The Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award

Phil Law
Phil Law, circa 1956 (Photo: A. Campbell-Drury)

The Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award

This award was made possible from the generous bequest to the Society from the estate of the late Dr Phillip Garth Law AC. Recognising excellence in scientific research by an Early Career Researcher and originally awarded in the physical sciences, from 2021 this award has begun to cycle through four different categories of science each year.

In 2023, the award is open to suitably qualified post-doctoral candidates in Category IV: Biological Sciences (non-human). This category incorporates Agriculture, Biochemistry, Botany, Cell Biology, Ecology, Forestry, Zoology, and related areas of non-human biological science.


Application is open to candidates between three to seven years (at the deadline of application) of the awarding of their doctorate from a university in the State of Victoria, Australia.  Applicants must either be an Australian Citizen or have Australian Resident Status. The Society will consider adjusting the seven year window for candidates who have spent time working as primary carers following their PhD – if this applies to you, please contact the Society to discuss eligibility.


Open on 1 June, 2023 and close at 5pm on 31 July, 2023.

Candidates should nominate themselves.  The application should consist of:

  • A brief Curriculum Vitae (no more than four A4 pages) including full contact details of the applicant.
  • Proof of citizenship or residency status (a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, citizenship certificate or certificate of permanent residency status).
  • A statement (up to three A4 pages) summarising the applicant’s research contribution and including the names and contact details of two referees.
  • A list of publications in peer reviewed journals.  For multi-authored publications, the contribution of each author should be indicated.


Should be in the form of a single PDF file sent via email and marked for the attention of the Chief Executive Officer at [email protected] .


The Royal Society of Victoria reserves the right not to consider applications which do not comply with the above requirements and the right not to make an award if no suitable candidate applies.

The Award:

The successful candidate will receive an award certificate and a prize of $3000.

The Phillip Law Postdoctoral Lecture:

The winner will be required to present their work to a special meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria at a public lecture scheduled for the evening Thursday, 23 November 2023. This will be professionally filmed and shared online. If COVID-19 conditions prevent the event from proceeding, then prize winner will deliver a pre-recorded, 45 minute talk on their research, ideally to be professionally filmed at the RSV’s headquarters, then join an online meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria and guests for the screening and subsequent discussion.

Please note that the Society does not pay travel expenses to Melbourne for the purpose of filming or presenting the lecture.


Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne 3000 Telephone: (03) 9663 5259. Email: [email protected] .

Future Awards will be categorised as follow:

Category I: Physical Sciences (2024)

Astronomy, Astrophysics, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and related sciences.

Category II: Biomedical and Health Sciences (2025)

Genetics, Immunology, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Pathology, Neurology, Epidemiology, Endocrinology, Radiology, Microbiology, Medical Parasitology, Nuclear Medicine, and related human sciences.

Category III: Earth Sciences (2026)

Geology, Geochemistry, Geochronology, Geophysics, Planetary Physics, Meteorology, Oceanography, Physical Geography, Palaeontology and related sciences.

Category IV: Biological Sciences (non-human) (2027)

Agriculture, Biochemistry, Botany, Cell Biology, Ecology, Forestry, Zoology, and related areas of non-human biological science.

Past winners:

Phillip Law Post-Doctoral Award – Past Winners