How to nominate a candidate for Fellowship

Election to ATSE

Bridge leading to Parliament House Canberra

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) currently has over 900 Fellows, drawn from industry, academia, government, and research organisations. They include Chief Scientists, CEOs and CTOs, Vice-Chancellors, heads of research institutes and many other eminent leaders.

New Fellows are elected by the Fellowship on the basis of excellence, accomplishment, and fit with a modern and future-facing Academy, always ensuring they will contribute to the Academy’s mission of helping Australians understand and use applied science, technology and engineering to solve the complex problems facing our nation in a fast-changing world.

Election to ATSE

Diversity in the Fellowship


Nomination for Fellowship

Timeline – 2023 New Fellow election process




Election to ATSE

Our Fellows’ deep knowledge, expertise and experience in science, technology and engineering drawn from industry, research, and government ensure that ATSE continues to be a leading Learned Academy. The annual process of election to Fellowship is detailed, robust, fair, and rigorous and only a fraction of candidate’s progress to fellowship. Peer assessment of nominations is organised via eight individual Sector Groups:

• Energy, Mining and Minerals Processing
• Water and Environment
• Information and Communications Technology
• Materials and Emerging Technologies
• Infrastructure
• Biotechnology and Human Health
• Primary Industries and Food Technology
• Entrepreneurship, Service and Education

Australia from space

Diversity in the Fellowship

In promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM, a priority will be to address the imbalance in gender in STEM. The Academy’s other diversity priorities include Indigenous Australians, and cultural and linguistic diversity. Further, younger Fellows will have an opportunity to contribute to a modern and future facing academy for many years to come.

We encourage nominations supporting outstanding diverse candidates including young applied scientists and engineers who have made exceptional contributions to their discipline. The Academy has made a commitment that women should constitute at least 40 per cent of all new Fellows elected to the Academy. This target will increase to 50 per cent by 2025. The Academy also has a target of at least 40 per cent of all new Fellows to have attained the majority of their achievements within industry.

For more information on our targets and Diversity and Inclusion Policy click here.

ATSE Fellows


In electing Fellows, ATSE looks for Australian trailblazers with global impact. We assess significant past and current achievement as well as potential to support our mission and activities now and into the future. Fellows must be Australian citizens or permanent residents in Australia, with the exception of our Foreign Fellows, who must have a strong relationship with Australia but be citizens of a country other than Australia and not be a resident of Australia.

2023 will see the election of up to 35 New Fellows with the Board approving new measures to support a modern, thriving Fellowship. These measures are:

  • Formalise the target that 50% of the usual intake of new Fellows are women (while maintaining a 40% target for new Fellows from industry and government)
  • Elect up to an additional five Fellows who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Elect up to an additional five Fellows who are women or non-binary people.

In addition up to one Foreign Fellow every year is elected annually and the Board may choose to appoint an Honorary Fellow.

All existing Fellows are eligible to participate in the nomination process.

Nomination for Fellowship

Only ATSE Fellows can nominate candidates for election to the Academy, and we encourage all our Fellows to nominate diverse candidates.

ATSE strives to be a leader in diversity and inclusion. We are committed to supporting excellence in applied science, technology and engineering and we recognise that to achieve this we must celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion in all its forms.

To nominate an individual for Fellowship, a range of biographical details, supported by citations attesting the candidate’s expertise, achievements, impact and value to the Academy are required. Full details for submitting a nomination can be found via the Fellows-only portal and nominations can be submitted via the online portal from Monday January 23 2023.

You can watch our 10 minute video addressing frequently asked questions around nominating new Fellows below. Guidelines for completing a nomination are available on the Fellows-only portal.

Timeline — 2023 New Fellows election process

Monday 23 January

OPEN — Stage 1 Nomination form + 2023 Guidelines

Thursday 16 March
9am AEDT

CLOSE — Stage 1 Nominations

Friday 28 April

OPEN — Stage 2 New Fellow nominations

Thursday 8 June 9am AEST

CLOSE — Stage 2 Nominations

September 2023

Election of New Fellows


Impact of achievements which reflect outstanding individual achievement in technological sciences and engineering
The potential value of the candidate in contributing to the Academy’s mission. This is demonstrated in applications through existing service and commitment to sector development beyond a candidate’s employment.

Note regarding gender equity: *Nominators (proposers, seconders or supporters – see page footer for terminology) may put forward up to three candidates, providing at least one of them is a woman. Women should constitute 50 per cent of all new Fellows elected to the Academy by 2025.

