Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Mahathir Science Award

What is the Mahathir Science Award?

The Mahathir Science Award (MSA) was established to be the world’s most prestigious international Science Award for tropical sciences. The award winner will receive USD 100,000.00, a gold medallion, and a certificate. The award is administered by the Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF). It was launched in honour of the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on 17th August, 2004.

What are the categories of this award?

There are four categories of the award:

  • Tropical Agriculture
  • Tropical Architecture & Engineering
  • Tropical Medicine
  • Tropical Natural Resources

What are the selection criteria of the award?/ Who is eligible to receive the award?

This award bestowed on any scientist, institution or organisation worldwide in recognition of outstanding contributions and innovations towards solving problems in the tropics through science and technology and to be awarded to the most deserving based on merit.

The selection criteria for the Award takes into account:

1) The originality of the candidate’s achievement(s)
2) The impact of candidate’s achievement(s), including future impact, on the Tropics
3) The significance of the candidate’s achievement(s) in solving the problems of the tropics by improving the quality of life and contributing to the region’s prosperity

Who can nominate for the award?

Any individual or organisation can nominate for the award. However, this individual or organisation cannot self-nominate themselves.

How can I nominate someone for the award?

Visit How to Nominate – MSA FOUNDATION ( to check whether the Call for Nominations is open, and download the relevant nomination forms. Send in the completed nomination form and required supporting documents to by the stipulated deadline.

How many awards are given out every year?

Only one award is given out each year to a recipient in one of the two categories contested. Every year, only two of the four categories (Tropical Medicine, Tropical Natural Resources, Tropical Architecture and Engineering, Tropical Agriculture) are contested. The categories are rotated yearly.

Why is there no award given out on certain years?

All nominations go through a rigourous selection process. If none of the nominations pass the selection process for the award, the award will not be given out for that year.

Mahathir Science Award Laureates

Who is a Mahathir Science Award (MSA) Laureate?

A Laureate is a person honoured for high achievement in a particular field/a person who is honoured with an award for outstanding creative or intellectual achievement. A MSA Laureate is someone who is awarded the MSA.

How many Laureates have been awarded / Where can I find the list of Laureates?

To date, 11 laureates have been awarded. You can find the list here 

What do the MSA Laureates receive?

Every MSA laureate receives USD 100,000.00, a gold medallion, and a certificate.

Mahathir Science Award Foundation

What are the mission and objectives of the foundation?


To promote scientific research in solving tropical problems, international exchange programmes and sharing of knowledge.



  • To bestow on scientists, institutions or organizations worldwide in recognition of contributions and innovations towards solving problems of the tropics through science and technology; to confer the award to researchers who have made internationally recognized breakthroughs in pioneering tropical research and who have contributed cutting edge tropical research that have brought impact on the well-being of society in the fields of Tropical Medicine, Tropical Agriculture, Tropical Architecture and Engineering and Tropical Natural Resources.
  • To uplift the stature of the science award to be as one of the prominent international science award, and to oversee the selection process for such a science award.

To encourage excellence in tropical science research that will accord direct benefits to countries in the tropics and the global community; to contribute towards scientific tropical research that will benefit mankind, promote international exchange programmes, sharing of knowledge, and other business development through scientific activities in connection with the foregoing objectives.

What are the foundation’s activities?

The foundation conducts these activities;

  1. Managing and administering the MSA
  • The Call for Nomination (CFN)
  • Facilitating the Search Committee
  • Assisting and supporting the ASM Selection process
  1. MSA Laureate Week
  2. MSA Lecture Series

Where can I find latest news on the events?

The latest news on the events conducted by the foundation can be found on the Events page and our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

How do I join the programmes/events conducted by the foundation?

To join the programmes/events conducted by the foundation, you can register for our events online on our Events page or email us at


Where can I find the photos and videos of the events?

The photos and videos of the events can be viewed here and on our Instagram.