects of single students or students working as a group are eligible. A formal, written project report is required and must be submitted to the Selection Committee prior to the announced deadline. Students that are family members of the officers of the BEST Foundation, or of a member of the faculty of the Department of Statistical Science, or of any member of the BEST Award and Selection Committees are ineligible.
Research projects will be reviewed for their contributions to the application of Bayesian statistical ideas and methods to problems in any area of time series of relevance to financial applications, and other areas of Bayesian statistics in finance. Preference will be given to innovative methodological developments, and research contributions must include computational developments and implementations.
The award will be presented at Duke University at an appropriate date and venue decided annually by the BEST Award and Selection committees.
Conditions of award:
The prize recipient(s) may use the award for any purpose.
Changes to the Charter:
This Charter defines the terms and conditions of the BEST Award and agreement between the BEST Foundation and Duke University on the administration and process. All or any aspect of this Charter may be modified at any time by the BEST Award Committee.
The BEST Foundation will be provided with an annual accounting of the use of the award funds and their distribution for the intended charitable purpose, and maintains the right to reclaim funds if the Foundation determines the funds are misused.
Termination of the agreement and funding of the Award may be made at any time by either the BEST Foundation or Duke University.
Dates of Agreement and Changes: The original charter was agreed between the BEST Foundation and Duke University on April 20th 2007. Minor updates related to timing of the Award announcements and presentations were made in March 2008, and again in September 2010.