The Bok Prize

Bart Jan Bok was Director of Mount Stromlo Observatory from 1957 to 1966. He energetically promoted the undergraduate and graduate study of astronomy in Australia and set up the Graduate School of Astronomy at the Australian National University. In addition to his many scientific achievements, he was also a talented populariser of astronomy and is particularly remembered for his entertaining broadcasts on ABC radio.

Bart Bok

Bart Bok


Bok Medal

Bok Prize Medal

The Bok Prize is awarded annually by the Astronomical Society of Australia to recognise outstanding research in astronomy by an Honours student or eligible Masters student at an Australian university.

The prize consists of the Bok Medal together with an award of $500 and ASA membership for the following calendar year. The recipient is invited to present a paper on their research at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia, where the prize will be presented.

To be eligible for the Prize applicants must have been an Honours student or eligible Masters student at an Australian university (at 30 June during the year prior to the award), and completed their degree requirements in that same year. Their research must have been carried out in an area of astronomy or closely related field.

Eligible Masters students are those who have entered their Masters degree from a 3 year undergraduate degree. Students who completed an Honours year before entering the Masters degree are not eligible for the Bok prize.

A request for submissions for the award in a given year is usually emailed out to the ASA membership in November each year, with the closing date for entries around 31 January (in the following year).

Nominations open in November, with a closing date of Friday 31 January 2014.

Submissions must include:

  • an electronic copy of the Honours/Masters report or two hardcopies,
  • a brief statement (~1/2 page) by the applicant, in their own words, explicitly describing their major contributions to the research, the resources they used and the help they received. This may already be included in the report,
  • a completed Supervisor's Statement - this is a confidential statement by the applicant's supervisor detailing the highlights of the research, indicating the relationship of the submission to the student's course requirements, and highlighting the originality of the work. Please use the Supervisor's Statement form (Word or pdf).

Submissions should be addressed to:

    Dr Tanya Hill
    ASA Prizes and Awards Coordinator
    Museum Victoria
    GPO Box 666
    Melbourne Vic 3001
    thill -@- museum.vic.gov.au

An assessment committee nominated by the ASA Council will evaluate the submitted materials and make a recommendation to the ASA Council. The decision of the Council is final, including the decision not to award the prize in any given year.

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List of Past Winners

(based on year in which the award was made. The work was completed in the previous year.)
2013 - Ben Pope (U. of Sydney)
Dancing in the Dark: Kernel Phase Interferometry of Ultracool Dwarfs
2012 - Alison Hammond (U. of Sydney)
Cosmic Magnetism: Faraday Rotation as a Probe of Extragalactic Magnetic Fields
2011 - Barnaby Norris (U. of Sydney)
A study of AGB circumstellar dust shells using optical polarimetric interferometry
2010 - Madusha Gunawardhana (Macquarie U./AAO)
Constraints on the Evolution of the Stellar Initial Mass Function
2009 - Peter Jensen (U. of Queensland)
The Colours of Galaxies in Intermediate X-ray Luminosity Galaxy Clusters
2008 - Christopher Hales (U. of Sydney)
Cosmic Forensics: A study of the Pulsar Wind Nebula G359.1-23, The Mouse
2007 - Katie Dodds-Eden (RSAA)
TeVeS Theory and observational tests.
2006 - Brent Miszalski (Macquarie U.)
Simulated Annealing and Optimisation of 2dF Fibre Configuration.
2005 - Patrick Scott (ANU)
CO spectral line formation in the sun: convective simulation, line profiles and isotopic abundances.
2004 - Stanislav Shabala (U. of Tasmania)
On the Evolution of HII regions.
2003 - Darren Croton (RSAA)
Clustering and void statistics of the 2dF galaxy redshift survey.
2002 - no award
2001 - Yeshe Fenner (ANU)
Solving the Mystery of the Warm Ionised Medium.
2000 - Josephine Brown (ANU)
A photometric morphological and environmental study of the COLA galaxy southern sample.
1999 - Michael Murphy (UNSW)
Variability of the Fine Structure Constant.
1998 - Malcolm Kennett (U. of Sydney)
Neutrino Emission from a Magnetised Plasma.
1997 - Jean-Pierre Macquart (U. of Sydney)
Radio Propagation through Discrete Structures in the Interstellar Medium.
1996 - Lisa Kewley (U. of Adelaide)
Astrophysical Angular Correlations.
1995 - Michael Brown (U. of Melbourne)
For a study of compond chrondule formation in meteorites.
1994 - Arthur Street (U. of Sydney)
For work on acceleration in type II solar radio bursts.
1993 - Sally Houghton (UNSW)
For a study of methanol masers towards Sagittarius B2.
1992 - Kylie Waring (Monash U.)
For photometry of stellar variations.
1991 - Neal Turner (U. of Sydney)
For work on the atmospheres of cool dwarf stars.
1990 - Robert Reinfrank (U. of Wollongong)
For a CCD survey of bright southern galaxies.
1989 - Andrew Gray (U. of Sydney)
For solar observations using the Molonglo radio telescope.

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