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

The call for nominations are currently closed


The call for submissions is closed.


9 am AEDT Monday 20 January 2020.


The prize will be awarded for an essay based on original unpublished research undertaken whilst enrolled as a student (postgraduate or undergraduate) at any tertiary educational institution in the world.

The essay should be 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 deal with any aspect of the history of Australian science (including medicine and technology) or Australian environmental history. ‘Australia’ can include essays that focus on the Australian region, broadly defined, including Oceania. Essays that compare issues and subjects associated with Australia with those of other places also are welcomed. The winning entry, if it is in a suitable subject area, may be considered for publication in Historical Records of Australian Science. Historical Records of Australian Science have published a virtual issue showcasing six previous essays awarded the Mike Smith Prize.


Cash prize of $3,000. Minor prizes may be awarded at the panel’s discretion.

Application process

Applications are to be submitted to nc@science.org.au by 9am AEDT Monday 20 January 2020. Materials to be submitted (in the following order):

Covering email, containing:

  • 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
  • Essay in PDF format
  • PDF letter or attached e-mail from applicant’s academic supervisor attesting that the essay meets the eligibility criterion set out above.

The judging panel will have three members:

  • Chair (or nominee), National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science (Chair of panel)
  • Editor (or nominee), Historical Records of Australian Science
  • Senior Curator (or nominee), National Museum of Australia

The winner will be contacted by or e-mail 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-2020.

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 enter into discussion or correspondence regarding the reasons why a submission is or is not successful.

For further information contact:

National Committees Office
Phone: 02 6201 9400

Past winners

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