CMSA Prize - rules and procedures

The CMSA Prize is an award made by the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (CMSA) to an early career researcher for an outstanding research contribution to any area of combinatorics. The Prize is for one or more results on the same topic rather than overall excellence.


The awardee will receive a medal. There is no cash prize. The awardee will be a special invited speaker at the conference where the Prize is awarded, with the costs of attendance included. The identity of the awardee will be kept secret until the conference.


The CMSA Council will appoint a committee of three people (the CMSA Prize Committee, henceforth the Committee). Members of the Committee will be CMSA members but not necessarily Council members. The Committee receives nominations, checks for eligibility, prepares a shortlist of up to five candidates, and decides on an Assessor.

The Committee may decide to shortlist no candidates, in which case no Prize will be awarded that year.

The Assessor will be an internationally recognised and highly regarded combinatorics researcher. The Assessor, whose identity will not be revealed until the conference, will select one of the shortlisted candidates to receive the Prize.

In exceptional circumstances, the Assessor may choose two people (for shared work, or for independent work of equal quality). The Assessor is also permitted to advise that none of the shortlisted candidates is suitable. In making the decision, the Assessor may consult colleagues for confidential advice.

At the time of the nomination deadline, members of the Committee who have a perceived conflict of interest will resign and the CMSA Council will appoint replacements. Examples of conflict of interest include being a former supervisor or active collaborator of a candidate, or being a nominator or candidate themselves. If necessary, the CMSA Council can replace Committee members for other reasons. The Assessor must not have a conflict of interest concerning a shortlisted candidate.

The Assessor will be invited to the conference and will present the Prize (if any).

In unforeseen circumstances, the CMSA Council may modify the process in consultation with the Committee. All nominations that are not successful will be kept in confidence.


The first Prize will be awarded at the CMSA annual conference in 2023.

Further Prizes will be awarded at CMSA annual conferences separated by at least three nominal years.


The awardee will have been conferred a PhD (or equivalent) degree within the five years preceding the nomination deadline. The committee may make an allowance for career interruptions when judging the 5-year period. The major part of the work for which the Prize is awarded must have been carried out while residing in Australasia for a period of at least six months. The Prize is awarded for peer-reviewed material accepted for publication in reputable journals only, unless in exceptional circumstances. CMSA membership is not a requirement.

In exceptional circumstances, the Prize may be awarded to two people (for shared work, or for independent work of equal quality).

Nomination process

Candidates may be nominated by anyone (other than themselves) who is suitably qualified to provide adequate details on the following.

• A current CV of the candidate.

• A brief statement of why the candidate meets the eligibility criteria.

• A note from the candidate agreeing to be nominated.

• A case of at most 1000 words detailing the work for which the candidate is nominated, its significance, and the contribution of the candidate.

• Copies of the publications for which the candidate is nominated. Recall that the Prize is for research on one topic, not on a range of topics, so generally only a small number of publications will be relevant. In the case of papers accepted by a journal but not yet appeared, evidence of acceptance should be included. Papers not yet accepted by a journal will not be considered.

When preparing the case, the nominator may consult with the candidate.

Suggested timeline

For a Prize awarded in year N, the normal timeline will be:

April, year N-1: Pick Committee

Mid-year N-1: Committee chooses Assessor

Conference, year N-1: Advertise for nominations

April, year N: Deadline for nominations

October, year N: Report of Assessor due; invitation to awardee sent out

If it is decided that no Prize is to be awarded in year N, search for an Assessor for the following year should begin immediately.

This document

This document is a decision of the CMSA Council and may be altered by them.