Entries now open for the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize

11 February 2021

Queensland women who make an outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths are invited to take part in the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize.

Entries are now open for the state-wide competition, which is presented by Queensland Museum Network and Queensland Government and provides $15,000 to women working in STEM careers whose practice has the potential to benefit Queensland.

In 2020, the winners included Samantha Nixon, Toni Hay and Denuja Karunakaran whose work ranged from creating antiparasitic drugs from spider venom to using genetic markers to combat obesity, and applying traditional knowledge to inform climate change adaptation plans.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said entries to the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize would open on 11 February in celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science and the winners would be announced in July 2021.

“Queensland Museum is proud to once again be part of the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize and help inspire more women to undertake a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM),” Dr Thompson said.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the competition highlighted the creativity and dedication of Queensland’s female scientists.

“These annual awards continue to attract a high calibre of successful entrants, and it is inspiring to see the work of these amazing women each and every year,” Minister Enoch said.

“The awards show how creative thinking can make a real difference in tackling modern social challenges.”

Previous winners are feeding the world through sustainable livestock production; establishing new manufacturing industries and advancing medical science through drug discovery and improved understanding of immune responses.

Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said it was fitting to open the awards on a day when the United Nations is calling for people recognise the critical role of women researchers, and to acknowledge the significant negative impact of both the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic gender disparities on women scientists.

“The benefits of diverse and inclusive workplaces are undeniable, so I am pleased the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize now offers an Inclusion Award, to recognise the many and varied successful women in STEM who will become role models and provide inspiration for current and future generations,” Minister Fentiman said.

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon said the Queensland Government was committed to attracting more women into science careers and support those women who are already working in STEM careers to reach their full potential.

“New perspectives and ideas are crucial for driving innovation and change, particularly in science, and when you open up STEM careers to everyone, more opportunities will arise,” Minister Scanlon said.

Programs like the Queensland Women in STEM Prize are crucial for showcasing women in science, highlighting their achievements and encouraging young girls to pursue a STEM career.”

Entries for the Queensland Women in STEM Prize are open to early to mid-career women and students working in STEM careers.

Prizes are awarded across three categories:

  • Judges’ Award, valued at $5,000, awarded to the most meritorious applicant
  • Inclusion Award, valued at $5,000, awarded to the most meritorious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicant, applicant with a disability, or applicant who is a carer.
  • Up to $5,000 in Highly Commended Award(s) considered to be a meritorious applicant, as determined by the judges.

Applications for the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize close at 4pm, 9 April 2021, and are to be submitted online https://qwisp.brightidea.com/

Media enquiries:

Christine Robertson  0417 741 710
Kylie Hay  0434 565 852