Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards and Prizes

Each year the Vice-Chancellor's Research Awards and Prizes recognise and celebrate the research achievements of staff including Early Career Researchers and Higher Degree by Research candidates who have made significant contributions to research excellence and impact, and research training.

Awards for Research Excellence

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence recognises an individual researcher who has achieved the highest level of excellence in their research activity for the preceding five years. The purpose of this Award is to recognise and encourage outstanding researchers with proven international reputations undertaking research that is of major importance in its field and who have made a significant contribution in advancing knowledge and research outcomes.

This is evidenced by their track record, relative to opportunity, and performance, including attraction of competitive and other external research funding, dissemination of research outcomes, patents, Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) candidate supervisions and completions, citations and other contributions relevant to the discipline demonstrating esteem, excellence and leadership.

The Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any nominations for more than one category of award, including categories under both the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards and Prizes and the RMIT Research Awards and Prizes. Selection of award recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and will normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award, including categories under the RMIT Research Awards.

Those eligible for nomination are:

  • Research-active academic staff who have had a substantive appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, for a minimum of 2 years as at the closing date for the awards 
  • For those eligible research-active academic staff on fixed-term contracts, the RMIT appointment must be current until the end of 2020

Previous recipients of an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence (or equivalent) are not eligible to apply.

The Award is open to all research active staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Staff must be nominated by an RMIT academic staff member (with the nominee’s consent). Nominations must address the selection criteria and include two statements of endorsement. One statement of endorsement must be made by the nominator, and the second may be either a RMIT academic or an external person who is familiar with the nominee’s field of research and achievements and who can comment on the nominee’s performance against the selection criteria. All nominations must be endorsed by the relevant Dean/Head of School. The Dean/Head of School can also be the nominator. Please refer to the nomination process for details.

Nominations will be judged on a range of criteria that may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Significance of the research in contributing to new knowledge and/or innovations in the discipline. 
  • Evidence of sustained and excellent research performance, relative to opportunity, particularly in the past five years. Performance should be considered against quality indicators and norms for research performance within a given discipline, in addition to more general measures of competitive research grant or commercial research income, publications and student completions, or supporting documentation for Creative Works, exhibitions etc.
  • Demonstrated national and international recognition and impact of the research.
  • Other contributions demonstrating esteem, impact or leadership beyond the discipline.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in Research Master to validate evidence provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable research output information has been submitted via online form which can be found here.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence will comprise:

  1. A cash prize of $10 000, paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. Commemorative trophy    

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence – Early Career Researcher

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence – ECR (Early Career Researcher) recognises an RMIT early career academic who has achieved the highest level of excellence in their research activity for the preceding three years. The purpose of this Award is to recognise and encourage outstanding researchers undertaking research that is of major importance in its field and who have made a significant contribution in advancing knowledge and research outcomes. This is evidenced by their track record, relative to opportunity, and performance including attraction of competitive and other external research funding, dissemination of research outcomes, patents, student supervisions and completions and citations and other contributions relevant to the discipline demonstrating esteem, excellence or leadership.

The Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any nominations for more than one category of award, including categories under both the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards and Prizes and the RMIT Research Awards and Prizes. Selection of award recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November. 

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award.

Those eligible for nomination are:

  • Research-active academic staff who have had a continuing or fixed-term RMIT appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, the RMIT appointment must be current until the end of 2020
  • Researchers who have been awarded a PhD within the last five years, or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption

Previous recipients of a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence - ECR are not eligible to apply.

The Award is open to all eligible ECR staff. The awards are by nomination only, with staff to be nominated by an academic from within RMIT (with the nominee’s consent).  Nominations must address the selection criteria and include two statements of endorsement. One statement of endorsement must be made by the nominator but the second may be either a RMIT academic or an external person who is familiar with the nominee’s field of research and achievements and who can comment on the nominee’s performance against the selection criteria. All nominations must be endorsed by the relevant Dean/Head of School.  The Dean/Head of School can also be the nominator. Please refer to the nomination process for details.

