THE PEER PRIZE FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE
The Sun Foundation is excited to launch the annual ‘Peer Prize’ for women in science.
Its mission is to be an annual catalyst for researchers while accelerating open knowledge exchange & cross-disciplinary innovation.
Why? Typically science prizes are selected by hidden panels of a few peers with only the winners being showcased. This means that much time is wasted for most researchers to apply, while only a fraction of the knowledge is showcased, creating barriers to collaboration & innovation.
How? Thinkable is a platform that allows us to openly showcase ALL entries in one easy to access ‘open knowledge hub’. Meanwhile, the technology also empowers the wider academic community of peer experts to openly learn & vote on awarding the winner. This drives both multi-disciplinary collaboration while giving the prize the prestige of awarding the highest quality research that truly represent the collective consensus amongst thousands of peers.
This style of ‘Open Peer Prize’ is the first of its kind in the world in showcasing & rewarding the most exciting new research. For our inaugural year, we are focused on showcasing scientific research performed by women in Australia in two broad areas (Life Sciences; Earth & Space Science). Please see rules for more about eligibility.
Scientists: We want to help accelerate discovery by seeding new connections, knowledge & ideas while celebrating exciting research performed by women in Australia. We welcome all researchers across the world to take part in casting your vote in the world’s first ‘Peer Prize’. It will allow you to explore, share & connect with researchers to collaborate, innovate & accelerate your science!
Who can enter?
- Female researchers & teams from any research institute, hospital or university with tax-deductible gift recipient status in Australia. Teams with male colleagues are still eligible but need a clear description of the contribution made by the female individual(s).
- Research must have been performed, shared or published after January 1, 2015 to be eligible for the prize. It can be a thesis, an article, a data-set or even an exciting new project. Career interruptions/ maternity leave will be considered for applicants – contact us if this applies to you.
- Applicants can submit multiple entries as long as they are unique pieces of research.
- Applicants do not have to be Australian citizens, however to accept prize money, they must be affiliated with an Australian DGR status institute where the funds will be transferred.
Big advances in science most often come from collaborations across fields. For the inaugural year of the Peer Prizes, we will focus on two broad multi-disciplinary categories, each with a $10,000 prize:
Life Science Prize. The life sciences comprise of fields that involve the scientific study of living organisms with the central element being the cell (eg biology, oncology, neurology, immunology, veterinary science, botany…).
Earth & Space Prize. Earth science covers research that explores planet earth (eg geology, atmosphere, ocean, land & environment) while space science explores everything beyond earth (eg astronomy, planetary science, astrophysics, cosmology etc).
How to enter?
Entrants will be creating their own sharable research page (here is an example) to allow thousands of people & peers to learn & vote. The online application is short and includes:
- TITLE (Short title of your research or publication)
- SUMMARY – (Plain English summary of your work – 150 words max)
- DESCRIPTION – (Description of your approach and broader findings – 500 words max)
- IMPACT – (What is the wider contribution or impact to your scientific field(s)? – 300 words max)
- FUTURE – (Discuss potential ideas you would like to explore to take this research further? -300 words max)
- VIDEO – (Not mandatory, but producing a short video explainer of your findings helps drive a much wider audience to your work)
Closing date for applications: 5pm (AEST) 7 June 2016.
Early-bird entry fee: $25 (until May 24)
Late entry fee: $50 (after May 24)
Through open social sharing and engagement amongst a global community, Thinkable tends to get audiences of well over 100,000 to major competitions (here is an example). Showcasing and sharing ALL entries openly during the voting period of the Peer Prize will drive wide engagement & collaboration across scientific fields and the wider public, creating a multiplier effect for a global audience to learn, engage & vote.
How to Vote?
We ask peers to choose the most impactful piece of research or important new discovery. Verified peers can vote on multiple entries (but for fairness, the technology only allows 1 per vote entry). We strongly encourage peers to engage & vote on entries beyond their own specialist field. This will help drive multi-disciplinary collaboration that is critical to accelerate scientific discovery and solve some of humanities most complex future challenges in health and the environment.
Thinkable allows all members to register as a researcher by adding their affiliation and fields of science. Researchers can add a biography to their own profile which allows manual verification of the researcher. We define ‘peers’ as those who have authored a peer-reviewed article within the scientific literature. Once verified, peers will be open to vote on multiple entries.
The winners for each prize will be those with the highest number of peer votes at the close of the voting period. The final leaderboard will be finalised and showcased on the site. The site will be archived to allow open discovery by anyone in order to continue to drive knowledge exchange each year. Prize funds will be transferred to their host institution for their use. There are no restrictions on how the funds can be used via their institution.