RMIT Award for Research Excellence - ECR (in the categories of Technology, Design, or Enterprise)

The RMIT Award for Research Excellence - ECR recognises the RMIT early career researcher who has achieved the highest level of excellence in their research activity for the preceding three years.


The RMIT Award for Research Excellence – ECR (Early Career Researcher) recognises the RMIT early career researcher who has achieved the highest level of excellence in their research activity for the preceding three years. The purpose of this Award is to recognise and encourage outstanding researchers undertaking research that is of major importance in its field and who have made a significant contribution in advancing knowledge and research outcomes. This is evidenced by their track record and performance including attraction of competitive and other external research funding, dissemination of research outcomes, patents, student supervisions and completions and citations and other contributions relevant to the discipline demonstrating esteem, excellence or leadership.

This award is offered in three categories, Technology, Design and Enterprise. The nominee will have to identify the defining feature of their research and provide evidence to show which category of Design, Enterprise or Technology the research fits into.

Category guidance:

Research in the Technology category can relate to:

  • Creation of technology and/or
  • Development/improvement of technology and/or
  • Innovative use of technology

Research in the Design category can relate to research producing:

  • A product or creative work and/or
  • A framework or structure and/or
  • A process

Research in the Enterprise category can relate to:

  • Research which involves industry engagement and/or
  • A contribution to productivity, efficiency or well-being

Selection of award recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Award will be made annually and be presented at the RMIT Research Awards ceremony.


Those eligible for nomination are:

  • research-active academic staff with a substantive RMIT appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, for a minimum of 2 years
  • researchers are eligible to apply if they have been awarded a PhD within the last five years, or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption.
  • Winners are not normally eligible again following receipt of this award.

Nomination and documentation

The Award is open to all ECR staff. Staff may self-nominate or be nominated by a person from within the nominees academic unit. Nominations must address the selection criteria and include two statements of endorsement. One statement of endorsement must be made by a RMIT academic from within their College but the second may be either a RMIT academic or an external person who is familiar with the nominee’s field of research and achievements and who can comment on the nominee’s performance against the selection criteria. Please refer to the nomination forms for details.

The nomination form may be accessed here.

Selection criteria

Nominations will be judged on a range of criteria that may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • high level of research performance, relative to opportunity, that demonstrates the individual is clearly on an upward trajectory
  • research outcomes of high quality and excellence, including competitive research grant and/or commercial research income, publications and HDR student supervision or supporting documentation for Creative Works, exhibitions etc.
  • significance of the research in contributing to new knowledge and/or innovations in the discipline
  • demonstrated external recognition at the national and/or international level
  • other contributions demonstrating esteem, excellence or leadership beyond the discipline.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in ResearchMaster to validate evidence provided in nominations.

Value of the award

The RMIT Award for Research Excellence – ECR will comprise:

  1. A cash prize of $3,000 paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support Research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (R&I).
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. Commemorative trophy.