ASPS Education and Outreach Award

 Applications for the ASPS Education and Outreach Award should be lodged with the Honorary Secretary, ASPS Inc.

Applications for the 2024 ASPS Education and Outreach Award are now open.

The closing date for the 2024 award has been extended to 28th April 2024.

Nominations are invited for this Award every year. The application procedure is given below, together with candidate eligibility and prerequisites to follow in making a submission.

The Award

1. This award may be made for outstanding contributions to either:

    1. Sustained excellence and innovation in teaching which improves learning outcomes of students studying plant science at University level, and/or
    2. Excellence in areas of community education and outreach which enhances engagement in the role plant science and scientists play in society
  1. The award will be made on the demonstration and evidence of excellence, innovation and/or contributions to the teaching of plant science to undergraduate students, masters students or community education and outreach.
  2. The teaching or outreach activities may be in any discipline of plant science.
  3. The award will be for teaching within an Australian institution or a community education/outreach program within Australia.
  4. The award will be made at yearly intervals and only when a suitable candidate is nominated.


  1. The candidate or team must be members of ASPS Inc.
  2. No age restriction will apply to the award.
  3. Candidates are not restricted as to the number of occasions on which they apply for the award or are given the award.
  4. The candidate may be a sole educator or a team of educators.

Application Procedure

Each application shall include the following files:

  1. Letters of support: one page letter of support from one colleagues or supervisor familiar with the education or outreach contribution of the candidate(s).
  2. Report: A one-page report by the candidate outlining the basis for the application. This must include reasons why the candidate or team is considered to be an excellent and innovative University educator or outreach educator in the field of plant science.
  3. Evidence: A one-page document detailing how the candidates(s) innovations or programs have enhanced student learning or community engagement.
  4. Supporting documentation (optional): where applicable, supporting documentation such as a teaching portfolio, interactive computer exercises, innovative laboratory practical exercises, handouts to students, or student assessment of teaching practices, outreach progrm details, scope and bredth of impact of outreach activities should be attached.
  5. Submission: Electronic applications for the Education and Outreach Award should be emailed to the Honorary Secretary, ASPS Inc. ( File pages should be numbered and Arial font size 11 is preferred.


Evaluation of the application

The Award will be granted by the Society on the recommendation of its Committee chaired by the ASPS Plant Science Education Representative and comprising one of the Postgraduate Student Representatives and at least one co-opted Discipline Representative with a strong background in undergraduate teaching. In cases where more than one candidate receives a strong recommendation, the president or Secretary will decide on the Award based on the advice received.

Successful Candidates

  1. The winner(s) will be invited by the Society to give a short presentation on their teaching methods, innovations or contributions at the annual ComBio conference.
  2. The winner(s) will receive a certificate and the amount of AUD$700 prize money, and full registration for the team leader or nominated presenter for ComBio or ASPS meeting in order for them to present a talk in the Teaching Symposium.
  3. The winner(s) will be required to provide a description of their work in the next 60 days after the award is granted. This presentation will be posted at the “Teaching” section of the site for it to be made available to other plant science educators. This presentation (up to 3 pages long) should be sent to the ASPS Teaching Representative as a Word document and photos should be provided separately as “png” files. Other material, such as videos or additional URL, is also welcome.


Past Recipients

       1997 Dennis Bittisnich, Australian National University
1998 Acram Taji, University of New England
1999 Grahame Kelly, Queensland University of Technology
2000 Julie Plummer, University of Western Australia
2001 Janet Gorst, Queensland Department of Primary Industry
2002 Sharon Robinson, University of Wollongong
2003 Brian Atwell, Macquarie University
2004 Tim Colmer, University of Western Australia
2005 Martha Ludwig, University of Western Australia
2006 John Harper, Roger Mandel & Geoffrey Burrows, Charles Sturt University
2009 Amanda Able, University of Adelaide: Learning in Action
2010 Tim Cavagnaro, Patrick Baker, Martin Burd, Monash University: Innovation and Integration in Botanical Teaching
2011 Gonzalo Martín Estavillo, Australian National University: Plant Detectives
2012 Alex Johnson, University of Melbourne: Engaging students through discussion of GM plants
2013 Danny Liu, University of Sydney: Seeing plants in a new light – engaging large first-year classes in experimental plant science
2014 No award was made
2015 No award was made
2016 No award was made
2017 No award was made
2018 Beth Loveys, University of Adelaide
2019 Sigfredo Fuentes, The University of Melbourne
2020  Hank Greenway, David Turner, Jane Gibbs and Brian Atwell, University of Western Australia: Thought experiment presentation
2021 No award was made
2022 Adelaide University 2021 National Science Week Team
2023 Robert Sharwood, Michelle Donovan-Mak, Jayakumar Bose, David Randall, Jing He, Oula Ghannoum and Zhonghua Chen, Western Sydney University