The prize came into being because in the Guidelines for the Translation of Social Science Texts, which he compiled with Andrzej Tymowski, Heim
encouraged scholars to translate their colleagues' work to make it more widely available. Although Heim was a renowned literary translator, he was convinced that the best translator of a scholarly text is a colleague in a relevant discipline who has acquired facility in translation, rather than a professional translator who is linguistically skilled but unfamiliar with the discipline's concepts, contexts, and controversies.The Heim Prize flyer can be downloaded here.
The Guidelines for the Translation of Social Science Texts, as well as translations of it into Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese, can be found at www.acls.org/programs/sstp.
For more writing on translation by Michael Henry Heim see this 2012 interview, this article in the Yearbook of General and Comparative Literature (paywalled) and the MLA's very useful peer review guidelines on 'Evaluating Translations as Scholarship'.
For more on the problematic status of translation in the academy see this article in the US Chronicle of Higher Education (another version downloadable as a pdf here).