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D.W. Cooper Student Thesis Award

The AWMS committee decided during 2011 that greater acknowledgement of student achievements was required. It was agreed that an annual award should be made to a student member for a thesis of excellence within the field of scientifically-based wildlife management research. Such an award would be structured to ensure that the student’s research activities are brought to the attention of the broader AWMS membership, and that the student is encouraged to maintain ongoing active involvement with the Society.

Award Value

Up to a maximum of A$1500 consisting of:

  1. Three years AWMS membership contribution to a maximum of A$70 per annum.
  2. Free registration to the AWMS conference (including the conference dinner) in the year the award is received, and a time slot at the conference for presentation of the thesis research (up to A$690).
  3. AWMS conference travel costs to a maximum of A$600.
  4. A certificate from the AWMS to be awarded at the conference dinner.

Selection Criteria

The applicant:

  1. Must be, or have been within the last 12 months, a tertiary research student (at Honours, Masters or PhD level), enrolled in a degree that requires submission of a research thesis.
  2. Must be/have been studying within the field of wildlife management in a University in the Australasian region (Australasia includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua/New Guinea and the neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean).
  3. Must be a financial member of AWMS for at least three months (Honours students) or one year (Masters/PhD students) at the time AWMS confers the thesis award. [Honours students can join AWMS at the time the application is submitted if they are not already a member.]
  4. Thesis must have been examined at the time of application and examiners’ reports received within the preceding 12 months from the closing date for award applications.
  5. Must be able to give a presentation about their thesis research at the AWMS conference in the year the award is given.

Selection Process

Applicants must complete the D.W. Cooper Thesis Award declaration form and provide the following information:

  1. AWMS DW Cooper Student Thesis Award Supervisor/Head of School report (download).
  2. Copies of the examiners’ reports (in the event that reports are not available for an Honours thesis, a brief evaluatory statement by the supervisor will suffice).
  3. The Abstract/Summary from the thesis.
  4. Information outlining the relevance of the body of work to wildlife management. Information is requested under the following headings:
      • Context
      • Aims
      • Key Results (within the context of methods)
      • Conclusions
      • Wildlife Management Implications.

An emphasis will be placed on the significance of the project to wildlife management.  Applications will be judged relative to opportunity (i.e. achievement will be assessed against the length of candidature for the degree in which the student was enrolled).

Please make sure you scan your signed declaration form and examiners' reports into one document before beginning your online application.

Selection Committee

Will be comprised of 4-6 members:

  • President of the AWMS
  • At least one, and up to two, academics nominated by the president of the AWMS
  • At least one, and up to two, wildlife practitioners nominated by the president of the AWMS
  • The organiser of the conference or a representative from the conference organising committee.

The selection committee’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Conditions of Entry

In addition to the points in the selection criteria, the following should be noted:

  • All requested documentation must be supplied. Verification of the examination process may be sought by AWMS from the relevant Head of School or Faculty.
  • The AWMS reserves the right not to award a prize (or prizes) in any year if the entries are judged not to reach a minimum standard of academic excellence and/or relevance to wildlife management.

D.W. Cooper Student Thesis Award Recipients

Applications open between 1 June - 31 August of each year 

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