Frank Fenner, Malcolm McIntosh and New Innovators Prizes

The Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year are awarded to scientists at early or mid-career investigation stages in their careers. The Prize for New Innovators, created in 2016 will recognise the achievements of early-mid career innovators in the commercialisation of scientific research that has had substantial beneficial economic, social and (where relevant) environmental impacts

Achievements for these prizes are within ten years (full time or full time equivalent) of completing their highest relevant tertiary qualification.

The prizes

These prizes are awarded only to an individual and the recipient receives an award certificate, a silver medallion and lapel pin, and prize money of $50 000.

The medallions are each manufactured from 6 ounces of solid silver. The Frank Fenner medallion features an image of Professor Frank Fenner AC who was internationally renowned for his contribution to myxomatosis, a disease used to control Australia’s rabbit population; and his knowledge of poxviruses as instrumental in demonstration that there was no animal reservoir of smallpox thus enabling the global eradication of smallpox.

The Malcolm McIntosh medal features an image of Sir Malcolm McIntosh AC who held a PhD in Physics from the Australian National University and was the Chief Executive Officer of CSIRO from 1996 until February 2000.


  • Prizes are open to early to mid-career researchers who have realised significant achievements in research and commericalisation of scientific research. Early to mid-career researchers are defined as those who, at the time of nomination are within 10 years, full time or full-time equivalent of their highest relevant tertiary qualification degree. Allowance is made for periods of time out of research such as parental leave.
  • Research conducted as part of the studies leading to the award of the nominee’s highest degree is eligible for consideration. At least four years (full time or FTE) of a nominee’s research must be conducted in Australia.
  • All nominations must include a certified copy of a testamur as evidence of graduation.
  • Previous nominees are eligible for renomination subject to the eligibility criteria being met. Past recipients may be eligible for nomination for the award of either the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science or the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.
  • Past recipients may be eligible for nomination for the award of either the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science or the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation subject to the eligibility criteria being met.
  • Nominees must meet the eligibility criteria in the guidelines which also note an expectation of further public roles for the prize recipients during and/or after the year following their award.
  • Read the guidelines

Past recipients

More prizes

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