The University of Newcastle, Australia

Research Excellence Awards

Recognises and celebrates outstanding early career researchers and research supervisors, and the important role they play in our research achievements.

The Research Excellence Awards are awarded under two categories:

Research Supervision Excellence Award

Awarded to individuals or teams who have provided outstanding supervision to Higher Degree by Research candidate.

Nominee/s must demonstrate supervision excellence under one of the following criteria:

  • Supervisor as a teacher. This could be demonstrated by:
    • Structures for ongoing interaction with students, in a positive and inclusive environment
    • Critical analysis of work and timely feedback
    • The balance between guidance and encouraging independence and innovation
    • Fostering and facilitating the development of academic skills and self-direction
    • Assistance with accessing specialist expertise (e.g. statistics, computing, language)
  • Supervisor as a mentor. This could be demonstrated by:
    • Assisting with networking skills, identifying opportunities for collaboration and promotion of students’ research
    • Conference and publication support for the candidate
    • Knowledge of processes relating to supervision (e.g. codes of practice, progress review, submission and examination, scholarships)
    • Advice on job contacts and career paths
  • Supervisor as model. This could be demonstrated by:
    • Supervisor’s personal record of scholarship and research
    • Supervisor’s ability to communicate knowledge and expertise
    • Publications record, especially jointly with research students
    • Peer acknowledgement as indicated by journal editing, speaking invitations, invited chapters or articles
    • Evidence of collegiality leadership and/or industry engagement
    • Evidence of open-mindedness on the knowledge interpretations of others

Early Career Researcher Award

Awarded to an outstanding individual academic or professional staff member actively engaged in research, who is within 5 years of PhD completion. Conjoints may also be considered, providing their research is primarily based at the University.

The awards will be based on the excellence of the nominee’s cumulative research activity, subsequent to the awarding of their PhD.

The purpose of basing the selection criteria on the cumulative research activity is to reward early career researchers who are on a rising trajectory and making an impact within their research field.

Research activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Publications
  • Grants/significant funding
  • Collaboration
  • Industry engagement
  • Commercial activities
  • Creative arts exhibitions/performances
  • Mentorship/supervision/leadership
  • Community engagement and input
  • Policy input
  • Teaching load (if applicable)

Nominations should define the nature and significance of the research achievements and describe the importance of the research outputs in terms of originality and impact with the field. Research activity since PhD can be listed if necessary. The selection panel will look at the nominee’s UON research profile.

Eligibility and How to Nominate

As a staff member, you can nominate an individual or a team for a University of Newcastle Excellence Award.

Self-nominations are permitted, but nominees are responsible for informing their supervisor about the nomination detail before a nomination is submitted.

All University of Newcastle employees are eligible to be nominated, including professional staff (casual, fixed-term and ongoing) and academic staff (continuing, fixed-term, conjoint and sessional). Staff employed by an agency do not fall within the eligibility requirements.

Depending on the quality of the nominations, one award winner may be selected for each award sub-category. Subject to the quality of the nominations for a category, an award may not be made. Depending on the award category, you may choose to nominate an individual, or a team.

Individual nominations
You may choose to tell the person that you are nominating them before submitting your nomination. However, all nominees will be advised of their nomination via email once all submissions are received.

Team nominations
Team nominations would not normally exceed 8 members unless exceptional circumstances apply. You must advise team leaders of the nomination before you submit it to ensure that team composition and contributions are accurately reflected. A team member may be defined as someone who has made a significant contribution. Prize money for team awards will be distributed equally amongst all team members.

A nominee or recipient of a University of Newcastle Excellence Award is only eligible for re-nomination in subsequent years on the basis that there were significant new achievements or developments to be considered.

Any award recipient who is no longer employed by the University at the time of the announcement of the awards will not be entitled to an award prize.

After clicking on the ‘nominate now’ link, you will be taken to an online form, where you will be asked to choose which award and category you would like to submit a nomination for, and following this, the relevant template will appear for download.

You will be prompted to upload a PDF version of the completed template before you submit the nomination.

As part of the online form, you will be asked to input:

  • Your full name and email
  • The nominee/s name, email, Faculty/Division. For team nominations, details will need to be provided for all team members
  • A 75 word succinct overview of the nomination, including
    • a description of the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity; and
    • how this outstanding and exceptional achievement or success exceeds normal expectations of performance
  • Your response to the selection criteria (max 500 words in total).
    Please prepare your response to the selection criteria in the relevant nomination template and upload as a PDF named as:
    Nominee (or Team Leader for team awards) FirstName LastName_Award Name

    e.g. Joe Smith_Teaching Excellence Award

    Your 500 word response should include:
    • a brief reiteration of the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity; and
    • how this significant and outstanding achievement addresses the award-specific criteria listed in the nomination form template

Please note that responses above 500 words will not be considered.

Nominate now Research Excellence Awards