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Young Scientists compete for big prize money

19 November 2006

Young Scientists compete for big prize money

Entries are open for next year’s MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year Awards, with prize money of $10,000 for the winning researcher.

The awards recognise the excellence and innovative spirit of New Zealand’s young researchers, with top marks given to entries that combine brilliant, innovative research with the ability to communicate it in a way that attracts the interest of the next generation of potential scientists and researchers.

In addition to prize money of $10,000, the overall winner’s package includes a trip to the UK to attend the British Association’s (BA) annual Science Festival. The runner-up and the five category winners will each receive $5,000.

The Foundation for Research Science and Technology is hosting the awards, which are New Zealand’s most prestigious acknowledgement of emerging scientists and researchers.

The competition is more challenging than ever this year, with entries first assessed by leading New Zealand scientists. A shortlist of entrants is then invited to explain their research to a secondary school level audience, using a poster and either a short essay or video/audio clip. A final panel of judges will include science leaders who are highly regarded in their fields of expertise.

Foundation CEO Murray Bain says the awards provide opportunities to showcase the work of New Zealand’s most talented science and technology researchers.

“The awards are also an opportunity to highlight the crucial role science and research play in lifting New Zealand’s long term economic potential.

“Brilliant science and effective communication are essential ingredients for scientists to excite and inspire the public with their research breakthroughs,” says Mr Bain.

The competition is open to all post graduates undertaking research and postdoctoral researchers who have held a PhD for less than five years. There are five categories: Understanding Planet Earth, Science in our Communities, Advancing Human Health, Future Science and Adding Value to Nature. A special award will also be made for outstanding Masters’ level research.

Young scientists have until the end of February to submit a summary of their research and academic achievements for the first judging stage.

The Awards are named after one of New Zealand’s greatest scientists, Professor Alan MacDiarmid, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000 for the discovery and development of conductive polymers. Principal sponsor is Fisher and Paykel Appliances.

ENDS

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