Mahathir Science Award Foundation


Organizational profile:
Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF) is an organization launched in honour of the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on 17th August 2004. MSAF’s mission is to promote scientific research in solving tropical problems, international exchange programmes and sharing of knowledge. MSAF’s objectives are:

  • 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.

MSAF laureates under the category of Tropical Natural Resources include Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Professor Hugh Possingham, Professor Kerrie Wilson & Professor Erik Meijaard. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) was recognized for its role in the development of the rubberwood furniture industry. And, Professor Hugh Possingham, Professor Kerrie Wilson & Professor Erik Meijaard were recognized for their work on Borneo which has highlighted the important role of sustainable natural resource management for economic development and poverty alleviation. The group is presently assessing values of forests for ecotourism (generating 10% of GDP in Sabah) and health (rapid deforestation often coincides with disease outbreaks).


Financing Instrument: grants


Project scale: USD 100,000


Recipient countries regions/country groups: Global


Recipient categories: 
individuals or organizations who have made internationally recognized breakthroughs in the fields of:

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


Eligibility Criteria: N/A


Application guidelines:
From among the four categories, two categories are contested yearly. The categories contested rotate every year. Nominees can be individuals, groups of no more than three individuals, or organizations.

The merits of the nominee will be assessed based on the materials provided by the nominator, and self-nominations will not be considered. Therefore, it is essential that the nominator completes the checklist of documents required for a complete nomination. Nomination Checklist:

  1. [COMPULSORY] Nomination form (completed all 14/15 components and signed declaration)
  2. [COMPULSORY] Photo of nominee(s)/ logo of organisation (in high-resolution, not less than 1MB)
  3. [COMPULSORY FOR NOMINATION OF ORGANISATION] Organisational Profile (general leaflet/one-pager on the nominated organisation)
  4. [COMPULSORY] Letters of referral (at least two (2) letters of referral to support the nomination, additional letters of support would further strengthen the nomination)
  5. [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED] Supporting documents to the 14/15 components in the nomination form (Further details on research/products/patents/awards/impact. This may include a full CV, news articles, media announcements, reports, photographs, extended list of publications etc.)

To submit a nomination, please email/mail the completed nomination form and required attachments/supporting documents to the Award Secretariat via the below contact by the deadline of the open call:
Award Secretariat
902-4, Jalan Tun Ismail,
50480 Kuala Lumpur,

Publication Date
Wednesday, 24 August 2022
Applicable location
Forest conservation and management
Forest landscape restoration
Biodiversity conservation
Climate change
Financing opportunities