Te Puiaki Whakapā Pūtaiao The Science Communication Prize 


APPLY NOW LINK      (The application process is open now and will close 30 September)

About this Prize


  • This Prize will be awarded to either a practising scientist1 who can demonstrate an interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement, or to a person who has developed expertise in public engagement or communication of complex scientific or technological information to the public.
  • The Applicant must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand.
  • Re-application by candidates from previous years is encouraged, as long as the eligibility criteria continue to be met. However, past winners of this Prize are not eligible.

1Taken to include natural, physical, mathematical and information sciences, applied sciences, technology, engineering, social science and multi-disciplinary science


The Prize will be judged on the applicant’s commitment and aptitude for science communication. Assessment will include consideration of a referee statement and an interview of shortlisted applicants will be required. Applicants should present an application that answers the following questions. (with cross references to an evidence portfolio):

  • Approach to science communication, including how to identify appropriate means for engagement.
  • Evidence of  recent successful science communication or engagement activities with a diversity of audiences.
  • How the applicant intends to further their role in science communication in the future.
  • The proposed programme or developmental activity that would be undertaken if the application was successful.


  • The total value of the Prize is worth $75,000.
  • $55,000 of the Prize money is to be used to support the recipient to carry out a programme of activities/professional development to further their understanding of science communication.
  • $20,000 of the Prize money is available to the recipient with no expectations on its use.


Selection panel

(The 2024 panel is yet to be confirmed)


Panellists are appointed by the Pou Whakahaere Chief Executive of Royal Society Te Apārangi based on the recommendation of the panel Chairs and Secretariat. Appointments are made on a year-by-year basis for each calendar year. Panellists can be appointed for more than one year.  Panellists must be experienced in an appropriate field or community and may be drawn from outside New Zealand if necessary.

Panels will consist of established leaders and researchers in their field, their research and in their communities.  We will also aim to bring emerging people to panels to ensure diverse views and allow for the development of people and new talent.

In considering the suitability of potential panellists, the following requirements for panel composition is considered as appropriate:

  • Mix of discipline/expertise
  • Sector and institutional balance
  • Geographic representation
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender balance.

Royal Society Te Apārangi is committed to following best practice in being inclusive of diversity within our activities.

It is recognised that occasionally members of the selection panel will know applicants or have other conflicts of interest. They will be expected to declare all such knowledge and conflicts of interest. In cases where an applicant is the colleague of a panellist, the Chair of the selection panel will rule if this conflict is significant enough for the panellist to be stood down from the panel for that entry. (In the case of the Chair having a conflict of interest the decision will be made by another member of the panel who has been identified in this role at the beginning of the process).

The selection panel will not enter into any correspondence concerning its deliberations. All inquiries should be directed to the Secretariat. Note that information on matters such as ranking, or names of unsuccessful entrants, will not be disclosed.



This Prize requires one referee who has a solid understanding of your interest in science communication and can give expert, current opinion.


The Secretariat gives no undertaking to keep confidential any information that is provided in the application form unless this is identified as information that should be treated as such. It may, for example, be used to prepare promotional material for the Prize in future years.

Please note that information submitted on the entry form may be subject to the Official Information Act.



  • $55,000 of the Prize is to be used to support the recipient to carry out a programme of activities/professional development to further their understanding of media communication.
  • The recipient of the Prize may be expected to be involved in promotional opportunities appropriate to receiving The Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize.



  • The Winner is expected to make themselves available for half a day in January/February 2024 to meet with the Prime Minister’s Science Prize media liaison personnel in preparation of video, media material and photos.
  • The Winner will be announced in February/March/April  2024 (date will be confirmed) and the winner is expected to make themselves available.



  • The application process will close at 1:00pm on Monday 30 September 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.


Need help?  Have other pātai questions?

Ko te Kaiwhakahaere the Secretariat for The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes is Royal Society Te Apārangi.  Contact details are:

Te Kaiwhakahaere the Secretariat
The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes
Royal Society Te Apārangi
PO Box 598

Waea telephone: (04) 470 5762

Īmēra email:  pmscienceprizes@royalsociety.org.nz




Supported by the New Zealand Government with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  Nā Te Hīkina Whakatutuki te mana hāpai.