Royal Society of NSW Scholarships

Three scholarships of $500 plus and a complimentary year of Associate Membership of the Society are awarded each year in order to acknowledge outstanding achievements by young researchers in any field of science. Applicants must be enrolled as research students in a university in either NSW or the ACT (on 1 January of the year of nomination).

The winners will be expected to deliver a short presentation of their work at the general meeting of the Society in February of the year following that in which the award was made, and to submit a paper to the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

Nominations close on 30 September of each year and should be sent to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Self-nominations are allowed for this award. For a nomination, the following is required:

  • The letter of nomination should state clearly the significance of the student’s project.
  • The student’s curriculum vitae containing a list publications, details of the student’s undergraduate study, and any professional experience.
  • An abstract of 500 words describing the project
  • A statement of support from the student’s supervisor, confirming details of the student’s candidature.

The Royal Society of New South Wales has a long tradition of encouraging and supporting scientific research and leading intellectual life in the State. The Council of the Royal Society has established the Royal Society of New South Wales Scholarships in order to acknowledge outstanding achievements by young researchers.

The applications will be considered by a selection committee appointed by the Council of the Society and the decision will be made before the end of November. The decision of the committee is final. The scholarships will be awarded on merit.

Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Winners 2019

Ms Emma Austin, PhD Candidate at the University of Newcastle. Ms Austin’s research investigates the relationship between drought and wellbeing in rural communities in NSW, taking into account the links between wellbeing and adaptive capacity, and the need for the successful adaptation to drought together with increased resilience which is essential for the survival of rural communities.

Mr Shayam Balaji, PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney. Mr Balaji’s research is in the field of particle physics which explores the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and the interactions between them. The focus of his work, as a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, is in testing exotic Higgs boson models and extensions to the Standard Model of particle physics.

Mr Michael Papanicolao, PhD Candidate at the University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Mr Papanicolao’s research involves investigations into the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in breast tumour progression. The focus of his work is on charting how the ECM evolves with tumour progression, using protein mass spectrometry and advanced imaging to identify targetable proteins that are important in breast cancer metastasis.

Mr Thomas Pettit, PhD Candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. Mr Pettit’s reseach is in the field of biofilter technology, in which he has been developing and assessing the use of active green walls to clean the air of active pollutants to provide functional reductions of air pollution in zones where the are most needed.

Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Winners 2018

Ms Evelyn Todd, PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney. Ms Todd has been working on delving into the genetics of race horse performance, unlocking the historical roots of this breed. It is fascinating work, both from a scientific perspective, but also from the importance of understanding how to manage a closed population breed.

Ms Fiona McDougall, PhD Candidate at Macquarie University. Ms McDougall is investigating non-viral pathogens in flying foxes, specifically bacteria pathogens and the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria to flying foxes.

Year   Recipients
1999   Alison Basden, Sharon Downes
2000   Louise van der Weyden, William Higgs
2008   Gerard Kaiko
2009   Isa Chan, Tamara Keeley, Danielle Sulikowski
2010   Lidia Matesic, Dennis Black, Kerensa McElroy
2011   Andre Kyme, Amelia Edington, Benjamin Parker, Martin Fuechsle
2012   Jendi Kepple, Anwen Krause-Heuer, Helen Margherita Smith, Andrew Ong*
2013   Jiangbo Zhao, John Chan, Jessica Stanley, Xavier Zambrana-Puyalto*
2014   Melanie Laird, Stephen Parker, Ruth Wells, Linh Tran*
2015   Adrian Dudek, Charles Forster, Yevgeny Stadnik, Charles Colless*
2016   Jeremy Chan, Andrew Ritchie, Isobel Ronai
2017   Grace Causer, Yu-wei Lin, Cara Van Der Wal
2018   Evelyn Todd, Fiona McDougall
2019   Emma Austin, Shayam Balaji, Michael Papanicolaou, Thomas Pettit

*also recipient of the Jak Kelly Award, presented in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Physics


These prestigious awards for excellence in science, engineering, philosophy and the arts, awarded by Australia's oldest learned society, recognise outstanding achievements.  

In 2021, nominations will be sought for the:
James Cook MedalClarke Medal and Memorial Lecture, Edgeworth David Medal, History and Philosophy of Science Medal, Pollock Memorial LectureWarren Prize, Archibald Ollé Prize, and the Royal Society of NSW Scholarships

Also, nominations will be sought for the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, each of which recognise substantive contributions by a Member or Fellow to the work of the Society.

Nominations for the 2021 Awards open on 1 July 2021 and close on 30 September 2021. 

For 2021, each application must be accompanied by a completed nomination form (available from 1 July 2021) and supply the specified information.    

Information about the Awards and instructions for making nominations, click on the Award name in the drop-down list under the “Awards” menu.

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