Margaret Sheil Leadership Award

This award recognises an outstanding female leader working in the chemical sciences.

The award has been established to honour the trail-blazing contributions of Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Provost of the University of Melbourne at the time of commencement of this award and currently Vice Chancellor and President QUT, former CEO of the Australian Research Council and the first Australian female Professor of Chemistry. Through these and other roles, she has worked tirelessly to progress the participation, success and recognition of women in chemistry, and science and engineering more generally.

The aim of the award is to recognise an outstanding female leader working in an area of a chemistry-related field including academia, teaching, and the public or private sector, who has helped to inspire and mentor junior female chemists and/or help to provide a more equitable work place.

The award will consist of a medal, to be presented at the RACI Annual Awards Dinner, and reasonable travel expenses (up to $3000) for a lecture tour within Australia with the aim of inspiring the next generation. It is expected that the recipient will also be invited to give a keynote lecture at the next relevant divisional or national congress or other RACI endorsed speaking opportunity.



Award Entry Requirements

  • The award is for a female chemist, working in a chemistry related field.
  • The applicant must be a current RACI member and have been a member for a minimum of three years.
  • There is no age limit.




Nominations open on 1 April and close 30 June.

The nomination document requirement is a current CV, a summary/synopsis of the applicant's contributions to leadership, mentorship and the promotion of women in science. plus email and telephone contacts of no more than four referees. 


The decision of the judges will be subject to the approval of the RACI Board. The Board decision is final and no discussions or correspondence will be entered into.



2023 Debra Bernhardt

2022 Colette Boskovic

2021 Kate Jolliffe

2020 Danielle Skropeta

2019 Frances Separovic AO

2018 Amanda Ellis

2017 Mary Garson


For detailed award criteria click below

Learn More



Professor Debra J Bernhardt


Read more about Colette


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