Spiegelman Award Procedures Manual

Applied Public Health Statistics Section 
Updated: 02/26/2013



PART I: Preface and Acknowledgements

PART II: History of the Spiegelman Award

PART III: Eligibility Criteria

PART IV: Responsibilities of the Award Recipient

PART V: Award Medallion and Honorarium

PART VI: Award Committee

PART VII: Nomination Procedures

PART VIII: Advertisement for Nominations

PART IX: Selection Procedure

PART X: Notification of Award

APPENDIX A: List of Spiegelman Award Recipients

APPENDIX B: Spiegelman Award Committee Members List

APPENDIX C: Sample Announcement for Nominations




The 2004 APHA Statistics Section Council asked Dr. Craig D. Turnbull to produce a Procedures Manual for the Section’s Spiegelman Award Committee because the activities of the previous 1970-2004 Spiegelman Award Committees were never chronicled, and the Statistics Section Council believed that the procedures needed to be documented.  Dr. Turnbull had experience both as a Statistics Section Councilor and as a Spiegelman Award Committee member and was appointed by the 2004 Statistics Section Council to serve a one-year appointment on the nine-member 2005 Spiegelman Award Committee).  The manual produced by Dr. Turnbull was reviewed at the Statistics Section council meetings at the 2005 APHA meetings in Philadelphia and was officially implemented beginning with the 2006 Spiegelman Award selection.  The procedures described in the Manual prepared by Dr. Turnbull were used by the Spiegelman Award Committee, to select the 2005 Spiegelman Award recipient.


The information in the 2005 Manual was based on information from the collective memories/inputs (both written and oral) of former Statistics Section Chairs, Spiegelman Award Committee Chairs, previous Spiegelman Award recipients, and various other Members of the Statistics Section.  Dr. Turnbull also incorporated materials from his own experience as a member of the Spiegelman Award Committee and the Statistics Section Council.  The original reference(s) for some of the entries contained in the 2005 Manual were either not available or fully remembered by the source(s) of the information.


The 2005 Manual was revised in November 2010 to fill out the section on the history of the Spiegelman Award and to reflect changes in the composition of the Spiegelman Award Committee approved by the Statistics Section Council at the 2010 APHA annual meetings. Further edits were completed in October 2011.




Mortimer Spiegelman (1901-1969) was an actuary, biostatistician, and demographer who made exceptional contributions to public health. His contributions have continued posthumously through the APHA’s Statistics Section’s Mortimer Spiegelman Award.

Mr. Spiegelman was a native of Brooklyn, New York. He received a Master’s of Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1923 and a Master’s of Business Administration from Harvard University in1925. He spent 40 years on the staff of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company where he published many articles and volumes that attained national and international recognition. He coauthored with Dublin and Lotka The Money Value of Man and Length of Life, both of which have been standard reference volumes.   Although his employment was in an organization that was concerned primarily with actuarial science, his interests were much broader.  He published two editions of Introduction to Demography, which has been a standard text in demography.  The second edition, in particular, is oriented toward the general demographer and students of public health statistics rather than toward the actuary. He did extensive work on life tables including what he referred to as “segmented generation” mortality.  This approach allows one to follow the mortality experience of a given age group over successive 10-year periods as an alternative to analyzing trends in the current mortality.


His major contribution in the fields of public health and epidemiology came toward the end of his career when he conceived of, coordinated, edited, and carried to a successful conclusion the publication of a series of monographs sponsored by the APHA and published by the Harvard University Press. Each monograph pertained to a specific set of diseases, and the 1960 Census was used in a standard way as the denominator for rates of disease. In his role as editor of this series, he used his considerable powers of persuasion with the authors of the monographs to ensure comparability among them and to make certain that the work on each was completed.   Sixteen monographs resulted from his efforts; covering a wide range of topics as evidenced by the following titles: Accidents and Homicides, Infectious Diseases, Trends and Variations in Fertility in the U.S., Infant, Perinatal, Maternal, and Childhood Mortality, The Epidemiology of Oral Health, Tuberculosis, Syphilis and Other Venereal Diseases, Cardiovascular Disease in the U.S., The Frequency of Rheumatic Diseases, Digestive Disease, Mental Disorders and Suicide, Cancer in the U.S., The Epidemiology of Neurological and Sense Organ Diseases, Mortality and Morbidity in the U.S., and Differential Mortality in the U.S.  Mr. Spiegelman’s development of the APHA monograph series further illustrates the breadth of his interests. 


