Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious and highly regarded awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.

  • Status: Open
  • Delivered by: AusIndustry

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.

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.
  • 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 substantial economic, social and where relevant environmental benefits.
  • 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 for New Innovators recognises an exceptional early achievement in the commercialisation of scientific research that has had substantial economic, social and where relevant environmental benefits.

Science Teaching Prizes

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

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

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.

What support or funding is available?

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will award $750,000 in total each year from 2016-17 to 2019-20. Each prize recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money and an award certificate.

Prize money of $250,000 is awarded to the recipents of the

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.

Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipents of the

  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
  • Prize for New Innovators
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

Recipients of the Science Teaching Prizes share the prize money with their school to fund a project that enhances science learning.

Who can be nominated?

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 staff member at a primary or secondary school and be active in teaching science in the classroom at the time of their nomination. For a secondary school teacher, science teaching must be a substantial part (at least 0.5 full time equivalent) of their workload.

What are the eligibility criteria?

Specific eligibility criteria for each prize, including criteria for nominees, nominators and supporters can be found in section 3 of the Science Prizes Programme Guidelines and section 3 of the Science Teaching Prizes Programme Guidelines. Please ensure you read the relevant programme guidelines before filling out a nomination.

What are the selection criteria?

Specific selection criteria for each prize can be found in section 4 of the Science Prizes Programme Guidelines and section 4 of the Science Teaching Prizes Programme Guidelines.

How does the nomination process work?

The nomination process involves two stages.

Stage 1: where the nominator, provides a 1,000 word summary of the nominee’s achievement against the selection 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 selection criteria.

How will nominations be assessed?

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 selection 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.

How will nominees know if they are 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.

How will payments be made?

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

For the Science Teaching Prizes, the schools’ share of the prize money will be deposited into the schools’ accounts, following execution of a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

Key documents

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