Frequently Asked Questions

Presented by Doreen Thomas AM FTSE (Vice-President, Nominations) and Kylie Walker (ATSE Chief Executive Officer).

Running time: 10 minutes

What makes a good nomination?

Nominations are competitive. A good nomination should be well written and carefully considered. You should speak to the nominee and seek as much information as possible.

You should also spend time seeking good support for the nomination.

You should work with your Seconder, your Supporters, and your nominee to gather up information. There are only 500 words for each of the impact statements and value statements at Stage 1.

What does ‘value to the Academy’ mean?

You should describe what the nominee has done outside their day job.

  • What contributions are they making to society?
  • Are they contributing broadly to their discipline?
  • Or to their organisation?
  • Do they show an interest in mentoring?
  • Do they demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion?

You should also provide evidence that they will give some of their time to the Academy and its mission.

Can new Fellows nominate?

Any Fellow can nominate. New Fellows are encouraged to get involved in nominations.

Do you need permission from your Division before nominating?

You don’t need permission from your Division, but it is best practice to advise the membership coordinator in your Division because it is their role is to assist the Academy in finding in developing new nominations developing the membership.

The membership coordinator may also be able to provide advice and connect you to ‘supporters’ for your nomination.

Is it best to seek a supporter from within your own organisation or state or territory or to look further afield?

Nominations should be a national process. Often selected Fellows are those who are well known nationally, and often internationally.

Broad support from across organisations is recommended.

Do Fellows or potential Fellows who come from industry need to demonstrate significant academic achievement?

No. Typically these candidates wouldn’t have an academic record at all and this is acceptable.

Note that there is a target for 40% of new Fellows to be from industry.

How does ATSE support the nomination of women?

To support and encourage the nomination of women, there are allowances around the number of nominations a Fellow can be involved in at both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

You are allowed to be involved in TWO nominations as a proposer, seconder supporter, if those two candidates are men.

However, you can be involved in up to THREE nominations, if at least one of the nominations is for a woman. You can nominate three women.

For example, if you’ve supported two nominations at Stage 1, then you can support a further nomination at Stage 2, as long as that person is a woman.

Is there a lower age limit?

There isn’t an age limit and younger Fellows are encouraged.

In trying to shape the Academy for the future, it is acknowledged that younger fellows have a long number of years ahead of them to contribute to the Academy.

If a person has made significant impact, and they’re on the strong upward trajectory, those candidates are looked at favourably.

If I’ve nominated someone as a potential new Fellow, when will I hear back about the nomination?

After Stage 1, some candidates won’t go through to Stage 2 and the Proposers will be informed.

After stage 2, the final selection committee meeting will be held in August.

After that meeting, the Proposers will be told whether candidates will go through for the election.

Nominees are also notified if they are up for election following the August meeting.

What kind of material do we ask for at the Stage 2 nomination?

The Stage 2 nominations is an opportunity for the proposer to provide more information, but the impact and value statements. We also seek information from up to to further supporters who may or may not be Fellows. And we can have up to three referees.

How long between notification of Stage 1 success and submission of Stage 2 nominations?

Six weeks are provided to collect extra information for Stage 2.

Is the nomination process top secret and confidential? Does the nominee know that they’re being nominated?

The nominee should be advised that they are being nominated.

It’s best practice to seek as much advice and information from the nominee as possible in order to strengthen the nomination.

Who should be nominated?

Nominations are sought to increase diversity of gender, multicultural diversity, and multilingual diversity. Nominations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is strongly encouraged.

We seek to have the diversity of the Academy reflect the nation that we work in.

What benefits are there to being a Fellow of the Academy? Why might somebody consider being nominated?

Being a Fellow of the Academy is really an honour. It is such a privilege to be able to network with other Fellows who come from all sorts of walks of life, who have made great contributions to academia and a wide variety of different industries.

The Fellowship facilitates networking and real contributions towards policy.

Fellows can influence the way government is funding industry and funding applied science.

It’s an opportunity to make an impact on society – to make the world a better place for our families.


Please contact the Fellowship & Awards Specialist, Elvira Copur, if you have any questions regarding the nomination process, including the eligibility of a candidate or suitability of a referee. Enquiries may also be referred to the Vice-President Membership, where necessary. 

*Terminology: The person making the nomination is termed the Proposer who must be a Fellow of ATSE.  A nomination must also be seconded by a Fellow termed the Seconder. A nomination must include further support by experts (preferably, but not necessarily Fellows) termed as Supporters.