Australian and New Zealand
Optical Society    

This Prize recognizes an outstanding early career researcher* for their contribution to the field of optics. The prize is A$1500, awarded annually, and includes an invitation to give an extended presentation at the annual AOS conference. The winner of this prize will also write an article for AOS News.

An application consists of a one-page description of the researcher's career and research since completing their PhD. The one-page description should present the research in an accessible way to readers within optics, but outside the specific area of the applicant, and should convey the researcher’s approach to their research, rather than simply providing a list of achievements. A list of the applicant’s refereed journal or conference publications in the past 5 years should be attached separately. Publications must be accepted, not just submitted, and must include acceptance dates for any not yet published. Two confidential references are required for each application, one from the direct supervisor and one from an individual familiar with the applicant’s research, but outside the applicant’s institution. In each reference, the referees are asked to address the criteria for the award listed below. (Applicants should provide contact details for the referees in their applications, and request that the referees send their references directly to the AOS Secretary.)

The Prize is judged by a committee appointed by the AOS Council. Applicants must be members of AOS. The winner of the prize would be expected to present a talk at the AOS meeting at the end of that year. The award need not be made in a given year if the Prize Committee so chooses.

Selection criteria for the award

  1. Quality of the applicant’s research in the field of Optics
  2. Degree of independence shown in research
  3. Evidence of applicant’s contribution to the Optics community in Australian and/or New Zealand, including outreach and public engagement.

The nominations should include

  1. Nomination / Reference 1 from nominator
  2. Reference 2 outside of the home institution
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. 1-page narrative
  5. Publication list


* Early Career Researchers are defined for this purpose as being within 5 years of completion of their PhD (as defined by graduation date). If there are reasons for a career delay (such as family responsibilities) then these should be explained in an addendum to the application and certified by an appropriate person such as the direct supervisor.


     Previous winners of the AOS Geoff Opat Early Career Researcher Prize:

  • 2019: Dr Jiawen Li - University of Adelaide and Dr Ke Wang, RMIT University
  • 2018: Dr Mohsen Rahmani -  Australian National University
  • 2017: Dr Sergey Kruk -  Australian National University
  • 2016: Dr Andrea Blanco Redondo - University of Sydney
  • 2015: Dr Marcus Doherty - Australian National University
  • 2014: Dr Jochen Schroeder - University of Sydney
  • 2013: Dr Igor Aharonovich - The University of Technology Sydney
  • 2012: Dr Nathan Langford - The University of Queensland
  • 2011: Dr Thomas White - The University of Sydney
  • 2010: Dr Alexander Argyros - The University of Sydney
  • 2009: Dr Ilya Shadrivov - The Australian National University
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