Australian Museum Eureka Prizes

Established in 1990, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards, celebrating excellence in research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science. Entries to the 2018 Prizes are now open!

Entrants can enter themselves or be nominated, with prizes available for individuals, teams and organisations. The Eureka Prizes are open to those who work in research institutes, government departments, media, schools, corporations and universities, just to name a few.

It’s free to enter and there’s a prize pool of $160,000 to be divided amongst 2018 winners.

2018 prize program

This year there are 16 prizes on offer, covering a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and aiming to recognise the work of scientists and researchers at all career stages.

Whether you’re a data scientist, know a science leader of the next generation, are undertaking a citizen science project, engage the public in your research, or work in an interdisciplinary research team, there’s an opportunity for you to put work forward.

School science

The Eureka Prizes also recognise the rising stars of Australian science in primary and secondary school – through the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize.

Students are invited, either individually or as a team, to research a scientific concept, discovery or invention, or test a hypothesis, and then make an engaging and entertaining one to three-minute film about what they have learnt.

“It’s a great way to extend and challenge students who are really into science without giving them another worksheet-based activity,” says teacher Annie Martin. “Students can take a topic that sparked their interest in class and then explore it as they make a short film”.

Prize money is shared equally between the winning students and their schools and all finalists win a trip to Sydney for the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Award Dinner, where they will have the chance to meet Australia’s leading scientists, along with Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize patrons Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki and Adam Spencer.

Why enter the Eureka Prizes?

Past winners say that winning a Eureka Prize can be a life and career-changing event. Finalists and winners from previous years have continued to excel – receiving widespread media coverage, major grants and institutional awards.

“Winning a Eureka Prize has helped raise the profile of the research we do, both in the Australian public and in the scientific community,” says Dr. Denise Hardesty, Team Leader of the CSIRO Marine Debris Team and winner of a 2016 Eureka Prize.

Some have also gone on to win high profile awards, such as 2018 Australian of the Year Professor Michelle Simmons, 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science winner Professor Rick Shine and 2012 Emmy Award winner Sonya Pemberton.

Creating a standout entry

We asked some of the Eureka Prize judges – each an expert in their respective disciplines –  what they are looking for in a winning entry. Here are their top five tips:

  • Think clearly about which prize is most appropriate for your work. It’s essential that you align your submission to the judging criteria and specifically address how the work meets it.
  • Be concise. We realise you have a lot you want to say, however work out which of the information is essential and remove any unnecessary detail.
  • Assessor reports critical. Select your Assessors carefully and use people of recognised standing. Talk with them and encourage them to interpret the judging criteria in their two-page report. Reports can take time to coordinate – so organise them early!
  • Communicate as though your audience are not experts in your field. Avoid jargon, acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Review your entry. Ask a critical friend or colleague to review your application and ensure you provide all documentation requested in the ‘How to Enter’ section.

Learn more and enter 

Get inspired by the 2017 Eureka Prize finalists and winners.

To learn more about the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes visit their website. Prize information and entry forms can be accessed via their online entry system.

You can also connect on Twitter via @eurekaprizes and join the #Eureka18 conversation.

2018 entries close 7pm AEST Friday 4 May.

Guest post by Kate Smith, Project Coordinator, Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.