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How to nominate

Learn how to nominate someone for the Cooper Award.

How to nominate

Nominations for the Cooper Award may be made by any person, other than the nominee. The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Academy Executive Committee reserves the right to decline any nomination.

Nominations must be loaded onto the Medals and Awards web portal. Please email the Academy (academy@royalsociety.org.nz) if you wish to submit a new nomination and you will be provided with a URL to access the web portal.

Nominations are to include one set of the following:

  • One sentence citation of not more than 25 words, describing the research, which may be used for publicity purposes;
  • Nomination summary of not more than 100 words, that clearly explains the research in their paper to a non-specialist;
  • Nomination statement of no more than 500 words highlighting their paper's contributions to research or innovative work of outstanding merit in the applied sciences, engineering and technology.
  • Supporting documents
    • Curriculum vitae of nominee;
    • Two references (to be arranged by the nominator), at least one from outside the nominee’s institution.
    • Electronic copy of the single piece of work for which the award should be judged. This may be a single book, article, chapter or other paper, another form of scholarly output; or evidence clearly demonstrating impact. If a nominated piece of work is co-authored or multi-authored, please clearly identify the contribution of the candidate and the contributions of other authors.
    • Electronic copy of the letter from the organisation conferring their highest research qualification, stating the nominee has met the requirements for the degree.


  • Nominations will be received for candidates whose highest research qualification, normally (but not necessarily) a PhD, was within 10 years preceding 30 June in the year of the award, from the date of meeting the requirements for the degree. The eligibility period may be extended under the following scenarios:

- Extended sickness leave or part-time employment as a result of ongoing childcare or other care giving responsibilities.

- Eligibility may also be extended to take into account any career interruptions experienced due to being the primary caregiver for young children born since their PhD was awarded. If the applicant is the primary caregiver of a dependent child, the applicant is able to extend the period of eligibility by two years per child. The extension of two years per dependent child is inclusive of any periods of parental leave. There is no maximum identified.

Eligibility extensions must be approved by the Academy Executive Officer.

Note that the nominee must be undertaking substantive and independent research for the first time in their career.

  • The prime criterion for the award will be consideration of a single piece of work arising out of research carried out in New Zealand, subsequent to the award of the highest research qualification. "Carried out in New Zealand” includes work of those who were employed in New Zealand for more than 50% of the time during which they performed the work that is being considered in making the award; and/or all those who were resident in New Zealand during that time.

  • Please list all authors of co-authored papers and give full titles of papers and journals. There may be a case for considering a publication which has not been submitted to the traditional peer review process before the publication. Noting the different nature of publication, of assigning excellence and of peer review in some disciplines, with such a paper please submit an explanation of the review process to which the paper has been subjected.

  • If the paper is co-authored a clear statement should be made of the candidate’s contribution to the research described therein, and the contribution of other authors.

  • A paper “in preparation” or “submitted” will not be considered; however, a paper “in press” for which page proofs are available will be considered.

Please also review general criteria that apply to all Royal Society Te Apārangi medals and awards.