Vice Chancellor’s Prizes for Research

The University has established five prizes to recognize and reward excellence of research achievement in the following categories.

  • Research Impact
  • Best Research Output
  • Student Research
  • Creative Works
  • Innovation

Selection Committees

Three selection committees shall be established to make recommendations to the Vice Chancellor on these awards. The membership of each of the committees shall be appointed by the Senior Management Team (SMT) on the recommendation of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation & International. SMT will determine the chair for each committee.

The three selection committees shall be:

  • Research Performance Committee with responsibility for assessing applications for the Research Impact, Best Research Output and Student Research Prizes
  • Creative Works Committee with responsibility for assessing applications for the Creative Works Prize
  • Innovation Committee with responsibility for assessing applications for the Innovation Prize

Criteria for Membership

  1. Each committee shall have five members, including at least one external member providing independent review. For the Innovation Committee, the external member must be from the industry or private sector, and must have the appropriate technical and practical knowledge and expertise.
  2. Committee members will be chosen for their individual expertise and not represent any section of the university.
  3. The composition of each committee shall reflect the breadth of applications received, and so will only be constituted once applications have been received.
  4. With the exception of the external member of the Creative Works Committee and Innovation Committee, every member of a selection committee must be research-active as defined by the Quality of Research (QoR) policy, and an Associate Professor/Research Fellow or Professor/Senior Research Fellow.
  5. Each selection committee shall make its recommendation(s) consistent with the published selection criteria for each prize having regard to validated data held in the USP repository.
  6. In cases where more than five applications are received for any prize, the local members of a selection committee will determine a shortlist prior to the involvement of any international member.
  7. Members of a selection committee are ineligible for membership of another selection committee.
  8. Members of any selection committee are ineligible for Vice-Chancellor’s Prizes.

The Research Office will be responsible for the administration of the prizes under the direction of the DVC (RI&I).

Prizes

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The Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Research Impact

Purpose

Through this prize the university will provide recognition of outstanding research impact by an individual academic or research group at USP who can demonstrate significant societal impacts of a body of research conducted over the previous 5-10 years.

Eligibility

This prize is open to academics and research groups in the University. For these purposes a ‘research group’ is defined as a group of academics that co-published the original body of research that led to the societal impacts for which the prize is being sought. Only those employed by USP at the time of the award will receive a monetary prize. Members of academic staff should self-nominate for the prize. The research achievements may involve collaborators, including researchers external to the university, but the research must have been led by a current USP researcher who meets the QoR criteria  and >50% of the research must have been undertaken at USP.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will use the following criteria to determine the societal impacts of the research program:

  • Quality and rigor of the underpinning research.
  • The quality of the methods adopted to disseminate the research outputs in a regional context, including regional capacity building where appropriate.
  • The leadership that the applicants have provided for student research training and the breadth of collaborations undertaken by the applicants with USP colleagues and with external researchers.
  • The significance and breadth of the societal impacts of the research in the Pacific region.

Application Procedures

Submission of a completed Research Impact template form, plus supporting statements from not more than three beneficiaries of the research, should address the selection criteria when outlining the research conducted and the outcomes achieved. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such testimonies by the closing date. The selection committee will have regard to validated data held in the USP electronic repository. It should be noted that both standard publications and non-standard outputs (e.g. creative works) that have been evaluated according to current Research Office guidelines may provide evidence of underpinning research.

All documentation must be submitted to the Research Office by the advertised closing date. The closing date for the Vice Chancellor’s Prizes for Research will be at the end of the first week of September. The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact will be awarded only in those years where a submission demonstrating outstanding research impact and addressing all the selection criteria is received.

Conditions of the Prize

The prize will have a value of F$7,000 (non-taxable). It is anticipated that the prize will be presented to the successful applicant at a Research Awards Ceremony. The lead awardee will be expected to deliver the Vice Chancellor’s Research Prize lecture at a suitable event to be held annually to celebrate USP’s research contribution to the region.

The Vice-Chancellor's Prize for the Best Research Output

Purpose

Through this prize the university will provide recognition of the most outstanding research publication authored by an individual academic or co-authored by a research group at USP during the preceding year.

Eligibility

This prize is open to academics and research groups in the University. For these purposes a ‘research publication’ is defined as a journal paper, book or book chapter that has been deposited in the USP Electronic Resource Repository with a publication date in the previous year.

The output must be ranked A/A* as determined by the current USP ranking system.

The author, or in the case of co-authorship, the lead author must meet the QoR criteria. For co-authorship, the monetary prize will be shared amongst those co-authors employed by USP or students of USP at the time of the award.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will take into account the following criteria to determine the quality of the research output:

  • Quality and rigour of the underpinning research.
  • The quality of writing and presentation
  • The international standing of the publication outlet.
  • The significance of the research internationally and to the people of the Pacific region.
  • In the case of co-authored research publications, the contribution of the USP academic staff and students to the output.

