The Australian Research Data Commons Eureka Prize for Excellence in Research Software is awarded for the development, maintenance or extension of software that has enabled significant new scientific research.

For the purpose of this prize, ‘research software’ refers to software that has been built for, and used predominantly in, the conduct of research. This research can be carried out in a range of domains including, but not limited to, academia, public sector, industry or citizen science.

Eligible software activity includes applications, tools, utilities, frameworks or libraries designed to be broadly used for research purposes. The software activity may be open, or closed source, free or commercially available. It may be available as a service.


Prize

$10,000


Assessment criteria

Entries must specifically address how the software development and maintenance activity (“the software activity”) entered meets the following assessment criteria:


  1. Scope and engagement (40%)

    • Identify the community of software users and describe its breadth and depth.
    • Provide evidence of the uptake and ongoing use of the software, including timeframes (month and year).
    • Explain how the software has been developed for simple, accurate and reproducible use.
  2. Scientific rigour and significance (20%)

    Describe how the software activity adopts robust and relevant research methods, theories and/or models.

  3. Impact and benefit (40%)

    • Describe the impact the software activity has had on a community of users.
    • Describe how this community uses the software to conduct research (academic or otherwise).
    • Describe the economic, societal and/or environmental outcomes enabled by the software activity.

Prize specific conditions of entry

Individuals and teams

This prize is open to individuals and teams if the software development and maintenance activity (“the software activity”) is the result of a collaborative team effort. The team may be a succession of contributors to a software activity over a period. Activity delivered under the direction of one or more project leads is eligible.

For team entries:

  • Comprising of between two and six individuals, the first listed entrant must be the team leader. You must describe the contribution of each individual to the research and explain why the Eureka Prize should be jointly awarded to the listed individuals. This explanation must be included in the ‘activity summary.’
  • Comprising of more than six individuals, the listed entrant must be the team leader and they must enter under a team name. They are required to briefly describe the composition of the team and explain why the Eureka Prize should be jointly awarded to a team of more than six individuals. This explanation must be included in the ‘activity summary.’

Citizenship

  • For an individual entry, the entrant must be either an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
  • For team entries comprising of between two and six individuals, the team leader must be either an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident. Members of the team do not have to fulfil this requirement.
  • For team entries comprising of more than six individuals, the team leader must be either an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident. Members of the team do not have to fulfil this requirement.

Activity location

Activity entered for this prize must have taken place in or been led from Australia, as defined in the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Terms and Conditions.


Published article

The software activity entered for this prize must have been specifically referenced in at least one peer-reviewed article (i.e., published in a scientific journal or similar).


Timeframe

The software entered for this prize must have been available to users for a minimum of three years prior to the Entry Deadline. Specifically:

  • The software development activity entered for this prize must have been undertaken more than three years prior to the Entry Deadline. The development activity can either be focused on a release or version of the software, or a specific contribution to a large multi-contributor project.
  • Software development in the three years prior to the Entry Deadline will not be considered.
  • The software maintenance activity entered for this prize may have taken place after the entered development activity. The entry must include reference to maintenance activity that has taken place within three years prior to the Entry Deadline and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to maintenance of the software.
  • Evidence of the use and impact of the software on research outcomes can be focused on any period after the nominated development activity.

Category specific conditions of entry – Research & Innovation prizes

Entrants can either enter themselves or be nominated by another person. If an entrant is nominated it is important that they provide input to the documentation supporting their nomination.

The activity entered or nominated for this prize may not be entered or nominated for another Australian Museum Eureka Prize in the same year.

Activity that has been awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Prize in the past cannot be entered again.

In addition to the prize and category specific conditions of entry, all entrants need to comply with the General Terms and Conditions of Entry.


Entry materials

Each entry must include the following information. All information provided will be used by the judging panel to assess the activity entered against the assessment criteria.


  1. Activity summary

    [Activity summary must be prepared using the template provided. Two pages (maximum)].

    A statement by the nominator or entrant that provides an overview of the software development and maintenance activity (“the software activity”).

    Download activity summary template (.docx or .pdf format)

  2. Response to assessment criteria

    [Response to assessment criteria must be prepared using the template provided. Two pages (maximum)].

    A statement by the nominator or entrant on how the software activity entered addresses each of the assessment criterion. Key dates (month and year) must be included to demonstrate that the development activity entered has been undertaken more than three years prior to the Entry Deadline and that maintenance activity is ongoing (even if not undertaken by entrants).

    Download assessment criteria template (.docx or .pdf format)

  3. Assessor report

    [Report must be prepared using the template provided. Two pages (maximum)].

    One report from an assessor on how the software activity addresses each of the assessment criterion. Judges rely on assessor reports to provide an additional perspective and informed opinion on the activity entered, therefore the assessor should not be personally or directly involved in the development or maintenance of the software. The assessor does not need to be an active user of the software. The assessor and testimonial writers should be selected from a variety of different organisations. The report must be prepared using the template provided.

    Download assessor report template (.docx or .pdf format)

  4. Testimonials

    [Testimonials must be prepared using the template provided. Two pages (maximum)].

    Two personal testimonials from experienced users of the software. Judges rely on testimonials to provide an additional perspective and informed opinion on the software activity entered, therefore the testimonials must be prepared by users. They may not come from an individual who has solely observed use of the software. The assessor and testimonial writers should be selected from a variety of different organisations. Testimonials must be prepared using the template provided.

    Download testimonial template (.docx or .pdf format)

  5. Evidence

    Upload three pieces of evidence to demonstrate the successful use of the software in the conduct of research. This evidence should directly relate to the nominated software development and maintenance activity. You must provide a brief statement explaining how the selected evidence relates to the activity, which will be collected in the online entry form.

    • At least one piece of evidence must be an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal (or similar).
    • Other forms of evidence may include media articles, blog posts, grant applications or other written materials referencing use of the software.

How to Enter

  • Review prize information.
  • Register an account.
  • Start online entry form from 12 February 2024 (save it in-progress).
  • Submit online entry form, including entry materials listed above, by the Entry Deadline, 7pm AEST Friday 12 April 2024. Late entries will not be accepted.


Contact the Eureka Prizes team