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Jun 16, 2016 3:31 PM ET

Archived: CENTENARY INSTITUTE LAWRENCE CREATIVE PRIZE 2016 recognises bold young researchers who are taking the risks to ask the big questions of today – those questions that have most people saying “but that’s impossible”

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 16, 2016







The Centenary Institute’s Lawrence Creative Prize recognises bold young researchers who are taking the risks to ask the big questions of today – those questions that have most people saying “but that’s impossible”.  The Prize focuses on creativity -the essential ingredient in all human endeavour, whether in science, art or marketing. It will be presented to the Medical research scientist based in Australia who demonstrates the greatest creativity in their scientific approach in a given year. Over 100,000 people engaged & participated in last years Prize making it the largest and most prestigious national research prize for young biomedical researchers in Australia.
The Prizes are awarded based on an international judging panel of top medical researchers.  The overall winner receives a perpetual Nick Mount hand blown glass trophy, along with a cash component of $25,000. The runner-up and 3rd prize winners are awarded $5,000 to continue to develop their research. This is one of the most prestigious prizes for young early career researchers in Australia. Given last years successful introduction of a ‘Peoples Choice Award’ where 4635 votes were registered, we are excited to continue to offer a People’s Choice category that allows young researchers to better showcase their work using a short video, allowing them to directly engage with the wider community for their support.


Winners of this award are selected by a top panel of international experts in medicine

Amount Ranking Vote Type
$25000 1 Judge
$5000 2 Judge
$5000 2 Judge


The winner is chosen by an open vote from the community

Amount Ranking Vote Type
$1000 1 Member




Who can enter?
  • Applicants may be a citizen of another country provided their research has been substantially carried out in Australia.
  • Applicants may be from any institute, university or educational institution in Australia.
  • Applicants must have received their PhD on or after 1 January 2009. In the case of medical graduates, the time from beginning a substantial research career will be counted.
The scope of the Prize includes biomedical research in its broadest definitions, including basic and trans-disciplinary research.
How to Enter?
 Click ‘Apply’ to enter which will take you through the online process, which includes: 
  1. Summary and description of your research project/discovery with emphasis on why it is creative / innovative and it’s current uptake/status. 
  2. Optional video up to 5 minutes long that provides a summary of you and your general research for a wider audience.  
  • Please click here to download a short form to answer a few questions that will be viewed by judges only.
  • You can also include one-page letter from a supervisor/colleague in support of your application that will be viewed by judges only.
Those documents can be uploaded into the attachments section of your entry. You have the option to make these documents privately accessible only by the judges.
Closing Date for Applications
5 August 2016
Judging Process
All applications will be judged by members of the Centenary Institute Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) according to the assessment criteria.  
The overall winners of Lawrence Creative Prize will be judged solely by an international group of esteemed adjudicators including:
  • Professor Sir Marc Feldmann – Head, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford UK
  • Prof Ian Frazer AO – CEO & Director of Research, Translational Research Institute, Queensland AUS
  • Prof Michael Good AO – Institute of Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland AUS
  • Prof Sussan Nourshargh – Professor of Microvascular Pharmacology, Head, Centre for Microvascular Research
  • Prof Michael Parker – Associate Director, Biota Structural Biology Laboratory, St Vincent’s Institute, Victoria AUS
  • Prof Mathew Vadas AO – Executive Director, Centenary Institute, NSW AUS
  • Prof Jane Visvader – The Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium Laboratory, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Victoria AUS
The criteria for success are:
  • How innovative the project outlined in the application is;
  • The degree to which its veracity/utility has been tested; and
  • A single supporting letter from a knowledgeable, independent colleague will be taken into account.
The judging panel decision will be final and no further correspondence will be entered in to.
People’s Choice Award – OPEN PUBLIC VOTE
Our People’s Choice Award allows entrants deeper engagement with the public to learn, vote and support their important research.  Short video summaries introducing themselves and their work provides the avenue for sharing and engaging with the wider public.  The people’s choice winner will win a $1000 prize and awarded to the entry based on total number of votes from other scientists and the general public. Voting will open on 5 August 2016 and will close 19 August 2016.
The four winners are required to:
  • Be in Sydney for the Prize announcement event to be held Thursday 1 September 2016. The costs associated with travel to Sydney will be borne by the Prize organisers;
  • Participate in press interviews, photography and filming (if necessary) prior to, on the day of, and following the announcement of the winner;
  • Make themselves available for promotional and corporate appearances directly associated with the Prize, subject to reasonable notice being provided by the Prize organisers; and
  • Advise the Prize organisers or their media representatives of any direct media or public relations requests to them, and not enter into media interviews specifically regarding the Prize without prior approval of the Prize organisers or their media representatives.


