Seeking Australia's unsung heroes of science

The search is on again for Australians doing remarkable work in science, innovation and education, with nominations for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science now open.

The Prizes recognise outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching – with $750,000 in total prize money up for grabs.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the past 12 months have brought the work of Australia’s science community into the spotlight.

“The world has watched in awe as Australian and international scientists have worked tirelessly to identify, analyse and help develop COVID-19 vaccines and treatments,” Minister Andrews said.

“The COVID-19 response is just a small insight into the incredible work of the Australian scientific community, with last year’s Prizes acknowledging breakthroughs from fundamental physics to lifesaving new cancer treatments.

 “These awards are about giving our world-leading researchers and inventors the recognition they deserve, along with the teachers inspiring our next generation of scientists.

“If you know someone doing amazing work in these fields, I urge you to put them forward for one of these prestigious Prizes.”

The full list of prizes include:

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science ($250,000 prize)
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation ($250,000 prize)
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year ($50,000 prize)
  • Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year ($50,000 prize)
  • Prize for New Innovators ($50,000 prize)
  • Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools ($50,000 prize)
  • Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools ($50,000 prize)

Nominations close at 5pm AEDT on 9 March 2021. For more information or to make a nomination, visit

Media contact:

Minister Andrews' office: 02 6277 7070