Nominations 2020 – COVID-19

COVID-19 and the 2020 Awards

Please note that given the circumstances we are all operating under and the disruption this is causing to normal academic processes the closing date for the Young Tall Poppy nominations has been extended from 15th to  COB (Sydney time) 30th April 2020.

Arrangements for the Young Tall Poppy Awards ceremonies will be advised when more information is to hand about holding events. 

ALL nominations must be submitted via the pdf form. If you are unable to complete the pdf form, please contact us via email.

Please note that there is now no age limit on applications * ( See details under Selection Procedures below) .

In addition nominees must have graduated with their PhD between three to ten years of the nomination closing date.

Applications within the first 3 years post graduation will not be assessed.

(NB. Note change from previous years)

Nomination requirements:

  • A completed nomination form (including nominator and nominee statement), completed via the online submission process.
    • Please ensure you adhere to 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 that 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 CV , otherwise you must include your Orcid number and a link to your publication list so that the panel can review your publications.
  • Entries with insufficient documentation will not be considered. Submitted material will not be returned.
  • You will receive a confirmation email upon submission of your nomination, if you do not receive a confirmation please contact our office at
    • Any entries received after the closing date will not be considered.
    • Any entries not submitted via the online site will not be considered.
  • Personal information provided in connection with the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards will be used solely by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science and only in connection with the Awards.

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

The 2020 Nomination Form is available here.

How to complete this form:

  1. Open the Nomination pdf Form and Download the pdf to your computer (use the Download or Save As option on your browser or via the Print Form and Print to PDF option on the form)
  2. Open the pdf on your computer in Adobe.
  3. Fill in all relevant details on your computer
  4. Save As  – remembering to include your surname in the file name
  5. Submit Form.

If your system will not allow you to submit then simply email completed form, together with your CV to

Information Sessions

This year we have run two information sessions. Recording links are below.

Click here for the recording of the information webinar held on Wednesday 25th March.

Click here for link through to the information session held at Monash University on 31st of March. This session included presentation from Dr. Sarah Meacham (former Young Tall Poppy winner, current AIPS Board member and Victorian Selection Panel member), Dr Daniel Edginton-Mitchell and Dr Heiko Dietrich – both 2019 Victorian Tall Poppies.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The 2020 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 winners are not eligible

FAQ can be found here.

Selection Criteria

These are the selection criteria that will be used for the 2020 awards.

Excellence in research achievement in the sciences including engineering,  mathematics, medical research and technology, shown by track record and/or by clearly demonstrated potentialApplicants 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
  • 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 potential to connect 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.).

More weight should be given to those activities which would not be part of your normal work.

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 academic/research 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 less members (ACT, Tasmania).
    • 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 committees will remain confidential.
  • The decisions of the selection committees in the selection of 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

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 2020/21
  • 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