Press Release – PM’s Science Prizes
1 September 2016
Countdown for entries for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes
New Zealand scientists and researchers, both experienced and up-and-coming, have just two weeks to get their entries in for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, valued at $1 million.
One of the five categories also rewards New Zealand’s top science, technology or mathematics teacher.
These are New Zealand’s most valuable science and research awards and are now in their seventh year. The prizes were introduced to raise the profile and prestige of science.
“They celebrate transformative science, innovation and scientific achievement,” says Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.
Distinguished Professor Ian Reid from the University of Auckland, who won the 2015 Prize, together with colleagues Associate Professors Mark Bolland and Andrew Grey for research revealing the ineffectiveness of treating osteoporosis with calcium and Vitamin D, says the Prizes bring national attention to a broad range of scientific activities, celebrating creativity, problem solving, technical innovation and commercial success.
The leader of the team that won the 2014 Prize, Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman from the University of Otago and the He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme, says the Prize was a huge boost in confidence for the researchers, and she attributes her appointment to an international science committee to the national accolade.
In 2014, Dr Karl Iremonger of the University of Otago won the MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, for his use of cutting-edge technology to help identify brain cells that function differently to what had been previously accepted.
“The Prizes not only reward successful New Zealand scientists, but they also show the country that scientists and their work are valued, which is important, especially for young people considering careers in science or research,” he says.
Entries for the 2016 Prizes close on 16 September. The Prizes will be presented in early 2017.
The Prime Minister’s Science Prize categories are:
The Prime Minister’s Science Prize, $500,000
This will be awarded to an individual or team for a transformative scientific discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact on New Zealand or internationally
The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, $200,000
This will be awarded to an outstanding emerging scientist who has had their PhD or equivalent qualification conferred within the past eight years (i.e. from 1 January 2008 onwards)
The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, $150,000
This will be awarded to a registered teacher who has been teaching science, mathematics, technology, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum to school-age children in a primary, intermediate or secondary New Zealand registered school.
The Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize, $100,000
This will be awarded to a practising scientist who can demonstrate an interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement, or to a person who has developed expertise in public engagement with, or communication of, complex scientific or technological information to the public or science community.
The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize, $50,000 tertiary scholarship
This will be awarded to a Year 12 or Year 13 student for outstanding achievement in carrying out a practical and innovative science, mathematics, technology or engineering project.
To find out more and to lodge entries visit: