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How to nominate

How to nominate a person or team for the Rutherford Medal.


When awarding a Rutherford Medal, the Royal Society Te Apārangi will consider people, or teams, of distinction who are held in high public esteem in New Zealand. They will have demonstrated more than purely intellectual achievement within their discipline. Their contributions will have been recognised internationally as significantly advancing understanding of the field. Medallists will also have made a substantial contribution in New Zealand to the advancement and promotion of public awareness, knowledge and understanding of their field, and undertaken public service within their research, scholarly or innovation community and/or the wider community.

Please note that this medal is open to nominations for a team as well as for an individual. No more than four contributors can be named as team leaders but the contribution of others may be acknowledged.

The successful recipient(s) will be required to take part in a national public programme in the year following the award.

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


Nominations may be made by any person, other than the nominee. The Royal Society Te Apārangi's Academy Executive Committee reserves the right to decline any nomination.

Any person, or team, may be nominated as long as they meet the requirements in accordance with the guidelines. Nominees will normally be expected to be living and working in New Zealand, but people living overseas with strong New Zealand connections, either personally or through their work, will also be eligible.

An online Nomination must be completed. 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. When seeking to apply for a team nomination, Nominators should indicate that they should be sent a team nomination URL.

Nominations are to include one set of the following:

  • One sentence citation of not more than 25 words, describing the achievement, which may be used for publicity purposes;
  • Nomination summary of not more than 100 words, that clearly explains their research/contribution to the understanding of their field to a non-specialist;
  • Nomination statement of no more than 1000 words giving details of the exceptional contributions to the advancement and promotion of public awareness, knowledge and understanding in addition to eminent research or technological practice;
  • Supporting documents
    • Curriculum vitae(s) of nominee/team leaders (up to four);
    • Collated key evidence (e.g. key publications or other evidence of advancing understanding of the field, and public service);
    • Two references (to be arranged by the nominator), at least one from outside the nominee/team’s institution.

Please note:

  1. The Nominee section for team applications, should include the team name. CVs of up to four team leaders may be included with the nomination. The Nomination Statement should make clear the contributions of the team leaders to the success of the team.
  2. Publications should include the names of all authors (Initials and Surname) and the full title of the journal in which a paper is published. Abbreviations should not be used.