Above: Johannes Odendaal 

About the Award

In honor of the late Johannes Odendaal of South Africa (pictured above), and with permission of his heirs, IAHAIO presents an award to an individual for distinguished research in the broadly defined field of human-animal interaction. That research must have been published (or accepted for publication) in peer-reviewed journals and/or in (chapters of) books that have received excellent reviews in appropriate journals. Publications as well as manuscripts in press will be considered over the 5.5 years previous to the respective IAHAIO triennial conference.

Research must be either descriptive or hypothesis-driven and involve collection of data.


Nominations of individuals may be made by IAHAIO member organizations, by IAHAIO board members, and/or by other individuals (including self-nomination). They must be made in English, but if the nominee’s publication(s) is (are) in another language, an English summary must be provided along with the English Curriculum Vita (CV) of the nominated candidate. Electronic copies of the nomination (a signed pdf), the CV, and the publications to be considered (pdfs) must arrive at the IAHAIO administration (admin@IAHAIO.org) at the deadline speficied by IAHAIO.

Nominations will be reviewed and a winner selected by the Johannes Odendaal Research Award Commission consisting of two representatives of IAHAIO member organizations not currently on the IAHAIO board (preferentially themselves researchers), two current IAHAIO board members (again preferentially themselves researchers) and the IAHAIO president at the time.

Award criteria

HAI is broadly defined as either Human-Animal Interaction or Human-Animal Intervention, or both. Research eligible for consideration may be either descriptive or experimental, qualitative or quantitative but must involve collection and analysis of data.

The data must have been properly analyzed with the appropriate methods.

Results/findings must be carefully interpreted and integrated into the existing body of knowledge on the research topic.

The research must be original and add significantly to our knowledge on the topic.

The research must have been published within the 5.5 years prior to the upcoming triennial IAHAIO conference in peer reviewed journals and/or in chapters in books that have received excellent reviews in appropriate journals, or in press in such.

Multiple authors may be involved, but the awardee must be listed in a significant position (first or last author as appropriate for the discipline).

Award prize

The Distinguished Researcher will be given an oral speaking slot and is expected to attend the next IAHAIO international conference to accept the award and speak, and may be asked to give an interview in connection with her/his research and the HAI field. Travel expenses (one eco-class round-trip air ticket, hotel room costs including breakfast during the entire conference, which can also be for a double-room), one complimentary registration fee including two tickets to the conference dinner if a partner attends, and an honorarium (prize) of USD $1000.00 will be provided through IAHAIO by the sponsor of the award. The sponsor will be acknowledged in any announcement of the award winner and presentation given by the awardee.

Grateful thanks to our sponsor ….

We are delighted that Mars/WALTHAM is sponsoring this award. WALTHAM is pleased to honour the contribution of those who do outstanding research in understanding human-animal interactions.