Mr. Spiegelman was a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and a Fellow of the American Public Health Association

The Spiegelman Award was established in 1970 by his sisters, Anna and Julia Spiegelman, following his death. The Award was maintained during their lives by their donations, and their attendance of the annual award luncheon and presentation. In 2001 -2003, the Statistics Section solicited donations for the Spiegelman Endowment Fund to ensure the continuation of the Award.  Continuation of the Award today, and for the foreseeable future, is supported by donations raised during this time period from Statistics Section members, previous Spiegelman Award recipients, other supporters of the Statistics Section, and from several institutions to which they belong.  Instrumental in enabling the 2001-2003Spiegelman Endowment fundraising effort to reach its goal was an initial challenge, and subsequent donations that more than matched other contributions, by Professor Gary C. Koch of the University of North Carolina, the fifth Spiegelman Award recipient.


The Spiegelman Award has been presented annually since 1970 to a statistician under age 40 who has made outstanding contributions to public health statistics.  The distinction associated with the Award has increased over time with the extraordinary continuing accomplishments of its recipients (see Appendix A for a list of the Award recipients).  The Award serves three purposes:

·         To honor the outstanding achievements of the recipient and Mortimer Spiegelman. 

·         To encourage further involvement in public health of the finest young statisticians.

·         To increase awareness of APHA and the Statistics Section in the academic statistical community.

The Award is presented annually at the APHA meetings by the previous recipient of the Award.





The Spiegelman Award recipient must be a health statistician who:

  • Has made outstanding contributions to statistical methodology and its applications in public health (broadly defined).
  • Will not reach his/her 40th birthday during or before the calendar year of the Award.





The Award recipient is required to:

  • Attend the APHA Statistics Section’s Spiegelman and Statistics Section Awards Session to receive the Award.
  • Serve on the Spiegelman Award committee for three years and Chair the committee in the last year.
  • Organize a session at the APHA annual meetings for the APHA Statistics Section in the year following receipt of the Award.
  • Present the Award to the next Award recipient at the APHA annual meetings in the year following receipt of the Award.
  • Update the Award committee member list (see Appendix B) and give a current copy of the Spiegelman Award Procedures Manual to the next Chair of the Award committee during the year he/she chairs the committee.





The Award recipient is presented with the bronze Spiegelman medallion (originally housed in a cherry box, now framed).  Beginning with 2010, the Award recipient also may receive a $500 Honorarium the year of the Award and the following year.  The Honoraria are intended to defray the Award recipient’s travel expenses when he/she 1) attends the APHA meetings to receive the Award and 2) attends the APHA meetings the following year to present the Award and to chair the Methodology session he/she organizes.  The Honorarium is only offered when the Award recipient attends the APHA annual meetings.  In addition, the Award recipient’s APHA membership may be paid for the two years following receipt of the Award.


The APHA Statistics Section Chair authorizes minting of the Spiegelman medallions as needed, and the Statistics Section is responsible for preparing a medallion for presentation each year.




For 2005-2010, the Spiegelman Award committee consisted of 9 members, each serving a three-year term:

  • Three most recent Spiegelman Award recipients;
  • Three individuals appointed by the three most recent chairs of the Spiegelman Award committee;
  • Three APHA representatives appointed by the three most recent APHA Statistics Section Past-Chairs


Beginning in 2011, the composition of the Spiegelman Award Committee changed.  At the Statistics Section Council meetings at the 2010 APHA annual meetings, the Statistics Section Council voted to reduce the Award committee membership to 6, by limiting membership to:

  • Three most recent Spiegelman Award recipients;
  • Three APHA representatives appointed by the three most recent APHA Statistics Section Past-Chairs


The change from the 9-member committee to the 6-member committee will be phased in, beginning with the 2011 Spiegelman Award Committee.

  • 2011 committee will consist of 8 members: 1) three most recent Spiegelman Award recipients; 2) remaining two individuals previously appointed by the Spiegelman Award committee chairs, and 3) three individuals appointed by the three most recent APHA Statistics Section past-chairs (the 2011 Spiegelman Award Committee chair will not appoint an individual to the committee).
  • 2012 committee will consist of 7 members: 1) three most recent Spiegelman Award recipients; 2) remaining individual previously appointed by the Spiegelman Award committee chair, and 3) three individuals appointed by the three most recent APHA Statistics Section past-chairs
  • 2013 and later committees will consist of the 6 afore-mentioned members.


The committee is chaired by the earliest Award recipient among the three recipients who currently serve on the committee.


