The prizes recognise achievements across diverse disciplines and career stages.
Recipients share $750,000 in prize money, and have the opportunity to showcase important work undertaken in their field.
2021 event highlights
[Music plays and images move through various views of the medallions for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science]
[Image appears of Rae Johnston talking to the camera and text appears: Ms Rae Johnston, STEM Journalist, Master of Ceremonies]
Rae Johnston: For the second year running, the Prizes have moved from Parliament House to an online celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the setting is different, the audience is greater,
[Image changes to show a single medallion rotating to a facing position and the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and words ‘Australian Government’ can be seen in the top left corner and text appears: 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science]
[Image changes to show Prime Minister Scott Morrison standing between two Australian flags and talking to the camera and text appears: The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia]
Prime Minister Scott Morrison: Tonight we celebrate our science community and how you are advancing Australia.
[Images move through close shot of Professor Edward C Holmes, close shot of data on his computer, Close Shot of Professor Anthony Weiss on his mobile phone, Mrs Megan Hayes with Students in a garden, and back to Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressing Camera]
So, to the scientists, the innovators, the educators, the research organisations being honoured today, congratulations on your contribution. Thank you for what you’re doing for our country.
[Images move through lab setting Associate Professor Michael Bowen walking into Shot, then changes to camera moving towards Mr Scott Graham teaching in a classroom, image changes to show the Hon Melissa Price MP talking to the camera and text appears: The Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for Science and Technology]
The Hon Melissa Price MP: thank you to all tonight’s recipients for reminding us of the important role science plays in just about every aspect of our lives.
[Images move through young students in classroom at desk, Megan Hayes teaching, then to Professor Sherene Loi at a computer, images changes to a wide reverse shot of Dr Keith Bannister at a computer, then to close up of blue liquid in a bottle vibrating on a machine, Image changes to show Dr Cathy Foley talking to the camera and text appears: Dr Cath Foley AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist]
Dr Cathy Foley: The recipients are united by a common thread. They are doing great science and have gone a step further to look for new ways to build on their discoveries, or ask how their work can be applied for the benefit of the wider community.
[Images move through Sherene Loi pointing at computer with patient, close shot of Scott Graham teaching in a classroom then Image changes to show Rae talking to the camera]
Rae Johnston: Tonight, we will be awarding seven Prizes
[Images move through Galaxy showing interpretation of fast radio burst, close side shot of Keith Bannister, then to Anthony Weiss walking past a glass window, then to Michael Bowen swirling a beaker of blue liquid, then to a close shot of Edward C Holmes walking along a covered walkway, to a slow motion shot of Sherene Loi walking in a lab corridor, a graphics representation of DNA strands]
to those who have made a significant contribution to Australia’s world-class science community, and who have inspired the next generation of Australian scientists and innovators.
[Images move through various views of the medallions for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, then to Rae Johnston talking to camera, to a close up of a sample on a microscope slide, then a close shot of Michael Bowen with the beaker of blue liquid, then a reverse shot of Anthony Weiss sitting and talking with another person, then referencing graphics on a computer screen, then to Sherene Loi watching a person work in a lab, then to Megan Hayes talking to two students in a garden, then to Scott Graham explaining a solar object on a stand to students in a garden]
The Ministers Prizes for Science are the most prestigious awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.
[Images move through Edward C Holmes opening his computer, then to a graphical representation of a COVID molecule, then to Edward Holmes walking down a street, then to telescopes monitoring the night sky, then to Keith Bannister walking into the CSIRO, then to Michael Bowne looking through a microscope, then to Anthony Weiss walking up staircase, then to a close side shot of Edward Holmes, then to a galaxy in the night sky, then to a close shot of the night sky, then to a close shot og Scott Graham, then to Megan Hayes teaching in classroom, then to an aerial shot of a group of students on a hilltop]
It has been a pleasure to witness, with you, these remarkable stories of achievement and I’m sure they will all continue to be at the forefront as we map a path for the future and inspire the next generation
[Image changes to show a single medallion rotating to a facing position and the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and words ‘Australian Government’ can be seen in the top left corner and text appears: 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. Text changes to Watch the full event at industry.gov.au/PMPRIZES or YouTube@Industrygovau]
- Find recipients from 2015–19 on the National Library of Australia's Trove archive
- Find recipients from 2000–14 on the National Library of Australia's Trove archive
Prizes for research:
- Prime Minister’s Prize for Science ($250,000)
- Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year ($50,000)
- Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year ($50,000)
Prizes for innovation:
- Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation ($250,000)
- Prize for New Innovators ($50,000)
Prizes for science, mathematics or technology teaching:
- Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools ($50,000)
- Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools ($50,000)
The Frank Fenner and Malcolm McIntosh prizes, and the Prize for New Innovators, reward achievements made within 10 years (full-time or full-time equivalent) of completing relevant studies. The Prize for New Innovators rewards steps towards translating research into a commercially available product.
Each recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money and an award certificate. The medallions were designed by internationally renowned artist Wojciech Pietranik and are produced by the Royal Australian Mint.
Nominations closed for the 2022 prizes on 10 February 2022.
You can view more information about nominating for the prizes on business.gov.au, see:
- Prizes for science and innovation nomination guidelines
- Prizes for science, mathematics or technology educators nomination guidelines
We are committed to improving the diversity of nominees for the prizes. We welcome nominations of women, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, members of the LGBTIQA+ community, and people from regional and remote parts of Australia. Read how we ensure fairness and diversity in our selection process.