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Student Innovation Awards

Accelerate your idea, career or research – applications now open
The Student Innovation Awards, hosted by the Innovation Hub, recognise University of Sydney students' innovative solutions for real-world impact.

These awards recognise student-led projects that offer solutions and drive positive impact by addressing current social, developmental, economic or environmental challenges through innovative ideas, transformative research and interdisciplinary collaborations.

This is a great opportunity to showcase and receive recognition for innovative solutions to real-world challenges. 

2021 categories include:

Student Innovation Award for Social Impact: $5,000 prize
This award recognises innovative student projects that have the potential to drive a positive social impact in the wider community.

Student Innovation Award for Planetary Impact: $5,000 prize
This award recognises innovative student projects that have the potential to creative positive environmental impact.

Student Innovation Award for Interdisciplinary Impact: $5,000 prize 
This award recognises interdisciplinary student projects that have the potential to lead to innovative real-world applications.

Student Innovation Award for Research Impact: $5,000 prize
This award recognises  research projects that have the potential to lead to innovative real-world applications.

The Award for Research Impact also includes a three month membership to the Sydney Knowledge Hub the University's coworking space for innovative businesses seeking to collaborate with the University.

People’s Choice Prize: $1,000 1st prize and $500 2nd prize
Shortlisted teams in each category will have the chance to win the People’s Choice Prize which is decided by an online public vote. Voting opens on 23 July and close on the 3 August. Check back here on 23 July to view the shortlisted teams and vote for your favourite.

Entry details

  • All applicants must be enrolled students at the University of Sydney at the time of submission
  • Enrolment can be part time or full time
  • Both domestic and international students are eligible
  • Students can enter as an individual or team
  • The idea submitted must have originated from one or more of the team members
  • Teams applying for the Student Innovation Award for Interdisciplinary Impact should be comprised of members undertaking at least two different degrees. Teams currently undertaking the same degree are eligible if they can demonstrate that their expertise has been gained from at least two different degrees previously undertaken. Teams should clearly articulate in their application how their different disciplinary backgrounds have contributed to their idea
  • Individuals or teams applying for the Research Impact Award should be undertaking HDR (MPhil and PhD), Honours or postgraduate capstone research projects. 
  • If shortlisted at least one member of your team must be available to pitch on 3 or 4 August and attend the exhibition and awards evening on 17 August
  • Register online 
  • Complete the application form telling us about your idea, the impact you are creating, challenges and future goals
  • Upload your 2-minute pitch. This can be a video or animated presentation. You will need to upload your video via a URL link (e.g. unlisted YouTube video, Vimeo video with password, Dropbox link, WeTransfer link).


All applications will be reviewed by a panel of judges consisting of senior University staff, alumni, industry experts and previous award recipients.


Shortlisted students will be invited to virtual pitch and Q & A session with the judging panel. The winners will be announced at an exhibition and awards evening.


  • Applications open: 24 May 2021
  • Applications close: 4 July 2021
  • Shortlisted teams announced: 23 July 2021
  • People’s Choice Prize voting opens: 23 July 2021
  • People’s Choice Prize voting closes: 3 August 2021 (11:59pm)
  • Virtual pitches: 3 & 4 August 2021
  • Exhibition and awards evening: 17 August 2021
    (attendance at this event will comply with current COVID-19 government advice)

Students should be aware that shortlisted applications will be publicly visible and should not include sensitive or confidential material.

The application process, judging process and People’s Choice Prize voting will be managed through the online platform hosted by Award Force. Award Force is not owned by the University. Students should review the Award Force privacy policy before submission. Students should keep copies of any material uploaded to Award Force for their own records.