Nominations 2021

The annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards were created to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Australian scientists. Recipients of the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards (referred to as ‘Tall Poppies’) promote interest in science among students in all stages of learning, teachers and peers. Our Tall Poppies also provide understanding and an appreciation of science in the broader community.

In 2020 we welcomed 60 new Tall Poppies from around Australia and now in its 23rd year, we hope to welcome even more.

This year, nominations will open 15 February 2021 and close 5PM AEST 06 April 2021.

Please note that there is no age limit on applications. In addition, nominees must have graduated with their PhD between three and ten years of the nomination closing date. Nominations within the first three years post-graduation will not be assessed. Any circumstances relating to gaps in your career will be considered.

Nomination Requirements

To submit a nomination, please send an email to with the following documents:

  • Completed Nomination Form
    • Please ensure you adhere to the word limits as stated on the nomination form. Exceeding these limits may result in your nomination being deemed ineligible.
  • A maximum four page CV
    • Please note, any additional information attached to nominations (additional CV pages, cover letters, letters of reference, etc.) will not be provided to the selection committee
    • The list of publications should be included in the four page CV, otherwise you must include your ORCID number and link to your publications list.

Entries with insufficient documentation or partially filled nomination forms will not be considered. Submitted material will not be returned. Please include your first name and surname in the file name for both Nomination Form and CV.

You will receive a confirmation email upon submission of your nomination within 5 business days. If you do not receive a confirmation within this time, please send an email to

Any nomination not submitted via email to tallpoppycampaign@gmail will not be considered.

Please read the eligibility and selection criteria thoroughly before submitting a nomination.

The 2021 Nomination Form is available here.

Information Sessions

This year, we will run an on line information sessions. Please join these sessions if you can. Alternatively, they may be recorded and uploaded at a later date. No registration is needed. Each session will cover an overview of the awards application process as well as a Q & A with the chair of the individual state Selection Panel.  Please note all sessions at local time 

Online session times and dates

Note – Sessions are recorded and protected by passcode – please email to obtain passcode

You are welcome to watch any of the sessions – they all follow a similar course and involve the Chair of the local selection panel. The selection approach is consistent across states and is guided by the criteria and involve assessment of research excellence and impactful outreach.

  • NSW – Wednesday 3rd March 1.30 – 2.15  pm*  Recording link here
  • QLD – Thursday 4th March 3.00 – 4.00 pm.* Recording link here
  • VIC – Tuesday 9th March 1.00 – 2.00 pm.* Recording File not working – please feel free to access any other state
  • ACT – Tuesday 9th March 2 .00 – 2.45 pm. * Recording link here 
  • SA – Wednesday 10th March 1.00 – 1.30 pm.*  Recording link here
  • WA – Thursday 11th March 1.00 – 1.45 pm. Recording File not working – please feel free to access any other state
  • NT – Monday 15th March 3.00 – 3.45 pm. Recording link here – No Passcode needed
  • TAS  – Tuesday 17th March 11.00 – 11.45 am. Recording link here – No Passcode needed

