The Dirk Brouwer Memorial Prize is awarded upon recommendation by the Chair of the Astronomy Department to a student for a contribution of unusual merit to any branch of astronomy.
In principle, the prize can be awarded for any meritorious research contribution. However, by tradition in recent years, the prize has been awarded to graduate students who have completed their PhD and published it (at least most of it) in refereed journals. Students who receive their degrees in May are eligible for 2 years after graduation and ones who graduate in December are eligible for 2.5 years.
The Astronomy Department faculty consider candidates for the Prize once per year, in the spring before graduation. No prize need be awarded if there are no sufficiently strong candidates. Likewise if there is more than one strong candidate, more than one award can be made in a given year, although we expect this to be an uncommon occurrence.
The Dirk Brouwer Memorial Prize was established in 1966 by friends of Professor Dirk Brouwer, Chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Director of Yale Observatory from 1941 to 1966. When first awarded, the prize was $1000. In 2009, the prize was increased to $5,000, but it was reduced to $1,000 in 2010 by order of Yale Vice President and Secretary, Linda Lorimer. The prize is supported by a department endowed fund (the Brouwer Fund).
The George Beckwith Prize was established in 1926 by Dr. Glover C. Beckwith-Ewell of Hartford, Connecticut, in memory of his grandfather, George Beckwith, publisher of Beckwith’s Almanac. The prize is awarded to the undergraduate most proficient in some branch of astronomy or mathematics.