Application Procedures

Research publications assessed as A* in the USP Electronic Resource Repository will automatically be entered for consideration. Lead authors will be contacted and requested to supply a supporting case of no more than one page addressing the selection criteria. All documentation must be submitted to the Research Office before the end of the first week of September. The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Publication will be awarded only in those years where an output of outstanding quality is published.

Conditions of the Prize

The prize will have a value of F$7,000 (non-taxable). It is anticipated that the prize will be presented to the successful applicant at a Research Awards Ceremony.

The Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Student Research

Purpose

The university through this prize will recognise the research output from a student’s work, normally carried out as part of a designated course (including Masters and PhD), but the work may have been carried out independently (during vacations) supervised or otherwise sanctioned by USP.

Eligibility

Any research output whereby the lead author was a registered USP student at the time when the research was conducted is eligible for this award.  The research to be evaluated must be a published research article, a book or book chapter or a non-standard output (e.g. creative work), with USP as the affiliation, published in the preceding year.

The output must be ranked A/A* as determined by the current USP ranking system.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will use the following criteria to determine the quality and impact of the publication.

  • The potential impact of the research for the region.
  • The timeliness in conducting and writing up the research.
  • The quality of the research output.
  • The contribution made by the student or students.

Application Procedures

The Research Office will nominate the high-ranked research outputs by the lead student author, and will seek a statement of contribution from their supervisor, who may or may not be a co-author in the publication. If more than one student contributed, then the different contributions and relative weighting of inputs must be clearly identified.

Supporting statements must be submitted to the Research Office before the end of the first week of September. The prize will be awarded only in those years where a publication of excellent quality is identified.

Conditions of the Prize

The prize will have a value of $7,000 (non-taxable). It is anticipated that the prize will be presented to the successful applicant at a USP Research Awards Ceremony.

Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Creative Works

Purpose

The university through this prize will recognise an individual work or collection of works of outstanding quality made publicly available in the preceding year by a member of the academic staff of the University of the South Pacific.

Eligibility

All the members of USP staff and its student community are eligible for this award.

Details of the research output must have been deposited in the USP Research Repository according to the Research Office guidelines for assessment of Non-Standard Research Outputs and have been highly ranked in the peer review process.

Research Office will nominate research outputs meeting these criteria.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will use the following criteria to determine the quality and impact of the Creative Work:

  • The peer-review ranking sought by the Research Office.
  • The quality of the statement on the research component of the creative work.
  • Supporting evidence presented of the quality of the creative work.

Application Procedures

The work must be deposited in the USP Research Repository according to current Research Office Guidelines for the assessment of Non-Standard Research Outputs. Please click here for template. The Research Office will nominate eligible creative works from the highest ranked outputs in the repository. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is uploaded to the repository Office before the end of the first week of September.

The prize will be awarded only in those years where a creative output of outstanding quality is identified.

Conditions of the Prize

The prize will have a value of $7,000 (non-taxable). It is anticipated that the prize will be presented to the successful applicant at a USP Research Awards Ceremony. If appropriate, the awardee may be required to exhibit the creative output at a suitable venue.

Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Innovation

Purpose

The university through this prize will recognise either a member of staff or a team led by a member of staff for some innovative practical application, or the development and implementation of innovative solutions to institutional challenges for the region.

Eligibility

All present members of the USP community, including teams of collaborators, are eligible for this award. Applicants may either self-nominate or be nominated by another member of staff with the applicant’s consent. Major collaborations with external bodies will be acceptable. It is expected that the innovative work will have been completed, or a major milestone achieved, within the preceding year. A joint award is possible for a successful team innovation.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will use the following criteria to determine the quality and impact of the innovation.

  • The quality of the innovative thinking and project execution by any member of the University staff, by a team or by students which either significantly facilitates the routine operations of the University through the development of an innovative procedure or contributes an innovative solution to an issue of key concern to the people of the South Pacific region.
  • The innovation may be an invention (not a creative output), a product, or a discovery. The innovation should be novel (original), not adapted from one developed in a parallel situation, although it may build on previous work in the same general area.

Application Procedures

A report of no more than five pages outlining the innovation, the contribution of USP members and the regional benefits expected is required. Supporting documents, such as any published work, citations or review comments and two appraisal statements by peers may be included. It is the responsibility of the nominator to provide such testimonies to the Research Office before the end of the first week of September. The selection committee where appropriate will use the USP repository to validate the data submitted.

Nominations must be submitted to the Research Office before the end of the first week of September. The prize will be awarded only in those years where an innovation of outstanding quality is identified.

Conditions of the Prize

The prize will have a value of $7,000 (non-taxable). It is anticipated that the prize will be presented to the successful applicant at a USP Research Awards Ceremony. If appropriate, the awardee may be required to demonstrate the innovation at a suitable venue.