All committee members serve a three-year term, with terms being staggered.  During 2005-2010, three new members joined the committee each year and three went off the committee. Beginning with 2011, two new members join the committee each year; for 2011 and 2012, three members will go off the committee, from 2013 forward, two members will go off the committee annually.  The Spiegelman Award recipient starts his/her first year on the committee the year following his/her Award.  Specifically, for any particular year X, say, 2013, the committee members include the three Award recipients who received the Award in years X-3, X-2, and X-1 (e.g., 2010, 2011, and 2012), and  three APHA members appointed by the Statistics Section past-chairs for years X-3, X-2, and X-1, (e.g., 2010, 2011, and 2012).


The current Spiegelman Award committee composition and committee members' terms are shown in Appendix B. Each year, the new Spiegelman Award Chair should update Appendix B to reflect the most recent committee membership. In particular, the new Spiegelman Chair should contact the Statistics Section Chair to learn the identity of the person appointed by the Section Past- Chair. The most senior APHA appointee to the Spiegelman Committee serves as a liaison between the Award Committee and the Statistics Section Council.





The deadline for nominations is April 1 of the Award year. The nomination package should include:

  • A nomination letter that includes the candidate's birth date and  several paragraphs that clearly describe the nominee's professional contributions to public health,
  • Up to three letters of support,
  • The candidate's CV.


Traditionally, eligible unselected candidates from the previous year(s) have been rolled over into the candidate pool of the current year, given the age criterion for each nominee still holds. The current Spiegelman Award Chair should contact the lead nominators of previously unselected candidates and ask them if they wish to re-nominate their candidates. If a re-nomination is deemed appropriate then the lead nominator should provide a new nomination letter, a current CV, and up to three (updated) letters of support.





The Spiegelman Award Committee Chair develops the advertisements which call for nominations. A sample call for nominations advertisement is shown in Appendix C.

The Spiegelman Chair should send the call to the following places, preferably in early fall of the year preceding the award year:

  • Contact Statistics and Biostatistics department chairs, colleagues, and the Association of Schools of Public Health Council of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  This is an important way to advertise. Personal emails are critical to obtain nominations. Reminders might need to be sent in January and February.
  • Ask the APHA Statistics Section Chair and/or the Section Secretary to put the advertisement on the Section’s website and send out an email blast.
  • Contact the AmStat News. The deadline of the AmStat News is the first day of a month in order to have the advertisement appear in the following month.
  • Contact the Biometric Bulletin. The Biometric Bulletin is published quarterly. In order to appear in the December issue, the advertisement needs to be sent in September.
  • Contact the IMS Bulletin.
  • Contact the School of Public Health deans. The APHA Statistics Section Chair or the Section Secretary should have a list.





The Award Committee Chair should send a copy of all of the nomination packages received by close of business on April 1to the other committee members, preferably in early April.  The Chair should include in the package a cover letter that summarizes each candidate’s birth date, lead nominator, and the supporting letter writers' names. The Chair should ascertain that each continuing committee member has a copy of the current Procedures Manual and should provide each new committee member with a copy of the Manual. The selection process should be concluded by the end of May.

The Chair should stress that all of the committee’s discussions are confidential and need to be restricted within the committee.  Further, any discussion of candidates must be shared with all committee members.


The selection process should be accomplished via a combination of rounds of scorings/rankings (usually two or more) and conference calls.  The Chair must hold at least one conference call to discuss the scorings/rankings; more may be necessary or helpful.  Committee conference calls must be scheduled so as to assure participation by at least two-thirds of the members of the committee.  Committee conference calls provide the opportunity for all committee members to benefit from group discussions in order to reach a consensus. 


In the first round of scoring/ranking, committee members will be asked to provide the Chair with their initial scorings/rankings after independently reviewing the candidates' materials. The Chair will share the initial rankings with the other committee members.  If there is no overwhelming single choice for the Award at the end of the first round, a conference call shall be scheduled to discuss the candidates. Past experience indicates that it is useful for the Chair to assign a committee member to summarize each candidate's profile and lead discussions of the assigned candidate at the conference call(s).  For each candidate, the discussion leader may present a five-minute summary based on the candidate’s C.V. and supporting letters; responses to the candidate’s merits with respect to the selection criteria (listed below); and any additional matters the reviewer knows about the candidate. This review could be followed by a five-minute discussion among the entire committee.


Selection criteria and conflicts of interest should be discussed during the initial conference call. Historically, rankings from the whole committee (including members who have conflicts of interest) have been used to determine the recipient of the Award.

After discussion at the conference call (at which at least two-thirds of the Committee’s members are present), a candidate shall be nominated and a vote taken.  If there is a majority vote, the candidate is declared the award winner.  Otherwise, discussion and voting must continue until a majority candidate emerges.

