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Education Medal

The award was proposed as an initiative of the Physics Education Group at the 2000 AIP Congress in Adelaide.

The Education Medal is awarded biennually to recognise an outstanding contribution by an AIP member to university physics education in Australia.

The Award consists of a medal, a certificate, and one year membership of the AIP.  The award will be presented to the winner at the AIP Congress in the year of the award.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominee has not previously been the recipient of the Education Medal.
  • Nominee must be nominated by a Proposer who is an AIP member and can testify to the nominee’s contributions.
  • The nominee, if successful, must be prepared to write an article related to the work for which the award was presented that will be published in Australian Physics and present an invited talk at the next AIP Congress.

Nomination Process

Completion of the Education Medal Nomination form This nomination form requires the nominee to provide:

  • a one sentence citation capturing the nature of the work, as well as a longer citation (no more than 300 words) that briefly summarises the nominee’s contribution in relation to the award application. This is to be written for a scientifically literate lay person; this will be used for promotion/certificates if the nominee is successful;
  • three referees who have the appropriate expertise to offer a critical appraisal of the nominee’s achievements;
  • a brief curriculum vitae covering personal details, academic and professional qualifications, outline of career history, honours and distinguished awards (a full CV is not necessary);
  • a list of publications relevant to the achievements on which the application is based. Where heavy reliance is placed upon material not reasonably available, a copy of this material may also be submitted.

Assessment Criteria

The nominee must have made a significant contribution to physics education.  This will be assessed by one or more the following:

  • Research into the theory and practice of learning physics and the development of means of presenting concepts to students to improve their learning outcomes.
  • Development of practices to enhance the quality of physics teaching and the implementation of these practices.
  • Development of apparatus for teaching laboratories and lecture demonstrations to teach important principles of physics and stimulate interest in physics.
  • The significance of contributions to physics programs in schools, universities or national education systems.
  • The level of creativity and innovation exhibited in the contributions.
The committee will seek to judge equitably between contributions which focus on first year physics and those which focus on higher years.

Further Information

Nominations close: April 15 in the nomination year

A call for nominations will be made in Australian Physics.  

Nominations should be emailed to

Only one Medal will be awarded in each round.

Previous Winners

  • 2022 Dr John E Debs, Australian National University
  • 2020 Associate Professor Elizabeth Angstmann, University of New South Wales
  • 2018 Dr Maria B Parappilly, Flinders University
  • 2016 Dr Margaret J Wegener, University of Queensland
  • 2014 Professor Les Kirkup, University of Technology, Sydney
  • 2012 Associate Professor Manjula Sharma, University of Sydney
  • 2010 Professor Joe Wolfe, UNSW
  • 2008 Dr Judith M Pollard, University of Adelaide
  • 2006 No Medal Awarded
  • 2004 Professor Marjan G Zadnik, Curtin University

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