NB. All times above are in local state timezones

Selection Procedure

  • Nominations will be judged by a selection committee in each state or territory according to consistent national guidelines
  • The Chair of each selection committee will be appointed by AIPS and will have voting rights
  • The Chair, in consultation with AIPS, will appoint an independent selection committee comprising, where possible, at least four academics/researcher leaders, one government representative, one education sector representative, and one additional representative who may represent the community, communications or industry sector. In smaller states and territories, the selection committee may comprise of less members (ACT, TAS).
    • In the Northern Territory, the selection committee as delegated by AIPS will be compiled in consultation with the NT government
  • The selection committees will be guided by the selection criteria, taking into account the relevant age and experience of the nominees
  • At the discretion of the Chair, a shortlisting process may be conducted with the support of AIPS. All nominations will remain available to the selection committee upon request
  • The selection committees will reach their decision solely on the material submitted by the nominees and nominators
  • Nominees will have their research achievements, and outreach and engagement opportunities weighted equally
  • All nomination information and material remains the property of the Tall Poppy Campaign and will remain strictly confidential
  • The deliberations of the selection committee will remain confidential
  • The decisions of the selection committees in the selection of the Award recipients are final and no correspondence will be entered into
  • Details on members of selection committees will only be made public at the time of the announcement of the Awards in each state and territory
  • Please note, as a Young tall Poppy recipient – Young is qualified as in terms of research career and not biological age.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The 2021 awards are open to residents of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia working in all fields of science, including biomedical, engineering, mathematics, technology and other applied or cross disciplinary sciences. Applicants from the social/behavioural sciences will be considered if their research demonstrates significant scientific, analytical rigour.
  • Nominations from those working in industry or policy sectors and demonstrating an equally high level of research achievement to those in research institutions are encouraged.
  • Nominees should hold a PhD. The selection committee will consider exceptions based on evidence of equivalent experience in industry.
    • Nominees must have completed their PhD within three to ten years of the nomination closing date. (NB. Note change from previous years)
  • The selection committee will take into account personal or extenuating circumstances that might provide grounds for consideration outside the above criterion. Please include details about career interruptions in the nomination form, e.g. due to carer’s leave or ill health.
  • Nominees should currently be working in Australia and have undertaken a significant portion of their postgraduate research in Australia, and be committed to carrying out their research/work in Australia in the year following their presentation, to allow them to participate in outreach activities.
    • Nominees must be either permanent residents or citizens of Australia. New Zealand citizens may also apply, subject to fulfilling the criteria above.
  • Only individual scientists are eligible (not research teams).
  • Self-nominations are not eligible.
  • Previous Tall Poppy recipients are not eligible

Selection Criteria

These are the selection criteria that will be used for the 2021 awards.

Excellence in research achievement in the sciences including engineering,  mathematics, medical research and technology, shown by track record and/or by clearly demonstrated potential. Applicants from the social/behavioural sciences will be considered if their research demonstrates significant scientific, analytical rigour. Track record could include:

  • Specific research achievements
  • Research impact/application
  • Collaboration achievements
  • Publications record
  • Grants obtained (including specific roles)
  • Patents held
  • Awards or prizes


Excellence and passion in outreach and community engagement to promote understanding and engagement in science. Outreach may be demonstrated through achievements in specific science promotion activities and/or through connecting with varied non-scientific audiences.

Good examples are those that are considered impactful and reach beyond the scope of your normal workplace obligations. Community engagement is considered as structured outreach with community groups.

Relevant achievements and/or experience additional to your normal workplace obligations could include:

  • Initiation of or participation in school science activities, teacher development programs or parent presentations
  • Significant public science presentations or involvement in community science events (e.g. Festival of Ideas, National Science Week)
  • Author or contributor to popular science books or book for schools, Television or Radio documentary, or online blog
  • Writer or initiator of regular column or presenter of regular series/segment or blog  (mainstream media, science journal, online etc)
  • Engaged or featured in national mainstream, state, local or regional media
  • Other evidence of a strong interest in, and commitment to, science promotion within the broader community and policy sphere

When outlining your communication activities, be as detailed as possible. Try to include what your specific involvement was in the activity (organiser, presenter, etc) and why you are proud of it (wide reach, good feedback, repeat invitations, etc.).

Please note, the selection committee will weigh your academic achievements and your outreach and community engagement equally.

Winners Obligations

Recipients of the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards (Young Tall Poppies) will become science ambassadors and must, as a condition of award agree to:

  • Undertake at least two voluntary outreach activities as part of the Tall Poppy Campaign programs targeting school students, teachers, the general public, media, federal or state MPs, policy makers, and in a range of science promotional activities over 2021/22
  • Be listed as an expert in their field with the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) and SCIMEX for potential media approaches as automatically qualified to be listed by winning their award
  • Be listed on the AIPS website.

In addition, winners are expected at the time of the closing date of application to:

  • Be in their respective state for 6-12 months following the award ceremony, or advise of a change in their Australian state or territory as soon as possible to enable their engagement in their new location
  • Abide by any conditions of prizes in their state or territory
  • Attend the award ceremony in their respective state