Basis for scoring/rankings:

An ideal candidate is one who has developed novel statistical methods motivated by public health (broadly defined) and who is active and well known not just in statistical/biostatistical circles but also in public health circles.


The committee is urged to rate the candidates with respect to the following four categories:

  • Contribute work that has an important impact on public health or other health fields;
  • Engage actively in the application of statistics/biostatistics to public health (broadly defined),
  • Demonstrate the critical role and value of statistical reasoning in public health.
  • Professional services (broadly defined), with national services generally weighted more than local services. 


Each category could be scored as follows: 1=good, 2=very good, and 3=outstanding.





The Spiegelman Committee chair shall:

    Notify the Award recipient of his/her selection and detail the responsibilities incurred.

    Notify the Statistics Section Chair of the recipient’s selection

    Obtain a photo and a biographical sketch of the Award recipient and transmit to the Section Chair.


The Statistics Section will notify the Award recipient of the time and place of the award ceremony and other events at the Annual Meeting. and make arrangements for any Honorarium.


APPENDIX A: Spiegelman Award Recipients


Mortimer Spiegelman’s contributions to public health have continued posthumously through the Mortimer Spiegelman Award of the APHA Statistics Section, presented annually since 1970 to an outstanding public health statistician under age 40.  The Award serves three purposes: to honor the outstanding achievements of both the recipient and Spiegelman, to encourage further  involvement in public health of the finest young statisticians, and to increase awareness of APHA and the Statistics Section in the academic statistical community.


1970: Edward Perrin

1971: P. A. Lachenbruch

1972: Manning Feinleib

1973: Joseph L Fleiss

1974: Gary G. Koch

1975: Jane Menken

1976: A. A. Afifi

1977: David Hoel

1978: Ross Prentice

1979: Mitchell H. Gail

1980: Norman Breslow

1981: Robert F. Woolson

1982: Joel Kleinman

1983: J. Richard Landis

1984: Stephen Lagakos

1985: John Crowley

1986: Anastasios Tsiatis

1987: L. J. Wei

1988: Thomas Fleming

1989: Colin B. Begg

1990: Kung-Yee Liang

1991: Scott L. Zeger

1992: Ronald S. Brookmeyer

1993: Martin Abba Tanner

1994: Lousie M. Ryan

1995: Christopher J. Portier

1996: Jeremy M. G. Tayler

1997: Margaret S Pepe

1998: Peter Bacchetti

1999: Danyu Lin

2000: Bradley P. Carlin

2001: Daniel E. Weeks

2002: Xihong Lin

2003: Michael Newton

2004: Mark van der Laan

2005: Rebecca Betensky

2006: Francesca Dominici

2007: David Dunson

2008: Hongyu Zhao

2009 Rafael Irizarry

2010 Nilanjan Chatterjee

2011 Sudipto Banerjee

APPENDIX B: Spiegelman Award Committee Member List


2012 Award Committee


Spiegelman Award Recipients:

Rafael Irizarry (Chair), 2010-2012

Nilanjan Chatterjee, 2011-2013

Sudipto Banerjee, 2012-2014   


Members Appointed by Spiegelman Chairs

David Banks                           


Members Appointed by APHA Statistics Section Past-Chairs

Jack Barnette                         

Martey Dodoo                         

Larry Moulton                         



(Insert Award year) Mortimer Spiegelman Award: Call for Nominations


The Statistics Section of the American Public Health Association invites nominations for the (Insert Award year) Mortimer Spiegelman Award honoring a statistician under age 40 in the calendar year of the Award who has made outstanding contributions to health statistics, especially public health statistics.


The Award was established in 1970 and is presented annually at the APHA meeting. The Award serves three purposes: to honor the outstanding achievements of both the recipient and Spiegelman, to encourage further involvement in public health of the finest young statisticians, and to increase awareness of APHA and the Statistics Section in the academic statistical community. More details about the Award including the list of the past recipients and more information about the Statistics Section of APHA may be found at


To be eligible for the (Insert Award year) Spiegelman Award, a candidate must have been born later than (Award year minus 39).  Please send a nominating letter and the candidate's CV to the (Insert Award year) Spiegelman Award Committee Chair, (Insert name and affiliation). Inquiries may be made to (Insert email address).


Please state in the nominating letter the candidate's birth date. The nomination letter should include one or two paragraphs that describe how the nominee's contributions relate to public health concerns. A maximum of three supporting letters per nomination can be provided. Nominations for the (Insert Award year) Award must be submitted by April 1, (Insert Award year).