Search under way for 2015 winners of PM’s Science Prizes

Entries have opened for the 2015 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, which will award a total of $1 million to New Zealand’s top scientists and researchers.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says the prizes celebrate scientific achievement, highlight the impact science has on New Zealanders’ lives, and aim to attract more young people into science careers. 2015 is the seventh year the prizes will be presented.

A total of five prizes are awarded each year. The Prime Minister’s overall Science Prize of $500,000 will be awarded to an established scientist or team of scientists for a transformative discovery or achievement. Other prizes will go to a top emerging scientist ($200,000), a leading science teacher ($150,000), a leading science communicator ($100,000), and a secondary school student who is excelling in science ($50,000).

“The prizes play a key role in delivering on the Government’s commitment to encourage more students into science and technology-based careers,” Mr Joyce says.

“They also aim to inspire our scientists by celebrating world-leading research occurring here in New Zealand which is vital for our economy, our society, and our international competitiveness.”

The 2014 winner of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize, the top award, was a 28-member team of scientists who have worked nationwide for more than 15 years to address issues related to poor-quality housing, particularly as it affects vulnerable groups such as children and those with chronic health conditions.

Top awards from previous years have been for work in the areas of inductive power transfer technology, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, superconductivity, climate change science, and food innovation.

Entries can be lodged up until 31 July 2015.

More information can be found here.

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