Australian and New Zealand
Optical Society    

The Australian Optical Society Postgraduate Student Prize is to recognise outstanding PhD students’ contribution to the field of optics and photonics. Through this prize The Australian Optical Society wishes to encourage participation in national and international conferences by postgraduate students recipients of this award, The prize is to be used as a grant for conference travel valued at up to $1500.

Selection criteria for the award

  1. The applicant and their supervisor must be a member of the Australian Optical Society;
  2. The applicant must be enrolled in a postgraduate research degree, with a project in optics or a related area. Non-members of the AOS may join the Society concurrently with their application for the prize. (If there is more than one supervisor, at least one must be a member of the AOS.)  The prize cannot be awarded more than once to any individual.

An applicant must be sufficiently advanced in the research project to have obtained significant results in optics or a related area, which are suitable for presentation at the proposed conference. Preference will be given to applicants who intend to use the prize to attend a major conference outside Australia and New Zealand. The successful applicant will be expected to write a summary of the conference for AOS News.

It is not essential that the results to be presented should have been accepted for the proposed conference at the time of application, but no payment of the prize will be made until evidence of such acceptance is provided to the Society. Applicants should provide an outline of their results to be presented (for example, a submitted conference paper) and should explain the benefits that would arise from their attendance at that conference.

The AOS award may not cover the full cost of the applicant's attendance at the proposed conference. Applicants should identify any sources of additional funding for their travel costs, and provide evidence of such support (for example, in the supervisor's letter of recommendation). Students with no identifiable supplementary travel support will not be disadvantaged in the selection process.

Since the research supervisor's report is a major factor in the assessment process, supervisors should be prepared to rank their students against the selection criteria if contacted by the selection committee.

The nomination should include

  1. Curriculum vitae;
  2. List of publications, conference papers, theses, reports, etc.;
  3. Details of the postgraduate research project;
  4. Details of the proposed conference (including its status and relevance to optics);
  5. Details of participation in the conference (nature of contribution as specified above);
  6. Details of predicted expenses, as well as other (probable or confirmed) sources of funding for attendance at the conference;
  7. Reports from the candidate's research supervisor and one other referee;
  8. A statement that the candidate is a citizen or permanent resident of Australia/New Zealand or is enrolled in a postgraduate degree in AUS/NZ;
  9. Statement of an agreement to write a summary of the conference for AOS News.


     Previous winners of the Postgraduate Student Prize:

  • 2019: Gayathri Bharathan - Macquarie University and Kai Wang - Australian National University
  • 2018: Rocio Camacho Morales - Australian National University
  • 2017: Litty Thekkekara - RMIT University
  • 2016: Dhruv Saxena - Australian National University
  • 2015: Katie Chong - Australian National University
  • 2014: Matthew Collins - The University of Sydney
  • 2013: Michael Taylor - The University of Queensland
  • 2011: Robert Williams - Macquarie University
  • 2010: Sebastian Saliba - University of Melbourne
  • 2009: Stephen Christopher Warren-Smith - University of Adelaide
  • 2008: Michael Jones - Queensland University of Technology
  • 2007: Felicity Cox - University of Sydney
  • 2006: Kristy C. Vernon - Queensland University of Technology
  • 2005: Aidan Brooks - Adelaide University
  • 2004: Ilya Shadrivov - Australian National University and  Thomas White - The University of Sydney
  • 2003: Joseph Hope - Australian National University
  • 2002: Luke Maquire - University of Melbourne
  • 2001: Winfried Hensinger - University of Queensland
  • 2000: Saiedeh Saghafi - Macquarie University
  • 1999: Daniel Day - Victoria University
  • 1998: Marlies Fiese - University of Queensland and Justin Blows - Macquarie University
  • 1997: Tanya Monro - The University of Sydney
  • 1996: Andrew White - The Australian National University
  • 1995: David Balaic - University of Melbourne
  • 1994: Howard Wiseman - University of Queensland
  • 1993: Duncan Butler - University of Melbourne
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