About the Prize                 

 Guidelines also available in PDF Format
  • This Prize is for a transformative scientific1 discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social, and/or environmental impact on New Zealand, or internationally in the last five years. It will be awarded to an individual or team instrumental in creating the impact.
  • While the research behind the discovery or achievement may have occurred over any time-period, to be eligible there must be a clear indication that the impact on New Zealand or internationally has taken place in the last five years.
  • The total prize is worth $500,000. Of this, $100,000 will go directly to the individual or team with no expectations and $400,000 will be to support their on-going work.
  • Applications will close at 5pm on Wednesday 5 September 2018.

1 Scientific should be interpreted broadly to include natural, physical, mathematical and information sciences, applied science, technology, engineering, social science and multi-disciplinary science

 

Eligibility

  • Individuals or teams are invited to enter for this Prize. For a team entry, one person must be designated as the ‘Team Representative’. This person will need to be prepared to be the public face of the discovery or achievement. This will include receiving the Prize, speaking with the media, and carrying out tasks appropriate for a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize.
  • The individual applicant or nominated team representative must be either a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand permanent resident, currently domiciled in New Zealand, and be active in their field of science.
  • The research behind the discovery or achievement must have met current standards of ethical practice and have been carried out largely in New Zealand.
  • Re-application by individuals or teams from previous years is encouraged as long as the eligibility criteria continue to be met. However, past winners of the Prize will not be eligible to enter a second time.
Selection Criteria

Adjudication for the prize will be based on one criteria which is the extent to which a transformative scientifc1 discovery or achievement has led to significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact on or for New Zealand, or internationally. This may be evidenced in a variety of ways, for example;

  • Successful development and deployment of new or improved products, processes, or services (including public services) based on the research.
  • Advancement of Mātauranga Māori.
  • Major changes to practice in an important professional community or an industrial, business, infrastructural or service sector, at least at a national level.
  • Major changes in relevant public policy and/or government investment or operational strategy, for example in health, social policy, environmental protection, conservation, education, justice or emergency management.
  • Significantly increased investment in the research programme over an extended period of time by potential or actual technology transfer partners or end users.
  • Significant changes in the way a body of knowledge is organised and used (as a result of challenging previous conventional wisdom).
  • Development of new methods that have advanced research practice in the relevant discipline.
  • A high level of recognition through peer review processes, for example through publication in leading journals and the award or prizes.

This list is non-exclusive, and not all evidence forms will be appropriate for any particular application. Each applicant should set out in the application statement the nature of the transformative scientifc1 discovery/achievement, and of the impact. The statement should cross-reference to an attached evidence portfolio (maximum ten pages).

Assessment may include, at the judges’ discretion, consideration of referees’ statements, interview of key personnel or a site visit.

1 Scientific should be interpreted broadly to include natural, physical, mathematical and information sciences, applied science, technology, engineering, social science and multi-disciplinary science

Entry Process

  • All entries must be complete and received by 5pm (NZ time)Wednesday 5 September 2018.
  • The on-line entry form for the Prime Minister’s Science Prize will be completed by the individual applicant or the team representative. It must include qualitative and quantitative evidence explaining how it meets the various selection criteria.
  •  Evidence might include, for example, patents (pending or granted) and/or seminal papers published (including impact factor and citations)  and/or clinical trials (and what stage they are at) and/or outcomes from the industry or sector the entry is working in.
  • Applicants will be asked to agree to a declaration that any information on the entry form may be used in publicity for the Prize (see Confidentiality).

Referees

  • The entry must be endorsed by two international referees and two New Zealand referees who will give their expert opinion about the impact of the discovery for a transformative scientific1 discovery or achievement. This may be evidenced in a variety of ways (see selection criteria).
  • These four referees will be required to complete an on-line form/ A link will be emailed to all referees once the entry section has been completed.
  • They will also need to include a short CV (maximum of one page) to demonstrate that they are able to comment on the entry.
  • Please note that comments from referees must be evidence based.
  • Referees must not be collaborators.
  • The Selection Panel at its sole discretion, may request further referees or make contact with outside parties.  The panel  also reserves the right to hold interviews to help inform their decision.

Please note that information submitted on the entry form may be subject to the Official Information Act.

1 Scientific: should be interpreted broadly to include natural, physical, mathematical and information sciences, applied science, technology, engineering, social science and multi-disciplinary science

Confidentiality

The secretariat gives no undertaking to keep confidential any information provided in the on-line entry form unless this is identified as information that should be treated as such. Information may, for example, be used to prepare promotional material for the Prize in future years.

Selection Panel

An independent selection panel is selected by the secretariat and the Prime Minister’s decision to present the Prize will have regard to the advice of the selection panel.

Selection Panel Members for the Prime Minister’s Science Prize 2018 are:

Dr Anita Hill CSIRO, Australia
Professor Paul Moughan Riddet Institute and past winner of prize
Sir Professor David Skegg University of Otago
Dr Helen Anderson Director NIWA and several other science organisations
Dr Ian Ferguson Plant & Food Research

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 such knowledge and conflicts of interest. In cases where an applicant is the colleague of a panelist, the Chair of the selection panel will rule if this conflict is significant enough for the panelist to be stood down from the panel for that entry. (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. Note that information on matters such as ranking, or names of unsuccessful entrants, will not be disclosed.

The secretariat for The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes is Royal Society Te Apārangi

Secretariat
The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes
PO Box 90-040
Auckland 1142

Tel: (09) 360 1240
Fax: (09) 360 1242
Email: pmscienceprizes@tcc.co.nz

Expectations
  • $400,000 of the Prize is to be used to support the on-going work of the individual or team. A plan for the use of this funding must be included in the on-line form (though this is not part of the selection criteria).
  •  $100,000 of the Prize money is available to the successful individual or team, with no expectations on its use.
  • The Individual or Team Representative receiving the Prize will be expected to be involved in promotional opportunities appropriate for a recipient of The Prime Minister’s Science Prize.

Announcement
  • The winner or team is expected to make themselves available for half a day in late November / early December 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.  (date to be confirmed)
  • The winner or team will be expected to make themselves available for  that announcement in February in Wellington.
Checklist
    • The transformative scientific discovery1 or achievement has led to significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact on New Zealand, or internationally.
    • This impact has taken place in the last five years.
    • For a team entry, one person is designated as the ‘Team Representative’.
    • You, or for a team, the nominated team representative are either a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand permanent resident and active in their field of science.
    • You have nominated two international referees and two New Zealand referees.  (The referees cannot be collaborators).
    • The team has agreed on a plan for the use of the $400,000. (This is not part of the selection process)
    • You have completed all online forms, and attached any necessary documentation, for example a evidence portfolio and CV.
    • All material is to be received by 5pm (NZ time)Wednesday 5 September 2018

1 Scientific should be interpreted broadly to include natural, physical, mathematical and information sciences, applied science, technology, engineering, social science and multi-disciplinary science

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