APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE)

Status

Nominated for his work in optoelectronic engineering, Professor Dayong Jin from the University of Technology Sydney has been named as the Australian nominee for the 2017 ASPIRE Prize. The two Australian finalists were Dr Mohsen Rahmani from the Australian National University and Associate Professor Sharath Sriram from RMIT.

Details

The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from Australian researchers for the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASIPIRE) Prize for 2017.

The ASPIRE Prize is an annual award, valued at US$25,000 (approximately A$32,000 – A$34,000), which recognises young scientists from APEC economies who have demonstrated a commitment to both excellence in scientific research, as evidenced by scholarly publication, and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies. 

The ASPIRE Prize supports APEC’s mission to:

  • strengthen international science and technology networks
  • enhance economic growth, trade and investment opportunities in harmony with sustainable development, through policies, innovative R&D and technologies, and knowledge sharing
  • improve linkages and efficiency between research and innovation.

ASPIRE 2017 nomination theme

Each year the APEC host economy is asked to provide a theme to guide nominations for the ASPIRE Prize to be awarded in their host year. For its host year of 2017, Vietnam has selected New Materials Technologies as the ASPIRE nominating theme. This interdisciplinary theme focuses on how new and advanced materials are used to drive scientific innovation.

Each member economy, through its representative on the APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI), is invited to nominate one young scientist under the age of 40 to be considered for the 2017 ASPIRE Prize. Nominees should demonstrate excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies in fields such as:

  • materials and biomaterials science
  • polymer chemistry
  • chemical and mechanical engineering
  • solid-state physics
  • nanotechnology
  • new technologies based on novel materials
  • novel materials and technologies for healthcare
  • environmental protection
  • energy
  • novel material processing for mineral waste materials
  • other relevant fields.

Given the important role of science cooperation and research in improving disaster resilience and to support economic prosperity across the region, the Australian Government and the Australian Academy of Science are running a national competition to select three Australian finalists. The winner of the national competition, along with other economies’ candidates, will be nominated for the ASPIRE prize which will be presented at an award ceremony during the Tenth APEC PPSTI meeting in Vietnam later this year. 

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed on the following APEC criteria:

  • Excellence in scientific research, as evidenced by scholarly publication
  • Cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies
  • Contribution to this year’s theme of ‘New Material Technologies’ (see above for relevant fields)

The selection panel will also take into consideration the extent to which the applicant uses science to solve real-world problems and/or whether their scientific outputs have practical applications.

Relevance of the application to the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities is not a requirement but will be highly regarded. Australian Government priority areas are:

  • food
  • soil and water
  • transport
  • cybersecurity
  • energy
  • resources
  • advanced manufacturing
  • environmental change
  • health.

Eligibility

The application must be submitted by the research office or grants office of the applicant’s institution. Applications from individuals will not be accepted. Each institution may only submit two applications on behalf of two early-career researchers (ECRs).

Eligible research institutions include:

  • higher education institutions/provider
  • publicly funded research agencies, defined as an Australian organisation to which the following criteria apply:
    • it is at least 50% owned or controlled by the Commonwealth or an Australian state or territory government
    • primarily carries out research and development activities
    • is providing services, or making facilities available, in relation to science and technology; training of persons in the field of scientific or technological research; or collecting, interpreting or publishing information relating to science or technology.
  • cooperative research centres
  • incorporated Australian private and not-for-profit research organisations.

The ECR must:

  • be under the age of 40 as at 31 December 2017
  • be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident who is a citizen of an APEC member economy, living in Australia at the time of submitting the grant application (if the ECR was not born in Australia, please provide proof of Australian citizenship or Australian permanent residency).

Terms of prize

Australia may nominate one young scientist from Australia under the age of 40 to be considered for the 2017 ASPIRE prize.

The top three Australian ranked applicants from this competition will receive a prize of $2,000 (AUD) each. The highest-ranked applicant will become the Australian nominee for the ASPIRE Prize.

The nominees from each APEC member economy will then be considered by the full APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology, and Innovation working group for selection as the 2017 ASPIRE Prize winner, with prize money in the amount of $25,000 USD (equivalent to $32,000 – $34,000 AUD).

Selection process

The Academy will provide the six most highly ranked applicants to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science as a shortlist. The selection of the successful applicant by the Department will be final. 

Further information

For further information contact:

International Programs
Australian Academy of Science
GPO Box 783
Canberra ACT 2601

Email: grants@science.org.au

This program is supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Past Australian finalists

The following early- and mid-career researchers were named as finalists for Australia’s nomination to the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE).

2017 finalists

Name Organisation
Professor Dayong Jin University of Technology Sydney
Dr Mohsen Rahmani Australian National University
Associate Professor Sharath Sriram RMIT University

Professor Dayong Jin was named as Australia’s nominee for the 2017 ASPIRE Prize. Find out more about the 2017 finalists

2016 finalists

Name Organisation
Dr Lee Baumgartner Charles Sturt University
Dr Margaret Hardy University of Queensland
Dr Wei Xu Murdoch University

Dr Lee Baumgartner was named as Australia’s nominee for the 2016 ASPIRE Prize. Find out more about the 2016 finalists

2015 finalists

Name Organisation
Dr Jaclyn Brown CSIRO
Dr Katharine Haynes Macquarie University
Dr Hannah Power University of Newcastle

Dr Katharine Haynes was named as Australia’s nominee for the 2015 ASPIRE Prize. Find out more about the 2015 finalists

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science

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