Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

At a glance

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Provides prizes to Australian scientists and innovators, and to science educators for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching. Winners receive a medallion, lapel pin, award certificate and prize money.

How to nominate:

Preparing a stage 1 nomination is easy!

  • Make sure your nominee is willing to be nominated.
  • Ask them for a copy of their CV.
  • Prepare a 500 word summary of their achievement addressing the merit criteria.
  • Identify two supporters.
  • Identify three referees (science prizes only).
  • Complete the online form and submit between 6 February to 12 March 2019.

Who can apply:

At a minimum, the nominee must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • not be self-nominated
  • not be nominated in more than one prize category in any given year
  • meet the specific eligibility criteria for the nominated prize.

Other eligibility requirements apply.

Contact information:

13 28 46

business.gov.au/contact

Overview

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science is an element of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme. The prizes recognise the achievements and success of Australian scientists and innovators to both Australia and internationally, as well as the critical role science educators play in inspiring and encouraging students to take an interest in science and consider science as a career.

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will award up to $750,000 in total each year. Each prize recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money and an award certificate.

There are five prizes for science and innovation (referred to as the Science Prizes) and two prizes for science teaching (referred to as the Science Teaching Prizes).

Science Prizes

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science is awarded for a significant advancement of knowledge through science. Prize money of $250,000 is awarded to the recipients.
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation is awarded for the innovative translation of scientific knowledge into a commercially available product, service or process that has had economic, social and where relevant environmental benefits. Prize money of $250,000 is awarded to the recipients.
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year and Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year each recognise an exceptional achievement in science that benefits, or has the potential to benefit, human welfare or society. Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipients.
  • Prize for New Innovators recognises an exceptional early achievement towards partial or full commercialisation of scientific research with substantial economic, social and where relevant environmental benefits. Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipients.

Science Teaching Prizes

These prizes are awarded to teachers who have made an outstanding contribution to science education.

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools — prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipient
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools — Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipient.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a Science Prize, a nominee must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • not be self-nominated
  • not be nominated in more than one prize category in any given year
  • meet the specific eligibility criteria for the nominated prize.

To be eligible to be nominated for a Science Teaching Prize a nominee must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • have undertaken their teaching achievement for which they are nominated, in Australia
  • not be self-nominated
  • be a full time or part time staff member at a primary or secondary school and be active in teaching science, mathematics or technology in the classroom at the time of their nomination. For a secondary school teacher, science, mathematics or technology teaching must be a substantial part of their workload.

For more information on eligibility criteria for each prize, including criteria for nominees, nominators and supporters please refer to section 4 of the Science Prizes Programme Guidelines and section 4 of the Science Teaching Prizes Guidelines. Please ensure you read the relevant guidelines before filling out a nomination.

How to nominate

A prize nomination must be proposed by someone (a nominator) with knowledge of the nominee’s achievements and endorsed by two supporters. Nominators for the Science Prizes must also provide three independent referees.

The nomination process involves two stages.

Stage 1: where the nominator, provides a 500 word summary of the nominee’s achievement against the merit criteria for the particular prize.

Stage 2: where, if a nominee has been shortlisted, we invite the nominator and two supporters to prepare a more detailed submission addressing the relevant merit criteria.

The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science is currently closed to applications.

How we assess nominations

We will assess nominations against the eligibility criteria and if the nomination is eligible, it will be forwarded to an independent committee for assessment against the merit criteria.

If the nomination is short-listed, the nominator will be invited to participate in stage 2. For the Science Prizes, the committee will also contact the proposed independent referees during this stage.

The committee will assess stage 2 nominations and recommend prize recipients.

If the nominee is successful

Prize recipients will be notified in writing, and invited to receive their awards at the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science awards dinner. The recipients are publicly announced at the awards dinner.

The prize money is deposited into the recipients’ accounts shortly after the awards dinner, following receipt of bank account details.

Key documents

  • Grant opportunity guidelines – Science Prizes 2019
  • Grant opportunity guidelines – Science Teaching Prizes 2019
  • Nominator and Supporter template

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