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Aus PM’s Prizes for Science &

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science 2021, Australian Government, 26 October 2021


  • The 22nd annual Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science (the Prizes) will be held on Wednesday 3 November 2021.
  • The Prizes are Australia’s most prestigious awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.
  • The Prizes are presented to Australian citizens, or permanent residents, who have made a significant contribution to our nation’s scientific and commercialisation capabilities, to science teaching, and to the country’s social and economic well-being.
  • The achievements of Prize recipients span diverse disciplines and career stages and are a tribute to Australia’s world-class science community, and to the critical role that teachers play in inspiring the next generation of Australian scientists and innovators.
  • The 2021 Prizes’ recipients will join important alumni of the very best in Australian science.


  • The 2021 cohort of Prize recipients will be announced online at on Wednesday 3 November at 6:00 pm AEDT.


  • The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are presented across seven categories, including five prizes for science and innovation (referred to as the Science Prizes) and two prizes for science, mathematics or technology teaching (referred to as the Science Teaching Prizes).
  • Across the seven Prizes, two are named after prominent Australian scientists who made significant impacts in their fields – Frank Fenner and Malcolm McIntosh.
    – Emeritus Professor Frank John Fenner AC had a distinguished career in the field of virology, with his two greatest achievements being his central role in the eradication of smallpox, and control of Australia’s rabbit plague through the introduction of Myxoma virus.
    – Sir Malcolm McIntosh AC was an Australian scientist and senior public servant who was head of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) between 1996 and 2000.
  • Each prize recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money and an award certificate. The medallions were designed by internationally renowned artist Wojciech Pietranik and produced by the Royal Australian Mint.

Science Prizes

  • The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science is awarded for a significant advancement of knowledge through science and research. $250,000 is awarded in prize money.
  • The Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation is awarded for the innovative translation of scientific knowledge into a commercially available product, service or process that has had economic, social and (where relevant) environmental benefits. $250,000 is awarded in prize money.
  • The Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year and the Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year each recognise an exceptional achievement in science that benefits, or has the potential to benefit, human welfare or society. $50,000 is awarded in prize money for each category.
  • The Prize for New Innovators recognises an early achievement towards partial or full commercialisation of scientific research with substantial economic, social and (where relevant) environmental benefits. $50,000 is awarded in prize money.
    Note: The Frank Fenner, Malcolm McIntosh and New Innovators prizes are awarded for achievements made within 10 years (full time or full time equivalent) of completing relevant studies.

Science Teaching Prizes

  • Two prizes are awarded to teachers who have made an outstanding contribution to science, mathematics or technology education. These are the:
    – Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools. $50,000 is awarded in prize money.
    – Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. $50,000 is awarded in prize money.


  • Nominations are made by peers in the science, innovation, and science, technology and mathematic teaching communities.
  • We strongly encourage nominations of people from groups historically underrepresented in science, such as women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or people from a regional or remote area.
  • The opening date of nominations will be advised on the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science website at:


  • The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are held annually and commenced in 2000.
  • The Australia Prize was the predecessor to the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science and was awarded annually from 1990 to 1999. The Australia Prize invited both Australian and international applications for outstanding achievement in a selected area of science and technology promoting human welfare.


  • Get the latest news about the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, including real-time updates of recipients as they are announced, on Twitter @ScienceGovAu, Facebook (@IndustryGovAu) and LinkedIn (/department-of-industry).
  • You can also boost the conversation online by using the hashtag #pmprizes.


  • Find out more about the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science website at:
  • The Prizes form part of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme administered by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources which delivers a range of science engagement activities to build an awareness and appreciation of science and celebrate the excitement of science and scientific discovery. Read more at:
  • Australia’s National Science Statement sets a long-term approach to achieving a strong science system and provides for government investment and decision making. Read more at: