Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence


The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence recognises an individual researcher who has achieved the highest level of excellence in their research activity for the preceding five years. The purpose of this Award is to recognise and encourage outstanding researchers with proven international reputations 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, relative to opportunity, and performance, including attraction of competitive and other external research funding, dissemination of research outcomes, patents, Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) candidate supervisions and completions, citations and other contributions relevant to the discipline demonstrating esteem, excellence and leadership.

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 Awards for Excellence ceremony in November.


Nominations are restricted to one category per nominee, however the Research Awards Panel has the discretion to consider any eligible nominations for more than one category of award, including categories under the RMIT Research Awards.

Those eligible for nomination are:

  • Research-active academic staff who have had a substantive appointment, normally 0.4 FTE or above, for a minimum of 2 years as at the closing date for the awards
  • For those eligible research-active academic staff on fixed-term contracts, the RMIT appointment must be current until the end of 2018

Previous recipients of an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence (or equivalent) are not eligible to apply.

Nomination and documentation

The Award is open to all research active staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Staff must be nominated by an RMIT academic staff member (with the nominee’s consent). Nominations must address the selection criteria and include two statements of endorsement. One statement of endorsement must be made by the nominator, and 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. All nominations must be endorsed by the relevant Dean/Head of School. The Dean/Head of School can also be the nominator. Please refer to the nomination forms for details.

To express interest in this award and request a nomination form please email: and include the name of the award in the subject header.

Selection criteria

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

  • Significance of the research in contributing to new knowledge and/or innovations in the discipline.
  • Evidence of sustained and excellent research performance, relative to opportunity, particularly in the past five years. Performance should be considered against quality indicators and norms for research performance within a given discipline, in addition to more general measures of competitive research grant or commercial research income, publications and student completions, or supporting documentation for Creative Works, exhibitions etc.
  • Demonstrated national and international recognition and impact of the research.
  • Other contributions demonstrating esteem, impact or leadership beyond the discipline.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in Research Master to validate evidence provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable research output information has been submitted via online form which can be found here.

Value of the award

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence will comprise:

  1. A cash prize of $10 000, paid into the research account of the awardee, to advance and support research supervision practice, scholarship and research
  2. A certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University
  4. Commemorative trophy