The Paul Bourke Awards for Early Career Research
The Paul Bourke Awards for Early Career Research honour Australians in the early part of their career who have
achieved excellence in scholarship in one or more fields of the social sciences.
About the Awards
The Paul Bourke Awards for Early Career Research are named in honour of the Academy’s past president Paul Francis Bourke (1938–1999) who was a product of the History school at the University of Melbourne and went on to become one of the first Australian historians to obtain American style doctoral training.
Whilst at Flinders University, he served as Professor of American Studies and also as Pro-Vice Chancellor. From Flinders University, he went on to become the Director of the RSSS at ANU and also served as the President of ASSA (1993-1997). Amongst scholars, the contribution Paul made to the field of performance measurement is considered to be invaluable.
Four Paul Bourke Award recipients are selected each year by members of the Academy’s Panel Committees. It is the intention of the Academy that the awards are presented to social science researchers who, at the time of nomination, do not yet hold an Associate Professor or Professorial appointment and who are normally within five years of receiving their doctorate (with allowances for career interruptions).
The Awards comprise a Citation and Medallion presented to each recipient. With the agreement of the recipients’ home universities, a jointly-sponsored lecture by each recipient is also arranged for delivery during the following year. The recipients are also asked to contribute to media and promotion of their Award and their research by the Academy.
Nominations for the 2023 Paul Bourke Awards are now CLOSED. Nominations for 2024 will open in May 2024.
Nominations must be submitted via one of the two online nomination portals:
Anyone can submit a nomination however each nomination must be supported by two Academy Fellows: one named as proposer and one as seconder. The proposer and seconder may choose to complete and submit the nomination, or it can be completed by someone else, including the nominee. The Nomination also requires:
- A nomination form setting out the case for the nominated scholar.
- The name, position and email address of two referees who have agreed to provide a referee’s report in support of the nomination by the due date. Referees should be scholars in the nominee’s field of study. Referees need not be Fellows of the Academy.
- A full CV for the nominee.
Upon receipt of a nomination, the Academy will contact the referees via email to request a referee report. The referee reports must be submitted by the referees via the nomination portal by 14 August to be considered by the Academy. If the referee reports are not received by this date, the nomination may not be able to be considered for the award.
- Nominations will open in May and must be submitted by 31 July.
- Referees must submit their referee’s report via the nomination portal by 14 August.
- Panel Committees review nominations in September.
- Nominees and nominators are advised of the outcome in October
- Each of the four Award recipients are presented with a testamur and medallion at the Academy’s Annual Dinner (typically November).
Assessment of Nominations
Each eligible nomination received will be assessed by the relevant Academy Panel Committee on the basis of excellence in the social sciences as demonstrated by:
- scholarly publication, especially in leading international journals and/or books published by leading publishers,
- academic prizes, research grants and Fellowships and scholarships,
- presentations at leading national and international conferences,
- contributions to the advancement of public policy in the social sciences.
The disciplines covered by the Panels are as follows:
- Panel A – People, Place, Culture, and Communication: Built Environment & Design, Human Society (including Anthropology, Criminology, Demography, Gender studies, Geography, Policy and administration, Political science, Social Work, Sociology), Indigenous Studies, Language, Communication and Culture
- Panel B – Business & Economics: including Accounting, Commerce, Economics, Human resources and industrial relations, Management, Marketing, Tourism, Statistics
- Panel C – History, Law & Philosophy: History, Law and legal studies, Philosophy
- Panel D – Education, Psychology & Public Health: Education, Health Sciences, Psychology
The Academy reserves the right not to select an award in any given Panel or year.
Nominations will be checked by Academy staff for eligibility prior to assessment by Panel Committees. Eligibility criteria include:
- A PhD in the social sciences, awarded normally not more than five years* prior to the closing date for nominations, excluding any eligible periods of career interruption.
- Australian citizenship or permanent resident status.
- Endorsement by two Academy Fellows as Proposer and Seconder
- The nominated scholar must not have previously won the Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research.
* Scholars are eligible to be nominated within five years of the conferral date of their PhD (as certified by the administering organisation), plus any eligible career interruptions. If a nominee has more than one PhD, the earliest awarded PhD must fall within this timeframe.
Eligible Career Interruptions
The number of years between the conferral date of a PhD and the closing date for nominations is a key element of eligibility for the Paul Bourke Awards for Early Career Research. Scholars are eligible to be nominated within five years of the conferral date of their PhD (as certified by the administering organisation).
The Academy recognises career interruptions can have a significant impact on the period between conferral of a researcher’s PhD and the submission of a nomination. The Academy therefore, allows extension of the eligibility periods for the Paul Bourke Awards for specified career interruptions.
The following significant and non-overlapping career interruptions will be eligible:
|Reason for career interruption
|Time which can be claimed (minimum period of one month)
|Time commensurate with the interruption, not exceeding three months per international relocation.
|Child-care as primary carer (includes periods of parental leave as well as part-time work while caring for one or more children)
|Up to two years per dependent child
|Other caring responsibilities (including care of a dependent child due to illness or disability)
|Time commensurate with the interruption.
|Medical condition or disability
|Time commensurate with the interruption.
|Non-research employment (if not concurrent with research employment) or unemployment
|Time commensurate with the interruption.
Evidence of any career interruptions must be held by the nominator to be produced on request by the Academy, however, it does not need to be submitted with the nomination.
Nominees should provide a percentage or total full-time equivalent (FTE) for interruptions for maternity or parental leave, carer’s responsibilities, illness or disability.
Further Information and Contacts
Download the 2023 Paul Bourke Award Guidelines which include a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
For further enquiries please contact the Academy National Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 6249 1788.
2022: Harry Hobbs, Felix Septianto, Gemma Sharp, Sophie Webber
2021: Michele Barnes, Tim Neal, Laura Rademaker, Nathan Caruana
2020: Kari Lancaster, Sarah Walker, Dylan Lino, Michelle Tye
2019: Elise Klein, David Frazier, Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, Melissa Day
2018: Renee Zahnow, Emma Hutchison, Tamsyn Van Rheenen
2017: Elise Sargeant, Amy King, Mark Humphery-Jenner, Daniel King
2016: Muireann Irish
2015: Philip Batterham
2014: Emma Kowal
2013: Anina Rich
2012: Paul Dux
2011: Linda Graham
2010: Christy Newman
2009: Mark A Bellgrove
2008: Murat Yucel
2007: Jason Sharman
2006: Andrew Leigh, Jennifer Hudson
2005: Thomas Suddendorf
2004: Alex Bellamy
2003: Lisa Maher
2002: Jason B Mattingley
2001: Robert Hill, Kaarin Anstey
2000: Andrea Whittaker
1999: Richard Bryant
1998: Chandran Kukathas
1997: Jeff Borland
1996: Tony Aspromourgos
1995: Kay J Anderson
1994: Debbie Terry
1993: John Quiggin
1992: Robert Cribb
1991: Peter Higgs
1990: Vicki Lee
1989: Gregory Whitwell
1988: Wojciech Sadurski
1987: Richard Fox