Mike Smith Student Prize for History of Australian Science or Australian Environmental History


The call for applications is currently closed


The 2023–24 Mike Smith Student Prize is now closed.


**DEADLINE EXTENDED**  5 pm AEDT Friday 2 February 2024.


The prize will be awarded for an essay based on original, unpublished research undertaken whilst enrolled as a student (postgraduate or undergraduate) at any tertiary educational institution worldwide.

The essay should range from 4000–8000 words in length (exclusive of endnotes). Essays must be written in English and fully documented following the style specified for the Australian Academy of Science’s journal, Historical Records of Australian Science.

Essays may explore any aspect of the history of Australian science, including medicine and technology or Australian environmental history. The term ‘Australia’ may encompass essays focusing on the Australian region, broadly defined, which includes Oceania. We also welcome essays that compare issues and subjects associated with Australia to those of other places.

The winning entry, if it is within a suitable subject area, may be considered for publication in ‘Historical Records of Australian Science.’ The journal has previously published a virtual issue showcasing six previous essays awarded the Mike Smith Prize.


Cash prize of $3,000, with minor prizes awarded at the panel's discretion.

Application process

Applications should be submitted to nc@science.org.au by 9am AEDT on Monday, January 15, 2024. Materials to be submitted in the following order:

  1. Covering email, which should include:
    • Full name
    • Contact details (postal and e-mail addresses and telephone number)
    • Title of submission
    • University course (and year of course if undergraduate)
    • Student number
  2. Essay in PDF format
  3. A PDF letter or an attached email from the applicant's academic supervisor, confirming that the essay meets the eligibility criteria outlined above.
  4. The judging panel will consist of three members:
    • Chair (or nominee), National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science (Chair of the panel)
    • Editor (or nominee), Historical Records of Australian Science
    • Senior Curator (or nominee), National Museum of Australia

The winner will be contacted by email, and the prize will be presented and announced on the websites of the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Academy of Science in mid-2024.

Judges’ decisions are final. The judges retain the right to split the prize, or not to award a prize. The Academy and the National Museum of Australia are not able to engage in discussions or correspondence regarding the reasons for the success or non-success of a submission.

More information

For further information contact:

National Committees Office


Past winners

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