Nominations will be judged on a range of criteria that may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • High level of research performance, relative to opportunity, that demonstrates the individual is clearly on an upward trajectory.
  • Research outcomes of high quality and excellence, including competitive research grant and/or commercial research income, publications and HDR student supervision or supporting documentation for Creative Works, exhibitions etc.
  • Significance of the research in contributing to new knowledge and/or innovations in the discipline.
  • Demonstrated external recognition at the national and/or international level.
  • Other contributions demonstrating esteem, excellence or leadership beyond the discipline.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in Research Master to validate evidence provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable research output information has been submitted via online form which can be found here.    

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence – Early Career Researcher will comprise:

  1. A cash prize of $10,000 paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support Research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. Commemorative trophy   

Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence – Higher Degree by Research

The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence – HDR (Higher Degree by Research) recognises an outstanding HDR candidate who has achieved the highest levels of excellence in research during the completion of their degree.

Selection of prize recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Prize will be made annually and normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.   

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award.

To be eligible nominees must:

  • Be individuals who have completed their RMIT HDR degree any time between the beginning of the preceding calendar year and the time of nomination in the award year.
  • Have completed their degree in a timely manner within the maximum expected duration of 4 years (PhD) or 2 years (Masters) EFTSL.
  • Have had their thesis/project classified as C1 – Passed or C2 – passed subject to minor, specific amendments. 

Previous recipients of an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence - HDR are not eligible to apply.

This prize is open to any completed candidate who meets the eligibility criteria.  Nomination is to be made by a peer or staff member (with the nominee’s consent). Nominations must include the following: 

  • a completed Nomination form addressing the selection criteria
  • a supporting statement which addresses the selection criteria prepared by one of the candidate’s supervisors
  • a supporting statement which addresses the selection criteria prepared by the relevant HDR coordinator
  • endorsement from the relevant Dean/Head of School
  • the candidate’s short CV

Please refer to the nomination process for details. 

In considering candidates’ nominations, the Awards Panel will consider:

  • Significance of the thesis/project in relation to the discipline – for example through research outputs, commercialisation, patents, citations, impact factors, and public recognition.
  • Other competitive achievements (e.g. other prizes received during candidature).
  • Evidence of external engagement (industry, professional bodies etc).
  • Contributions made to the research community of the candidate’s academic unit.
  • The timeliness of completion of the degree.
  • Any significant remarks from the examiners’ reports on the thesis/project including whether the research was indicated as being ‘outstanding work’ on one or more examiners’ report forms.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values

Research outputs

  • Any research outputs submitted in support of a nomination for a candidate prize must have been produced during the period of candidature at RMIT.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in ResearchMaster to validate any publications provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable research output information has been submitted via online form which can be found here.

Candidates with non-traditional research outputs should ensure that their outputs are clearly listed and the research significance of them is explained in their CV. These outputs will be considered on provision of supporting evidence from the nominee, and a statement from the school HDR Coordinator or equivalent attesting the output’s significance and the peer review status of the outlet/venue.  

The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence – Higher Degree by Research will comprise:

  1. A cash award of $3000 paid to the awardee
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University.
  4. Commemorative Trophy

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Supervision Excellence

Research training represents the cornerstone to RMIT’s research endeavour and this is highly dependent on the quality of research supervision provided. The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Supervision Excellence is made in recognition of an outstanding contribution to RMIT in both research and research training.

Selection of award recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.

The recipient of this award is nominated by RMIT for the Australian Council of Graduate Research Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Supervision the following year.    

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award.

In order to be eligible nominees must:

  • Be a research-active academic staff member who has had a substantive RMIT appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, for a minimum of 2 years as at the closing date for the awards OR
  • Be a current research-active academic staff member until the end of 2019 for those on fixed-term contracts.
  • Be a category 1 registered supervisor who is currently engaged in research supervision at RMIT.
  • Have a supervision record of at least 10 HDR completions.
  • Have an overall positive ratio of HDR completions to non-completions.