What is the Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize?
The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize (CILCP) is an exciting initiative that promotes medical research in Australia and is committed to encouraging a domestic culture of excellence in the field of biomedical research. It’s an unfortunate reality in research that many researchers can’t follow through on their creative ideas, passions or curiosity because of a lack of funding. But it’s those ‘seemingly crazy’ ideas that often have unexpectedly important results.
The Prize is positioned as the premier prize for recognition of spirited young post doctoral scientists tackling the big and bold questions in biomedical research in Australia and is awarded for creative biomedical research excellence in its broadest definition, including trans-disciplinary research. In its fifth year, the prize has become highly valued in the medical research community and is made possible only with the generous support of sponsors and donors who believe in recognising the brilliance of young researchers.
The award was created in honour of Neil Lawrence, the inaugural Chairman of The Centenary Institute Medical Research Foundation. As the Executive Creative Director of STW his own work combines creative flair with a deep understanding of highly complex strategic, political and corporate issues. Neil, his wife Caroline and his family hold Centenary very near to their hearts, and are all passionate about advancing the field of medical research further within Centenary.
About Neil Lawrence
Why the Centenary Institute “Lawrence” Creative Prize? 
Neil Lawrence, Founder of Lawrence Creative Strategy and Executive Creative Director of STW Group – Australia’s largest communications group – was the Inaugural Chair and was instrumental in the establishment of the Centenary Institute Medical Research Foundation. He is also a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Neil has worked ceaselessly towards the Foundation’s successes, creating an annual fundraising dinner and art sale – the Foundation’s largest individual fundraising event, now in it’s fourth year and responsible for funding the Institute’s Bioinformatics team. He also created and produced a prominent national advertising campaign and created the rebranding for the Institute.
Neil’s reputation in the creative sphere is global: he has represented Australia internationally as the Chairman of Judges at International film and advertising awards and The Australian awarded him Marketer of the Year for running the Kevin07 ad campaign. Since then, he’s run and won campaigns for Australia’s first directly elected woman Premier Anna Bligh and for the Minerals Council of Australia.
His work combines creative flair with a deep understanding of highly complex, strategic political and corporate issues. One of his various probono campaigns recently was the launch of indigenous nonprofit group GenerationOne whose goal is to end the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in one generation. He writes regular columns analysing campaign strategy for The Australian and has appeared on the ABC TV series Gruen Nation and The Drum, focusing on political campaigns. Neil likes boxing, surfing, playing bluegrass guitar “quite badly” and wandering in the rainforest at the family retreat near Jamberoo.
The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize focuses on creativity -the essential ingredient in all human endeavour, whether in science, art or marketing. It will be presented to the Medical research scientist who demonstrates the greatest creativity in their scientific approach in a given year.
“It’s a small step towards recognising that the most creative medical research is usually done by researchers early in their career – at a time when it’s hardest for them to secure funding. As a nation we should do more to identify and support our best young researchers. We will be richer for it.”
Neil Lawrence
Testimonials for the Prize
Director of WEHI, Professor Doug Hilton, BSc Monash BSc(Hons) PhD Melbourne FAA FTSE
The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize is a wonderful initiative to award early career medical researchers who are embarking on their independent program. At a time where they haven’t built up the track record to compete with established, senior researchers, recognizing their creativity and innovation with the Lawrence Creative Prize not only offers them financial support but also boosts their profile, giving them a competitive advantage when applying for research funding. I urge Australians and sponsors alike to get behind the Lawrence Creative Prize. You will be supporting our young scientists who have the brilliance to think of new ideas and the courage to test them out, in their common quest to advance our knowledge of the diseases affecting today’s society. Better understanding means better diagnosis, better treatment and better health for the whole nation. Let us all contribute to shaping the future of medical research in Australia‘.
Executive Director of Garvan Institute of Medical Research, John Mattick AO FAA FRCPA(Hon)
“I am writing to say how influential and important the Centenary Lawrence Creative prize has become for young investigators in Australian biomedical research. The Centenary Institute is to be congratulated for this initiative, which has brought it great credit and great publicity.  It is quickly becoming the premier prize for emerging investigators across Australia and, most importantly, rewards and encourages the beautiful and essential intersection between creativity, logic and achievement in science. I very much hope it will continue, and thank you on behalf of the community”.
Nobel Prize-winning immunologist, Professor Rolf Zinkernagel enthusiastically endorses the prize:
“Typically it is early in their careers that scientists are at their most creative. It’s as PhD students and post-doctoral fellows that they generate the ideas that set the pattern of their studies to come. I should know. My collaboration with Peter Doherty that led to our joint Nobel Prize began as a post-doctoral fellow in Canberra.
But because early career researchers have no track record, support from the established funding bodies is hard to come by. So I’m heartened to see a Prize whose purpose is to encourage Australia’s best young biomedical researchers to express their creativity. And it just might encourage them to stay in Australia and build their careers here.”
Prof. Charles R. Mackay  FAA, Monash University, AUS:
“The Centenary Institute creativity prize inspires both young and old and brings enormous kudos to the recipients, and to the host institution that generously provides this prize – it recognises Australia’s next superstars in the making.”
How do I create a research video? 
Please see the Thinkable guide that helps researchers create an engaging research video.  The easiest way is to contact your university or organisation’s media department who can help in producing and creating your research video. 
Who can I contact to ask more questions?
Serena Stewart, Marketing and Fund-raising director at the Centenary Institute: s.stewart@centenary.org.au
Contact Information:

Neil Lawrence

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