Upon its 40th anniversary, the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University initiated an award for scholarly excellence in honor of Dr. William H. Miernyk, founding Director of the Institute. The William H. Miernyk Research Excellence Medal (the Miernyk Medal) is awarded annually to an eligible author of the best paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Regional Science Association.

William H. Miernyk earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in economics from the University of Colorado, followed by Masters and Doctoral Degrees in economics from Harvard University. Dedicated to research, he also discovered a love of teaching that would stay with him throughout his entire professorial career. Miernyk taught economics at Harvard, Northeastern University, MIT, and the University of Colorado before being recruited to West Virginia University to establish the Regional Research Institute. He originally committed to only a temporary stay at WVU, but found the area and work so appealing that he abandoned his plans to return to Colorado.

Perhaps best known for his widely distributed and well-received The Elements of Input-Output Analysis (1965), his interests and contributions to knowledge have focused on a much broader set of topics within and beyond regional science. His research interests included IO, environment, energy, labor, and migration in the Appalachian states. He served as a consultant for numerous regional and national agencies. Known for his critical insight, rigor, and excellence in research, his writing was clear and concise. In addition to numerous contributions to the academic literature, his influence extended to the general public through 17 years of weekly columns in the Charleston Gazette.

Eligibility. To be eligible, a Miernyk Medal candidate must

  1. Be the driving intellectual force behind the paper and its primary contributor,
  2. Not be eligible for the Moriarty student paper competition,
  3. Be no more than six years post-Ph.D.,
  4. Not hold a position at a rank higher than Assistant Professor or equivalent, and,
  5. Be registered for the annual meeting and must be in attendance at the SRSA Awards Banquet.

Submission. Submission letters must include documentation of meeting registration, and for papers with multiple authors, must identify the Miernyk Medal candidate. Papers should be submitted via email to rri@mail.wvu.edu by February 7 of the competition year.

Decision. The winning paper will report diligent and systematic enquiry into and discovery of facts or principles relating to a regional science topic. The Miernyk Medal winner will not be announced prior to the Awards Banquet at the annual meeting. The winner will be determined by consensus of the review panel, which may elect not to make an award in the absence of a consensus. The winner receives a commemorative medal and a substantial cash award (in 2014, it was $1500).