Previous recipients of a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Supervision Excellence are not eligible to apply.

This award is open to all staff who meet the eligibility criteria.  The nomination process includes nomination by an HDR candidate or staff member (with the nominee’s consent).  Nominations and supporting statements must include the following: 

  • a completed Nomination form addressing the selection criteria;
  • endorsement from the relevant Dean/Head of School;
  • a supporting statement referring to the selection criteria by the relevant HDR co-ordinator, or Deputy Dean/Head R&I if the nominee is an HDR Coordinator;
  • a supporting statement from an HDR graduate;
  • the nominee’s current short CV.

Only complete nominations for eligible individuals will be considered.

Please refer to the nomination process for details. 

Excellence in supervision is established by a track record, relative to opportunity, of successful candidate outcomes and other evidence of engagement in high-quality supervisory practice and research training leadership. 

In considering nominations, the Awards Panel will consider a combination of: 

  • Successful examinations.
  • Timely HDR completions. 
  • Any co-publication or other collaboration with candidates.
  • Evidence of supervised candidates having relevant research outputs/publications.
  • Evidence of positive post-graduation outcomes of candidates.
  • Demonstrated leadership in research supervision including the provision of mentoring to less experienced supervisors.
  • Evidence of high quality and innovative research supervision practice. This may include principal, associate and team supervision.
  • Evidence of initiatives that have enabled successful and effective collaborations between HDR candidates and industry partners.
  • Evidence of graduate research programs, support and/or supervision that supports HDR candidates to develop strong employability skills and wide professional networks.
  • Evidence of projects or initiatives that demonstrate and promote the value of HDR candidates and graduates to industry.
  • Contributions to the development and maintenance of high quality and innovative HDR and/or skill development programs.
  • Contributions to the development and strengthening of institutional and local HDR strategy and policy.
  • Contributions made to the research training efforts of the academic unit.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values.

Research outputs

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in ResearchMaster to validate any research outputs provided in nominations.  Please ensure that all reportable research output information is submitted via online form to ResearchMaster which can be found here.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Supervision Excellence will comprise:

  1. A cash prize of $10 000, paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support their research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. A Commemorative trophy

Awards for Research Impact

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact recognises an individual researcher whose research has achieved considerable impact outside the academic community in the preceding five years. The definition of impact for this award includes the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia.   

The Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any nominations for more than one category of award, including categories under both the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards and Prizes and the RMIT Research Awards and Prizes. Selection of award recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and will normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award.

Those eligible for nomination are:

  • Research-active academic staff who have had a substantive RMIT appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, for a minimum of 2 years as at the closing date for the awards 
  • For those eligible research-active academic staff on fixed-term contracts, the RMIT appointment must be current until the end of 2020 

Previous recipients of an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact (or equivalent) are not eligible to apply.

The Award is open to all research active staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Staff must be nominated by an RMIT academic staff member (with the nominee’s consent). Nominations must address the selection criteria and include two statements of endorsement. One statement of endorsement must be made by the nominator but the supporting nominator for this category should include at least one party that has benefitted from the research. All nominations must be endorsed by the relevant Dean/Head of School. The Dean/Head of School can also be the nominator. Please refer to the nomination process for details. 

The Awards Panel will consider the overall track record, relative to opportunity, and performance of the nominee as indicated by but not limited to:

  • Evidence of research translation leading to impact.
  • Evidence of the impact that this research has created or has the potential to create   an   end user benefit in terms of economic, environmental and social outcomes.
  • Underpinning research — provide details about the underlying research that has generated this impact.
  • Sources to corroborate the impact — list sources that will provide evidence of the research impact.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in Research Master to validate evidence provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable research output information has been submitted via online form which can be found here.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact will comprise:

  1. A cash prize of $10,000 paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support Research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. Commemorative trophy  

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact – Early Career Researcher

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact – ECR (Early Career Researcher) recognises an individual ECR researcher whose research has shown potential for impact outside the academic community in the preceding three years. The definition of impact for this award includes the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia.

The Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any nominations for more than one category of award, including categories under both the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards and Prizes and the RMIT Research Awards and Prizes. Selection of award recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and will normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award.

Those eligible for nomination are:

  • Research-active academic staff who have had a continuing or fixed-term RMIT appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, the RMIT appointment must be current until the end of 2020
  • Researchers who have been awarded a PhD within the last five years, as at nomination closing date, or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption. 

Previous recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact (ECR) are not eligible to apply.

The Award is open to all ECR staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Staff must be nominated by an RMIT academic staff member (with the nominee’s consent).  Nominations must include two statements of endorsement. One statement of endorsement must be made by the nominator but the second should be a party that has benefitted from the research. All nominations must be endorsed by the relevant Dean/Head of School. The Dean/Head of School can also be the nominator. Please refer to the nomination process for details. 

The Awards Panel will consider the overall track record, relative to opportunity, and performance of the nominee as indicated by but not limited to:

  • Evidence of research translation or potential for research translation leading to impact.
  • Evidence of the impact that this research has created or has the potential to create and an end user benefit in terms of economic, environmental and social outcomes
  • Underpinning research — provide details about the underlying research that has generated this impact.
  • Sources to corroborate the impact — list sources that will provide evidence of the research impact.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in Research Master to validate evidence provided in nominations.  Please ensure that all reportable research output information has been submitted via online form which can be found here.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact – Early Career Researcher will comprise:    

  1. A cash prize of $10,000 paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support Research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. Commemorative trophy

Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact – Higher Degree by Research

The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact - HDR is awarded to a Higher Degree by Research candidate who can demonstrate the potential for significant impact of their research outside the academic community. The definition of impact for this award includes the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia.

Selection of prize recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and will normally be presented at the RMIT Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.

Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award.

In order to be eligible nominees must:

  • Be a current Higher Degree by Research candidate at RMIT University at the time of nomination.
  • Have successfully completed their Confirmation of Candidature milestone review.

Previous recipients of a Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact - HDR are not eligible to apply.

This prize is open to any current candidate who meets the eligibility criteria.  The nomination process is by a peer or staff member (with the nominee’s consent). Nominations must include the following: 

  • a completed Nomination form addressing the above selection criteria
  • endorsement from the relevant Dean/Head of School
  • a supporting statement which addresses the selection criteria prepared by one of the candidate’s supervisors
  • a supporting statement, on the relevance of the research and demonstrated potential for impact, from an individual in a relevant  industry
  • the candidate’s short CV

Please refer to the nomination process for details.  

In considering nominations, the Awards Panel will consider:

  • Evidence provided which demonstrates the potential for the nominee’s research to have impact through engagement with industry.
  • Details about the underlying research and the potential for research translation.
  • Quality and impact of reportable publications/outputs produced during candidature (including impact factor; citation rates, IP generation or external recognition).
  • Other competitive achievements (e.g. other prizes received during candidature).
  • Evidence of other external engagement with professional bodies, other universities etc.
  • Contributions made to the research community of the candidate’s academic unit.
  • Evidence of timely progress during candidature.
  • Demonstrated behaviour aligned to the RMIT values.

Research outputs

Any research outputs submitted in support of a nomination for a candidate prize must have been produced during the period of candidature at RMIT.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in ResearchMaster to validate any publications provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable outputs information is submitted via online form which can be found here.

Candidates with non-traditional research outputs should ensure that their outputs are clearly listed and the research significance of them is explained in their CV. These outputs will be considered on provision of supporting evidence from the nominee, and a statement from the school HDR Coordinator or equivalent attesting the output’s significance and the peer review status of the outlet/venue.    

The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact – Higher Degree by Research will comprise:

  1. A cash award of $3000 paid to the awardee
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University.
  4. Commemorative Trophy
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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer