Lifetime Achievement Award Policy


The purpose of the these Principles and Procedure is to ensure a) due diligence; b) continuity; and c) confidentiality.


The ACL Lifetime Achievement award is, as its name indicates, a recognition for widely recognized, sustained, and enduring contributions to our field over a long period. It is not awarded merely for outstanding recent contributions to a currently hot topic.

Candidates for the award will generally be senior, with a working lifetime of contributions, even though they will often be active in research. There may be issues of timeliness.

These considerations make the decison to make an award highly sensitive. It is important that the award be seen by the membership as appropriate and timely. There may be issues of representation. Above all, there should not be any widespread perception that a deserving candidate has been passed over.

It follows that there is a responsibility on the executive to not merely seek advocacy, but also maintain a consistent and continuous collective wisdom concerning people in the field who should be considered by the current Executive and future ones. It should not be possible for someone to be passed over by accident.

We do not have to give out an award every year.

Note: ACL is committed to promoting equity and diversity at all levels of the organization. Everyone involved in nomination and selection procedures is therefore encouraged to consult our with resources for Promoting Diversity and Avoiding Bias.


  1. The selection of the recipient of the LTA Award is handled by the ACL Nominating Committee, consisting of three past ACL presidents and six ACL Fellows. The committee is charged with coming up with a single candidate under the above principles.

  2. The committee may call for nominations from the ACL Executive, to be considered together with their own nominations as well as updates of any nominations carried forward from previous years. New recommendations and updates should take the form of a written case addressing eligibility under the criteria for the award.

  3. The committee will strive to converge on unanimous support for a candidate for the current year. The committee will seek advice from respected impartial senior figures in the field, such as previous recipients of the award.

  4. The committee will propose the candidate for the approval of the ACL executive, providing whatever explanations and supporting documentation the Executive requires, and commenting on other cases that should be carried forward for future consideration. The role of the Executive is to ensure consistency and clarity in the decision process, and they should not overrule the committee’s proposal or advance alternative candidates.

  5. The ACL secretary will be responsible for confidential safe-keeping of dossiers if the committee wishes to pass on candidates to next year’s committee.

Further steps:

  1. The ACL President will call the awardee to convey the news and potentially offer travel support etc.
  2. Once the awardee has been informed, the Journal editor will contact the awardee to make arrangements for publishing his/her talk in the Journal. Publication processing times mean that the awardee needs to provide the editor with the manuscript for publication typically within a few weeks of the conference at which the talk is presented, so the awardee needs to be informed of this several months before the conference to allow sufficient time for preparation.