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Australia

Awards for Students

The Charlene Heisler Prize is awarded annually by the Astronomical Society of Australia for the most outstanding PhD thesis in astronomy or a closely related field, accepted by an Australian university. The thesis research must show outstanding excellence and originality.

The Prize consists of the Charlene Heisler Medal together with an award of $1000 and ASA membership for the following calendar year. The recipient is invited to present a paper on their research at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia, where the prize will be presented.

  • Each Australian University Department can submit a maximum of 2 nominations per year.
  • Nominations must be endorsed by the department head, in consultation with their academic staff. The department head should also certify that the PhD thesis has been accepted by the applicant’s institution during the previous calendar year.
  • Nominations must be submitted by the candidate’s supervisor.

A nomination will consist of:

  • an electronic copy of the thesis;
  • a statement from the principal supervisor outlining the thesis results and why they are exceptional. The statement should also include details of the specific contributions of the applicant to the research;
  • an endorsement from the Head of the department/school/institute;
  • examiners’ reports on the thesis.

Submissions should be emailed to the ASA Prizes and Awards Coordinator, Dr Krzysztof Bolejko: krzysztof.bolejko -@- utas.edu.au

The assessment committee nominated by the ASA Council will evaluate the submitted materials and make a recommendation to the ASA Council. The decision of the Council is final, including any decision not to award a prize in any given year.

Limited travel funds to support attendance at the ASA science meeting may be made available at the discretion of the ASA Council. The prize winner will also be encouraged to submit a synopsis of their thesis research to the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. A full paper on the research would also be welcomed.

Bart Jan Bok was Director of Mount Stromlo Observatory from 1957 to 1966. He energetically promoted the undergraduate and graduate study of astronomy in Australia and set up the Graduate School of Astronomy at the Australian National University. In addition to his many scientific achievements, he was also a talented populariser of astronomy and is particularly remembered for his entertaining broadcasts on ABC radio.

The Bok Prize is awarded annually by the Astronomical Society of Australia to recognise outstanding research in astronomy or a closely related field, by an Honours student or eligible Masters student at an Australian university.

The prize consists of the Bok Medal together with an award of $1000 and ASA membership for the following calendar year. The recipient is invited to present a paper on their research at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia, where the prize will be presented.

To be eligible for the Prize applicants must have been an Honours student or eligible Masters student at an Australian university (at 30 June in the year prior to the award), and completed their degree requirements in that same year. Their research must have been carried out in an area of astronomy or closely related field.

Eligible Masters students are those who have entered their Masters degree from a 3 year undergraduate degree. Students who completed an Honours year before entering the Masters degree are not eligible for the Bok prize.

A request for submissions for the award in a given year is usually emailed out to the ASA membership in December each year, with the closing date for nominations in February.

Nominations

 Nominations must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Each Australian University Department can submit a maximum of 2 nominations per year.
  • Nominations must be endorsed by the department head, in consultation with their academic staff. The department head should also certify that the applicant’s degree requirements have been completed during the previous calendar year.
  • Nominations must be submitted by the candidate’s supervisor.
  • A nomination will include an electronic copy of the Honours/Masters thesis.
  • The nomination must include a brief statement (~1/2 page) by the applicant, in their own words, explicitly describing their major contributions to the research, the resources they used and the help they received. This may already be included in the report,
  • The nomination must also include a completed Supervisor’s Statement – this is a confidential statement by the applicant’s supervisor detailing the highlights of the research, indicating the relationship of the submission to the student’s course requirements, and highlighting the originality of the work. Please use the Supervisor’s Statement form (Word or pdf).

Submissions should be emailed to the ASA Prizes and Awards Coordinator, Dr Krzysztof Bolejko: krzysztof.bolejko -@- utas.edu.au.

An assessment committee nominated by the ASA Council will evaluate the submitted materials and make a recommendation to the ASA Council. The decision of the Council is final, including a decision not to award the prize in any given year.

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