Early Career Research Awards Application


About the Early Career Research Award

Launched in 2015, there are three TheMHS Awards for Early Career Research in Mental Health (ECR Awards) which will be defined by:

  • Innovation
  • Best Practice
  • Excellence
Word Definitions

There are three awards defined by the following keywords:

1. Innovation
Investigation concerning a novel or very recent development related to Mental Health service delivery in Australia or New Zealand.


  • Included are practices which may be well established in other countries but have not been tested in the Australian/New Zealand environment.
  • There should be elements of originality, inventiveness, uniqueness and freshness.

2. Best Practice
Translational research and Investigation into Best Practices Mental Health in Australia and/or New Zealand.


  • For entries in this category, Best Practice will be defined as “a program, activity or strategy that has been shown to work effectively and produce successful outcomes and is supported to some degree by subjective and objective data sources.”
  • Research that will improve current treatment, change practices and has an impact on mental health service delivery.
  • The topic of investigation will relate to practices which are generally accepted as current best practice in Australian or New Zealand mental health service delivery.
  • Included is research relating to benchmarking or key performance indicators.

3. Excellence
Research investigations that will lead to better mental health and do not readily fit into the above 2 categories targeting service provision.


  • The research will target aspects of mental health other than service provision e.g. a neuroscience investigation.
  • There should be elements of outstanding quality and distinction (at an appropriate ECR level).
Before lodging your entry please ensure that:

  • You meet the relevant “Entry Rules” requirements
  • You have read the “Lodging your entry” instructions
  • You have read and followed the “Preparing your entry” instructions

If you experience any difficulties, please email awards@themhs.org or telephone +61(2) 9810 8700

General Rules
  • Each Submission may only enter one category.
  • Different parts of a larger organisation may enter different categories.
  • Previous winning recipients can reapply after one year has elapsed (i.e. if awarded in 2019, cannot reapply until 2021), on the condition that the entry concerns a different piece of research or a significant advancement of previously submitted research.

Judges have the right not to accept an entry which, by their assessment, does not comply with the requirements of TheMHS Awards program. The judges’ decision will be final. TheMHS Awards Committee reserves the right to withdraw a TheMHS Award if it later finds the entrant did not comply with the entry conditions.

Eligibility of Applicants

Participants are eligible for TheMHS Early Career Research Awards if they are:

  • Postdoctoral Researchers with no more than 5 years research experience (as at closing date of award) from the date of the acceptance letter for their doctoral thesis. Career disruptions and changes will be considered and will need to be described. These include pregnancy, major illness, carer responsibilities/parental leave, clinical work.
  • Employed at a level up to and including Lecturer. Senior Lecturers and above are ineligible to apply.
  • Obligation to Attend and Present. As a part of the entry submission process, award winners consent to present their Award winning work at the special Early Career Researcher symposium at the 2020 TheMHS Conference in Perth, Western Australia. (Judges reserve the right to withdraw an award offer if the applicant is unable to attend and present at the 2020 TheMHS Conference.)
Eligibilty of Applicant’s Research/Project

The research must be fully completed or nearing completion and be able to be made public.

Please prepare Part A and Part B before you submit your application. All applications (both Part A and Part B) will be taken online through the new Awards Application Portal. You will also be guided through the information required once you commence your entry on line.

Part A

Have your organisational and contact details ready. You will need to prepare a short summary of your entry (150 words maximum) and a short Organisation Summary (150 words maximum).

These summaries will be used in the judging process. The summaries of winning entries will also be published in the Awards booklet.

Part B

Prepare Part B according to the following instructions and have ready to submit as a single pdf file. This complete document is submitted via the Entry Portal in the Part B submission section.

All applications must include the following cover page with the appropriate fields filled in. Please download the cover page and ensure that this is the first page of your document:

Early Career Research Cover Sheet

Please ensure that your submission also includes the following:

Part B Submission Headings

  • Summary – Describe your research (maximum 400 words)
  • Focus – Describe how your research illustrates Innovation, Best Practice or Excellence (maximum 200 words)
  • Potential Impact – Summarise the potential contribution to and/or implications for society (maximum 200 words).
  • Consumers’ Contribution – Describe any contribution by Mental Health consumers/person with lived experience other than as subjects (e.g. reference group, researcher)(maximum 200 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae – Include a brief Curriculum Vitae of the lead applicant only (maximum 4 pages). Your CV will need to include the date your PhD was granted (if relevant) and explain any career disruptions. You may also include the following: career summary, research grants and fellowships, publications, impact of other research, collaborations and community engagement, and professional involvement.
  • Referees – One written “reference” (maximum 1 page) from someone familiar with the research plus contact details for an additional referee who may be contacted by phone.
  • Supporting Material – e.g. photos, graphs (maximum 2 pages).
Once you have prepared Part A and a Part B you will need to create an account and log in. To lodge your entry, first register your details by clicking on “Update Details”. Next, click on “Part A Submission’ and follow the prompts to complete Part A.

After Saving a Draft or Submitting Part A you will be able to access Part B. You can submit Part A and Part B separately. You just need to use the link and your unique Sign In details. You can move between previous screens using the back and forwards arrow at the top of the computer screen or the tabs at the top of the page. To access a saved draft or view a submitted Entry, select the View/Edit Part A or View/Edit Part B tab.

Thank you for your interest in TheMHS Awards. We value your Awards entry greatly!