Young Scientist Research Prizes

To foster and recognise excellence in the next generation of our State’s scientists, the Royal Society of Victoria has established four prestigious, competitive prizes open to post-graduate, doctoral students in all areas of the Biomedical & Health Sciences, Biological Sciences (Non-human), Earth Sciences and Physical Sciences. These prizes are offered through the generous support of the Inspiring Victoria program, with key sponsors (listed below).

Prize Categories

The category of Biomedical and Health Sciences includes the fields of Endocrinology, Epidemiology, Genetics, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Immunology, Medical Parasitology, Microbiology, Neurology, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, Pharmacology, Radiology and related human sciences apart from clinical trials.

The category of Biological Sciences (Non-human) includes the fields of Agriculture, Biochemistry, Botany, Cell Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Forestry, Zoology, and related non-human science.

The category of Earth Sciences includes the fields of Geochemistry, Geochronology, Geology, Geophysics, Planetary Physics, Meteorology, Oceanography, Palaeontology, Physical Geography and related sciences.

The category of Physical Sciences includes the fields of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, all branches of Engineering and related sciences.

In 2024, we welcome the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency as the category sponsor for the Physical Sciences, and the supporting sponsorship of Geoscience Australia to foster emerging talent in the Earth Sciences. Now a part of the Inspiring Victoria program, the Society is grateful for the generosity of our members, past and present, in supporting these prizes since 2012.


Applications are open to candidates enrolled in the final year of their doctoral candidature at universities in the State of Victoria at the time of application, and who are members of the Royal Society of Victoria. Candidates who have submitted, or will submit their final thesis before 31 May 2024 are ineligible.

In order to promote the interests of young people starting their careers following many years of scholarship, we are limiting applications to doctoral candidates under 40 years of age.

Applicants who are not already members are required to join the Society (see below). RSV student membership for eligible applicants in 2024 is free.


Applications for the 2024 round open on 1 May and close at 5:00pm on 30 June, 2024.

Candidates should nominate themselves.

The application for a prize should consist of:

  • An application form (incorporating your extended abstract) to be submitted electronically, then printed (from your confirmation email), co-signed by your Supervisor or Head of Department (to ratify your contribution to your doctoral research, particularly if it is a team research project) and submitted along with your RSV Membership Form (free student membership of the RSV for the balance of the year).
  • An extended abstract presenting a succinct summary of your research work. This is incorporated in the body of the application form to guide structure and length, and includes a title, rationale for the study, aims, methods, results, conclusions and significance, indicating why your research is important and of scientific interest.

Apply Now


Please complete the 2024 Application form online, here.

Submission of the prize application form and abstract should be co-signed with your supervisor and received as a single file via email marked for the attention of the Chief Executive Officer at [email protected] before the closing time and date, being 5:00pm on 30 June, 2024. All late submissions will be deemed ineligible.


If you are not already a member of the Royal Society of Victoria, please submit (as a separate document) a completed Royal Society of Victoria Membership Application Form for 2024 Prize applicants. Student membership for all eligible Prize applicants will be free of charge for the remainder of 2024.

The Royal Society of Victoria may re-classify the field of an application if it fits best in a field other than the one nominated by the applicant.

The Society reserves the right not to consider applications that do not comply with the above requirements and not to make an award if there is no suitable candidate.


On the basis of the written abstracts, the judges will select a short list of two candidates in each of the four fields of Biomedical and Health, Biological (Non-human), Earth Sciences and Physical Sciences.

The award is based on demonstration of the applicant’s excellence in scientific research, ability to communicate scientific information clearly and succinctly to an audience of scientists and members of the general public on their particular research field and to answer questions from the audience.

2023 Finalists

Each of the short-listed candidates will be required to give a 10 minute oral presentation at the Society’s premises, followed by 5 minutes of discussion with a general audience of scientists and members at the Society. Proceedings will be livestreamed for the Inspiring Victoria Program on the evening of Thursday, 24th October, 2024, commencing from 6:00pm. Finalists who are unable to present cannot be considered for an award. Attendance at the presentations are open to supervisors, fellow students, friends and families as well as Members of the Society and the general public.

The winners will be judged and announced on the night, when the prize and a certificate will be presented by the Society’s President.

The Awards:

Radhika De Silva
Radhika De Silva with RSV President David Zerman in 2018.

The successful candidates will each receive a certificate and a prize of $1000. Winners will also receive free student membership of the Royal Society of Victoria for a period of two years and the opportunity to participate in the Society’s programs and access our professional networks for mentoring and collaboration as desired. The runners-up each receive a certificate and a prize of $500 plus free student membership of the Royal Society of Victoria for a period of two years.


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