Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence - HDR


The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence – HDR (Higher Degree by Research) recognises an outstanding HDR candidate who has achieved the highest levels of excellence in research during the completion of their degree.

Selection of prize recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. The Prize 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.

  • In order to be eligible nominees must:
  • Be individuals who have completed their RMIT HDR degree any time between the beginning of the preceding calendar year and the time of nomination in the award year.
  • Have completed their degree in a timely manner within the maximum expected duration of 4 years (PhD) or 2 years (Masters) EFTSL.
  • Have had their thesis/project classified as C1 – Passed or C2 – passed subject to minor, specific amendments.

Previous recipients of an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence - HDR are not eligible to apply.

Nomination and documentation

This prize is open to any completed candidate who meets the eligibility criteria. Nomination is to be made by a peer or staff member (with the nominee’s consent). Nominations must include the following:

  • a completed Nomination form addressing the selection criteria
  • a supporting statement which addresses the selection criteria prepared by one of the candidate’s supervisors
  • a supporting statement which addresses the selection criteria prepared by the relevant HDR coordinator
  • endorsement from the relevant Dean/Head of School
  • the candidate’s short CV

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

Selection criteria

  • Significance of the thesis/project in relation to the discipline – for example through research outputs, commercialisation, patents, citations, impact factors, and public recognition.
  • Fellowships or relevant employment obtained following completion.
  • Other competitive achievements (e.g. other prizes received during candidature).
  • Evidence of external engagement (industry, professional bodies etc).
  • Contributions made to the research community of the candidate’s academic unit.
  • The timeliness of completion of the degree.
  • Any significant remarks from the examiners’ reports on the thesis/project including whether the research was indicated as being ‘outstanding work’ on one or more examiners’ report forms.

Research outputs

  • Any research outputs submitted in support of a nomination for a candidate prize must have been produced during the period of candidature at RMIT.

Nominees should be aware that the Awards Panel will use information in ResearchMaster to validate any research outputs provided in nominations. Please ensure that all reportable research output information is submitted via online form to ResearchMaster which can be found here.

Candidates with non-traditional research outputs should ensure that their outputs are clearly listed and the research significance of them is explained in their CV. These outputs will be considered on provision of supporting evidence from the nominee, and a statement from the school HDR Coordinator or equivalent attesting the output’s significance and the peer review status of the outlet/venue.

Value of the prize

  1. A cash award of $3000 paid to the awardee
  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