Te Puiaki Kaiwhakaako Pūtaiao The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize



2022 Round opens:  4 August 2022

2022 round closes:  1:00pm, 18 October 2022




Tēnā koe

Welcome to the Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize.  The 2022 round is now open.

If you applied for this Prize in 2021 through the portal you can retrieve your past application and use it as the basis of a new application. However please make sure you read all the documents here first as templates and information have quite possibly been updated for 2022. Please note that if you wanted to be nominated by a new nominator then you would need to start the process afresh.

For all new nominators and nominees (teacher being nominated) we thoroughly recommend you read all the information on this page. There is a link in red further down the page for the nominator who needs to take the first step of making the nomination.  Nominees (teacher being nominated) can also click on the link as there is lots of other useful information for them also.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at pmscienceprizes@royalsociety.org.nz

All the best with your application.

Ngā mihi nui

Prime Minister’s Science Prize Secretariat



  • This is a nominated Prize and so the nominator has to take the first step of logging into the portal.
  • This Prize will be awarded to a qualified and registered kaiako/teacher (nominee) who is teaching science1 to school-age children (in a primary, intermediate or a secondary New Zealand registered school or Kura Kaupapa) currently employed in a permanent capacity by a Board of Trustees.
  • The teacher should have been in the same role for at least 12 months prior to their nomination.
  • The teacher/kaiako (nominee) must be either a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand permanent resident.
  • The teacher or kaiako (nominee) must have had five years of scienceteaching experience in New Zealand.
  • In the case of secondary school teachers, the majority of their teaching time must have been devoted to teaching science1 subjects which are taken to include teaching relevant to any of the science, mathematics, technology, putaiao, hangarau or pangarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum
  • The recipient of the Prize is expected to remain in the teaching profession for at least the year following the presentation of the Prize.
  • The teacher/kaiako will require to be nominated and will  require one referee which must be their Principal.  The Principal is not permitted to be the nominator.

Re-application by nominees from previous years is encouraged and welcomed, as long as the eligibility criteria continue to be met. However past winners of the Prize will not be eligible to enter a second time.

1 Taken to include teaching relevant to any of the science, technology, mathematics, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum.



  • The Science Teacher Prize is valued at $150,000. The recipient will receive $50,000 with no expectations
  • The recipient’s school/kura will receive $100,000 which must be used for the development of science1 in their school.




Nomination process, nominee process and finding your way around the Portal

After you have read the information on this page it is strongly encourage that you read the current information about the application process and finding your way around the portal.   Nominate now and nominee process and finding your way around portal

There is also the option in the portal for the nominee (teacher) to submit their application in Te Reo if they wish.




Judging of applications will be based on evidence or significant achievements in Science1 education within five years of the date of nomination. 


  1. What is your high quality pedagogical approach that sits behind your teaching and learning of your tauira/students?   (25%)
  2. Provide a range of evidence that your actions have led to improved outcomes in science1 for the tauira students you teach in your classroom.  (30%)
  3. Your contribution to the awareness and appreciation of science1 education at a national or regional level. (25%)
  4.  Your influence on engagement and awareness and delivery of science1 in your school and school’s hapori/community. (20%).


Each application will be assessed in the context in which the nominee is teaching (relative to the opportunities reasonably available to a primary, intermediate or secondary teacher). Assessment will include consideration of referees’ and nominees statements.

The nominee will also have the opportunity to submit a further 10 pages as their Evidence Portfolio.  This should cross reference and support their application.

1 Taken to include teaching relevant to any of the science, technology, mathematics, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum.




The secretariat gives no undertaking to keep confidential any information provided in the on-line entry form unless this is identified as information that should be treated as such. Information 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.


Selection Panel

Paul Neveldsen, Professional Teaching Fellow Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of Auckland  (Chair)

Professor Hēmi Whaanga, Head of School, Te Putahi-a-Toi, Massey University

Erina Butterworth, HOD Science, Rotorua Lakes High School

Terry Fenn, Acting Manager, Senior Secondary, Ministry of Education


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

The panel will consist of established leaders and researchers in their field and 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 should be considered as appropriate:

  • Mix of discipline/expertise
  • Sector and institutional balance
  • Rohe 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 conflicts of interest when these situations arise. In the case of knowing an applicant, the Chair of the selection panel will rule if this is significant enough for the judge to be stood down from the committee for that applicant. (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. The Secretariat will not disclose information on matters such as ranking, or names of nominees.

The Secretariat for the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes is the Royal Society Te Apārangi, If you have any questions then please make contact with pmscienceprizes@royalsociety.org.nz



  • The kura school will use the $100,000 for the development of science in their school1.
  • The winner may be expected to be involved in promotional opportunities appropriate to receiving The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize.
  • A nominee may be expected to attend an interview.



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




Applications close at 1.00pm on Tuesday 18 October 2022.  Late applications will not be accepted.




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

Tel: (04) 470 5762

If you require any other information the please 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.