Mitchell Prize

The Mitchell Prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding paper that describes how a Bayesian analysis has solved an important applied problem. The Prize is jointly sponsored by the Section on Bayesian Statistical Science (SBSS) of the ASA, the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA), and the Mitchell Prize Founders' Committee.  The fund was initiated by donations from Toby's many friends and colleagues at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Duke University, Peter Rossi, Jerome Sacks, Microsoft Research, the Section on Bayesian Statistical Science of the ASA, University of California at Los Angeles and Donald Ylvisaker.  Donations to the fund to support the prize may be made by clicking the Contribute Button in the block on the right hand side of this page.

Toby J Mitchell

The Mitchell Prize is named after Toby J. Mitchell and was established by his friends and colleagues following his death from leukemia in 1993.

Toby was a Senior Research Staff Member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory throughout his career, with leaves of absence spent at the University of Wisconsin and at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Toby won the Snedecor Award in 1978 (with co-author Bruce Turnbull), made incisive contributions to statistics, especially in biometry and engineering applications, and was a marvelous collaborator and an especially thoughtful scientist. Toby was a dedicated Bayesian, hence the focus of the prize.

Eligibility and Application Procedure

To be eligible for the Mitchell Prize a paper must have been published or accepted for publication in a refereed journal or conference proceedings during the two years preceeding the nomination. A paper may be nominated by an author or any member of ISBA or SBSS (joining ISBA is easy). A complete nomination consists of:

  • An electronic file of the paper being nominated, in .pdf format.
  • A letter of nomination (also in .pdf format) describing the work's eligibility for the Mitchell Prize, that is, why it is "an outstanding paper that describes how a Bayesian analysis has solved an important applied problem."
  • The names of two evaluators (not the nominator or coauthors) who are willing and able to evaluate credibly the usefulness of the work from the perspective of the applied field addressed in the paper, as distinct from providing comments on its statistical merit.
  • Contact information for nominee, nominator (if different) and evaluators.

Nominations are now being accepted for the Mitchell Prize and may be submitted on-line here. Deadline for submissions is 31 May (midnight UTC/GMT, 8pm EDT, 5pm PDT). The Prize includes a commemorative plaque and an award of $1,000. The 2014 winner will be announced at the JSM in Seattle, USA. Nominated papers will be evaluated by the Mitchell Award Committee, appointed by the ISBA Prize Committee. Questions about the process may be sent to

2016 Mitchell Prize Committee

  • Lurdes Innoue (chair)
  • Adrian Dobra
  • Dani Gamerman
  • Marianna Pensky
  • Marc Suchard

Winners of the Mitchell Prize

  • 2014 - Nimar S. Arora, Stuart Russell, and Erik Sudderth. NET-VISA: Network processing vertically integrated seismic analysis. (Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 103: 709-729)
  • 2013 - Donatello Telesca, Elena Erosheva, Derek Kreager, and Ross Matsueda Modeling Criminal Careers as Departures from a Unimodal Population Age-Crime Curve: the Case of Marijuana Use (JASA 107: 1427-1440).
  • 2012 - Ioanna Manolopoulou,Melanie Matheu,Michael CahalanMike West, and Thomas Kepler Bayesian Spatio-Dynamic Modelling in Cell Motility Studies: Learning Nonlinear Taxic Fields Guiding the Immune Response (JASA 107: 855--865 (with disc. pp 865 --874)).
  • 2011 - Philippe Lemey, Andrew Rambaut, Alexei J. Drummond, and Marc A. Suchard
    Bayesian Phylogeography Finds Its Roots (PLoS Comput Biol 5(9)).
  • 2010 - Ian Vernon, Michael Goldstein and Richard G. Bower
    Galaxy Formation: A Bayesian Uncertainty Analysis (Bayesian Analysis 5: 619-670).
  • 2009 - Ricardo Lemos and Bruno Sanso
    A Spatio-Temporal Model for Mean, Anomaly and Trend Fields of North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (JASA 104: 5-18).
  • 2008 - Hui Jin and Donald Rubin
    Principal Stratification for Causal Inference With Extended Partial Compliance (JASA 103: 101-111).
  • 2007 - Tian Zheng, Matthew J. Salganik and Andrew Gelman
    How Many People Do You Know in Prison? Using Overdispersion in Count Data to Estimate Social Structure in Networks (JASA 101: 409-423).
  • 2006 - Ben Redelings and Marc Suchard 
    Joint Bayesian estimation of alignment and phylogeny (Systematic Biology 54: 401-418).
  • 2003 - Jeff Morris, Marina Vannucci, Phil Brown and Ray Carroll 
    Wavelet-Based Nonparametric Modeling of Hierarchical Function in Colon Carcinogenesis (with discussion) (JASA 98: 573-597).
  • 2002 - Jonathan K. Pritchard, Matthew Stephens & Peter Donnelly 
    Inference of Population Structure Using Multilocus Genotype Data (Genetics 155: 945-959).
  • 2001 - Keisuke Hirano, Guido Imbens, Donald Rubin and Xiao-Hua Zhou
    Assessing the effect of an influenza vaccine in an encouragement design(Biostatistics 1: 69-88).
  • 2000 - Jun Liu, Andrew Neuwald and Chip Lawrence
    Markovian structures in biological sequence alignments (JASA 94: 1-15).
  • 1999 - Alan Montgomery and Peter Rossi 
    Estimating price elasticities with theory-based priors (J Marketing Research 36(4): 413-423).
  • 1997 - Mike West
    Studies of neurological transmission analysis using hierarchical Bayesian mixture models. Published as Hierarchical mixture models in neurological transmission analysis (JASA 92: 587-606).
  • 1994 - Mike West
    Some statistical issues in Palaeoclimatology (with discussion). In Bayesian Statistics 5 (eds: J Berger et al.), Oxford University Press.