Inaugural winners of the Peer Prize for Women in Science

To be a catalyst for inspiring women researchers in Australia, we were very excited to host the the inaugural Peer Prize for women in science, supported by the Sun Foundation. It was the first time we had hosted a Peer model to award winners and we didn’t know what to expect. Here’s what happened…

Over a 4-week period, we received 40 inspiring research entries from across Australia. Although a video was not mandatory, most researchers took the time to create engaging video summaries about their research. Here’s a great example from Dr Kimberley Beaumont’s melanoma research at the Centenary Institute.

Australian entrants, global impact

The Peer Prize model allows individuals, local societies and organisations to drive global impact. After a 10 day researcher verification and voting period, we had over 50,000 unique views & 1,474 of some the world’s top researchers from 250 different research organisations across the world vote on the awards.

Multi-disciplinary collaboration

Peer prizes allow research organisations to drive global learning & collaboration across fields in order to facilitate new ideas and pathways for research projects. Of the 1,474 verified researchers that voted, some 125 different fields were represented. Our most representative fields were Marine Ecology/Biology (205), Cell Biology (202), Ecology (133), Genetics (122), Engineering (106), Immunology (89) & Oceanography (88).

Top-5 for the Life Science Prize

We were amazed at the level of peer support during the voting period with 37 peers voting on average for each entry. Congratulations to everyone — here are the top 5 entries with each receiving 50 or more from top researchers across the world!

1st with 224 votes

Dr Mirana Ramialison of Monash University

2nd with 194 votes

Dr Shyuan Ngo of University of Queensland

3rd with 107 votes

Dr Fatemeh Vafaee of the University of Sydney

4th with 96 votes

Dr Najoua Lalaoui & Dr Gabriela Brumatti (SMACing Cancer team )from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

5th with 80 votes

Dr Sandra Nicholson & Natural killers team from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Top-5 of the Earth, Environmental & Space Science Prize

1st with 183 votes

Team Squidlings from the University of Adelaide

2nd with 166 votes

Team Ecol4x from James Cook University & University of Technology Sydney

3rd with 64 votes

Dr Kirsty Nash from University of Tasmania

4th with 63 votes

Team Ice Queens from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Tasmania

5th with 49 votes

Dr Jacqueline Halpin from the University of Tasmania

We thank everyone for being involved and congratulations to the winners! Being a completely new concept coupled with the overwhelming response from new researchers wanting to be part of it proved challenging during the voting process, since we had to manually verify researchers before they could vote in the Peer Prize. We have learnt alot from our first Peer Prize and wanted to thank everyone for their patience as we verified researchers. I also want to thank our volunteers (Joe & Nat) for helping too.

Manual verification assures fairness & quality but can be frustrating for those who tried & couldn’t take part in this inaugural Peer Prize. We are very keen to hear ideas from the community on how to make the verification process more streamlined as we launch new Peer Prize awards for labs, societies and organisations across the world. If you have any suggestions please send through your ideas to


Dr Ben McNeil

Chief Scientist,

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