Royal Society of NSW Scholarships

The Royal Society of New South Wales has a long tradition of encouraging and supporting scientific research and leading intellectual life in the State. The Council of the Royal Society has established the Royal Society of New South Wales Scholarships in order to acknowledge outstanding achievements by young researchers.

Three scholarships of $500 plus a complimentary year of Associate Membership of the Society are awarded each year in order to acknowledge outstanding achievements by young researchers in any field of science in New South Wales. Applicants must be enrolled in their first higher degree as research students in their first or second year, in a university or at CSIRO in either NSW or the ACT (on 1 January of the year of nomination) and have completed an undergraduate degree within NSW or the ACT.

The winners will be expected to deliver a short presentation of their work at the general meeting of the Society in February of the year following that in which the award was made, and to submit a paper to the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

Nominations for the Royal Society of NSW Scholarships close on 30 September of each year. The application procedure for these scholarships medal is described on the nomination form. Each application must comply with the conditions of the award and consist of a completed nomination form together with supporting documentation as specified on the form. Completed nominations should be sent to the email address listed on the nomination form.

Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Winners 2020

Sajad Razavi BazazMr Sajad Razavi Bazaz , PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. In his PhD, Mr Razavi Bazaz studies the use of 3D printing for microfluidics. Microfluidics is a science which allows the manipulation of fluid samples, typically in the range of microlitres, within networks of channels ranging from tens to hundreds of micrometres. Microfluidic systems are becoming increasingly promising tools for the advancement of chemical and biological research with evident benefits. Today, 3D printing technologies have gained significant traction, being dubbed a third industrial revolution. Due to the expanding use of microfluidic systems in laboratories, 3D printing has emerged as an alternative method to traditional costly fabrication processes. Mr Razavi Bazaz has developed a new method for the fabrication of microfluidic devices and has validated it. He and his colleagues have established a start-up company to develop 3D printed microfluidic devices for selective sperm selection for the IVF market.

Daniel Fox Mr Daniel Fox, PhD candidate at the Australian National University. Mr Fox is studying the clinically important, but much neglected, human and foodborne pathogen, B Cereus, and has discovered that enterotoxins produced by this bacterium can activate cytosolic innate immune inflammasome sensors which mediate host defence against pathogens. The sensing of pathogens by inflammasome sensor proteins results in the assembly of the inflammasome complex. Mr Fox has identified a toxin NHE as a novel activator of the NLRP3 inflammasome because it triggers formation of a lytic pore that promotes the efflux of potassium ions. He has also found it mediates the killing of cells from multiple lineages and hosts. It acts synergistically with another toxin secreted by the same organism, HBL.

Phillipa Specker Ms Phillipa Specker, PhD candidate at UNSW (Sydney).  Ms Specker investigating the role of emotional regulation in the management of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in refugees. Refugees represent one of the largest at-risk groups in the development of PTSD, with current treatments being much less efficacious compared to other trauma-exposed groups. Research suggests that emotion regulating strategies that refugees used to manage stress may be critically important in their recovery from PTSD. In the first part of her PhD program, she found that there were individual differences in the types of emotion regulation strategies that refugees used to manage stress and that those refugees who were better able to concurrently use cognitive reappraisal and emotional suppression had fewer PTSD symptoms. Currently, she is testing a novel experimental paradigm to investigate whether providing refugees with adaptive emotion regulation skills training will reduce PTSD symptomology and ultimately improve well-being.

Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Winners 2019

Ms Emma Austin, PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle. Ms Austin’s research investigates the relationship between drought and wellbeing in rural communities in NSW, taking into account the links between wellbeing and adaptive capacity, and the need for the successful adaptation to drought together with increased resilience which is essential for the survival of rural communities.

Mr Shayam Balaji, PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Mr Balaji’s research is in the field of particle physics which explores the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and the interactions between them. The focus of his work, as a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, is in testing exotic Higgs boson models and extensions to the Standard Model of particle physics.

Mr Michael Papanicolao, PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Mr Papanicolao’s research involves investigations into the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in breast tumour progression. The focus of his work is on charting how the ECM evolves with tumour progression, using protein mass spectrometry and advanced imaging to identify targetable proteins that are important in breast cancer metastasis.

Mr Thomas Pettit, PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. Mr Pettit’s reseach is in the field of biofilter technology, in which he has been developing and assessing the use of active green walls to clean the air of active pollutants to provide functional reductions of air pollution in zones where the are most needed.

Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Winners 2018

Ms Evelyn Todd, PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Ms Todd has been working on delving into the genetics of race horse performance, unlocking the historical roots of this breed. It is fascinating work, both from a scientific perspective, but also from the importance of understanding how to manage a closed population breed.

Ms Fiona McDougall, PhD candidate at Macquarie University. Ms McDougall is investigating non-viral pathogens in flying foxes, specifically bacteria pathogens and the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria to flying foxes.

List of Recipients of Royal Society of NSW Scholarships

Year   Recipients
1999   Alison Basden, Sharon Downes
2000   Louise van der Weyden, William Higgs
2008   Gerard Kaiko
2009   Isa Chan, Tamara Keeley, Danielle Sulikowski
2010   Lidia Matesic, Dennis Black, Kerensa McElroy
2011   Andre Kyme, Amelia Edington, Benjamin Parker, Martin Fuechsle
2012   Jendi Kepple, Anwen Krause-Heuer, Helen Margherita Smith, Andrew Ong*
2013   Jiangbo Zhao, John Chan, Jessica Stanley, Xavier Zambrana-Puyalto*
2014   Melanie Laird, Stephen Parker, Ruth Wells, Linh Tran*
2015   Adrian Dudek, Charles Forster, Yevgeny Stadnik, Charles Colless*
2016   Jeremy Chan, Andrew Ritchie, Isobel Ronai
2017   Grace Causer, Yu-wei Lin, Cara Van Der Wal
2018   Evelyn Todd, Fiona McDougall
2019   Emma Austin, Shayam Balaji, Michael Papanicolaou, Thomas Pettit
2020   Sajad Razavi Bazaz, Daniel Fox, Phillipa Specker

*also recipient of the Jak Kelly Award, presented in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Physics


These prestigious awards for excellence in science, engineering, philosophy and the arts, awarded by Australia's oldest learned society, recognise outstanding achievements.  

In 2022, nominations will be sought for the:
James Cook MedalClarke Medal and Memorial Lecture, Edgeworth David Medal, History and Philosophy of Science Medal, Liversidge LectureWalter Burfitt PrizeWarren Prize, and the Royal Society of NSW Scholarships

Also, nominations will be sought for the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, each of which recognise substantive contributions by a Member or Fellow to the work of the Society.

Nominations for the 2022 Awards open on 1 July 2022 and close on 30 September 2022. 

For 2022, each application must be accompanied by a completed nomination form (available from 1 July 2022) and supply the specified information.    Nominations should be sent to this email address.

Information about the Awards, instructions for making nominations, and links to the nomination forms can be obtained by clicking on the Award name in the drop-down list under the “Awards” menu.

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