Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Maea

The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize 2021

Kia ora

The Application process for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Science Process will open in July (date to be confirmed). Information below could change or be updated in the interim.

The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Secretariat welcomes applications from Emerging Scientists who meet the eligibility criteria.


  • The Prize will be awarded to an outstanding emerging scientist1 who has had their PhD conferred within the past eight (8) years.
  • The applicant must be either a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand permanent resident, currently domiciled in New Zealand
  • The recipient of the Prize is expected to remain active in research in New Zealand for at least the year following the presentation of the Prize

1Taken to include natural, physical, mathematical and information sciences, applied science, technology, engineering, social science and multi-disciplinary science


  • $200,00 (GST zero rated); comprising $50,000 for the recipient with no conditions and $150,000 for their ongoing research.


Selection Criteria

The Prize will be judged on the following three selection criteria.

  • The research carried out by the applicant is leading edge in its field;
  • The research has already, or is likely to result in the generation of valuable new knowledge in the field, or have wider impact;
  • The applicant is able to effectively communicate their research.

Each applicant should address these criteria in their application and  cross-reference that statement to an attached evidence portfolio that is required also.




The Secretariat gives no undertaking to keep confidential any information that is provided in this application unless this is identified as information that should be treated as such. It may, for example, be used to prepare promotional material for the prize in future years.


Selection panel

An independent selection panel will be selected by the Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s decision to present the Prize will be based upon the selection panel’s advice.

It is recognised that occasionally members of the selection panel will know applicants, or have other conflicts of interest. They will be expected to declare all conflicts of interest when these situations arise. In the case of knowing an applicant, the Chair of the selection panel will rule if this is significant enough for the judge to be stood down from the committee for that applicant. (In the case of the Chair having a conflict of interest the decision will be made by another member of the Panel who has been identified in this role at the beginning of the process).

The selection panel will not enter into any correspondence concerning its deliberations. All inquiries should be directed to the Secretariat. The Secretariat will not disclose information on matters such as ranking, or names of nominees.

The Secretariat for the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes is the Royal Society Te Apārangi, If you have any questions then please make contact with pmscienceprizes@royalsociety.org.nz

The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes
C/-Royal Society Te Aparangi
PO Box 598
Email: pmscienceprizes@royalsociety.org.nz



  • The winner is expected to make themselves available for half a day in December/ January to meet with the Prime Minister’s Science Prize media liaison personnel in preparation of media material and photos.
  • The winner will be announced in February/March/April   (date to be confirmed)
  • The winner will be expected to make themselves available for that announcement in February/March/April in Wellington.