Tips for entrants (Eureka Prizes)
Tips from judges and past winners to help prepare a stand out entry.
Our judges are expert representatives from a variety of disciplines and work in universities, schools, media, research institutes, industry, science centres and government departments.
Tips from judges
We asked the judges what they are looking for in a winning entry. This is what they suggest:
- Think clearly about which prize is most appropriate for your work.
- Before you apply, ask yourself is your work timely, novel and paradigm shifting.
- Stick to the page limits - judges will only consider what has been provided within the parameters.
- Ensure you provide all documentation requested in the 'How to Enter' section of the prize you are entering.
- Assessor reports are critical, so organise them early.
- Select your Assessors carefully and use people of recognised standing.
- Talk with your Assessors and encourage them to interpret the judging criteria in their two-page report.
- Take careful note of the judging criteria and align your submission to these criteria.
- Keep your reports brief, explicit and focused on the judging criteria.
- Ask a critical friend or colleague to review your application.
- Avoid hype. The judges not only see through it, some dislike it.
- Be concise. We realise you have a lot you want to say, however work out which of the detail is essential and think carefully about including the rest.
- Communicate as though your audience are not experts in your field.
- Avoid jargon, acronyms and abbreviations. Don't assume judges will know what they mean.
Tips from past winners
We also asked past winners to share their top tips with those thinking about entering the Eureka Prizes:
- "Take the work that makes you proud and tell the world about it - the Eureka Prizes are a great mechanism for reflecting on where you have gotten to, and where it might take you.” Professor Tanya Monro, 2015 Eureka Prize winner.
- "Make sure you get across the 'big picture' significance of your work. Put it in context for an educated audience who are not necessarily experts in your specific field. I think it is also really important that your referees (who write the required assessor reports) know your work well, so they can comment on it at a deeper level for the judging panel." Dr Michael Bowen, 2016 Eureka Prize winner.
- "Go for it! Prepare the best application possible, think about the relevance of your science to the broader community, and spend the time to submit the best application you can." Dr Denise Hardesty, 2016 Eureka Prize winner.
- "Entering the Eureka Prizes is a valuable exercise in capturing the outcomes and impact of your program – think about the application as an investment in sharing your work. Explain both the how and the why of your work." Renae Sayers, 2016 Eureka Prize winner.
- "Going through the application process is an excellent tool in identifying areas of development because it forces a lot of introspection and self-evaluation, while also making you consider your research/career direction and networks. My number one tip - back all claims with evidence." Associate Professor Sharath Sriram, 2016 Eureka Prize winner.
There are also hints and tips from the judges of the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize.
Vanessa Gardos , Manager, Education