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

If this is a self-nomination: please provide two references from peers or former students (a student who has submitted their thesis and is waiting on the outcome may submit a nomination reference).

The reference should define the performance of the nominated supervisor; demonstrate how the supervisor’s activities demonstrate excellence in relation to the criteria - max 250 words each reference. Please attach the references to the nomination form.

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 University research profile.

If this is a self-nomination: please provide two references from peers or former students (a student who has submitted their thesis and is waiting on the outcome may submit a nomination reference).

The reference should define the performance of the nominated supervisor; demonstrate how the supervisor’s activities demonstrate excellence in relation to the criteria - max 250 words each reference. Please attach the references to the nomination form.

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 (where applicable)
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 (where applicate)
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.

Re-nominations
A nominee or recipient of a University of Newcastle Excellence Award cannot be the recipient of an individual award in two consecutive years for the same or substantially similar achievement.

Awards ceremony and prizes
All finalists are invited to attend the annual awards ceremony, where the award winners are announced. Award winners receive a certificate of recognition, a trophy and monetary award prize.

Monetary award prizes are $1,000 for individuals and 2,000 for teams (shared equally amongst all team members) which must be collected through salary payment. The exception is the Values Award, which is a $2,500 award prize awarded to an individual or team (shared equally) and must be used for professional development within 12 months of receipt of the award, unless otherwise approved. Relevant taxation and superannuation arrangements apply to one-off salary payments.

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.

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

After clicking on the ‘nominate now’ link, you will be taken to an online form, where you will be asked to input:

  1. Your full name and email
  2. The nominee/s name, email, College/Division. For team nominations, details will need to be provided for all team members.
  3. A 75 word succinct overview of the nomination, including
  • a description of the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity
  • how this outstanding and exceptional achievement or success exceeds normal expectations of performance.
  1. Your responses to the selection criteria (max 500 words) with the exception of:
    - Values Awards max 750 word,
    - Teaching Excellence Awards see specific application request available in the nomination form,
    -  Inspiring Excellence Award see specific application request available in the nomination form.

    The nomination response document should be prepared in a word document and uploaded as a Word or PDF file with the following document name: Nominee Full Name (or Team leader name)_Award name
    e.g. Joe Smith_Teaching Excellence Award

Your response should include:

  • the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity; and
  • how this significant and outstanding achievement addresses the award-specific criteria listed in the nomination from template
Nominations for the 2021 Excellence Awards are now closed!

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.