Student Delegate Conference Prize

Applications from student delegates of the 39th National Conference of the MSA are now CLOSED.


Before completing the form and uploading your paper, please read the following information carefully, to ensure you have complied with the requirements. Please also refer to the notes at the top of the application form regarding the content of the document to be uploaded.

This is an annual prize to be awarded at the National Conference in accordance with the following Guidelines:

1. Prize for a Student Delegate at a National Conference of the MSA (‘the Prize’)

1.1 General

1.1.1 Where funds are available, a cash prize of $500 may be awarded on an annual basis to the best piece of scholarly work presented by a Student Member at the National Conference for that year. This prize recognises excellence in the research endeavour of a Student Member of the society presenting a scholarly work at a National Conference. The successful submission and its presentation will exhibit an academic merit and standard that distinguishes it from other submissions by Student Members at the National Conference. This prize does not favour any field or approach, but it should recognise original contributions within a field situated within the general purview of musicological research.

1.1.2 The Prize shall be entitled: ‘Prize for a Student Delegate at a National Conference of the MSA’ with the year of the conference appended in each instance.

1.1.3 It is recommended that the recipients of these Prizes be listed perpetually in publications of the MSA, for instance the Annotated Membership List and/or MSA website.

1.1.4 Ordinarily the Committee should endeavour through its assessment and any further determinations as required to award the Prize to one submission presented at a National Conference. Should the committee determine that the Prize be awarded to two or more submissions, it shall justify its decision when announcing the Prize winners. In the case of a split decision, the monetary value of the Prizes will be divided accordingly. The merit of dividing the prize shall be considered in the determinations of the Committee.

2. Procedures

2.1 At least six weeks before the relevant National Conference, a general notice shall be circulated by the Secretary of the Committee in consultation with the National Conference Organising Committee to student delegates whose proposals have been accepted for the forthcoming National Conference.

2.2 Submissions considered for the Prize must be received no later than one week before the commencement of the relevant National Conference.

2.3 All submissions to the Committee for the Prize shall consist of a short letter of application (may be sent as an email with attachment), three copies of the scholarly work to be presented at the conference (or a copy of the scholarly work in Microsoft Word, RTF or PDF format attached to an email), and supporting material. An abstract and bibliography must be included therein. Each submission must be accompanied by the applicant’s contact details and the contact details of the applicant’s principal supervisor for the purposes of confirming the educational status of the applicant should the need arise.

3. The criteria for judging submissions are divided into two main components. A sample scoring sheet based on these criteria is given as Appendix C of the MSA Operational Manual. The criteria are as follows:

3.1 Scholarly content and argument (75% of assessment; to be assessed before conference).

3.1.1 Academic merit shall be determined according to the contribution the submitted piece makes to its field(s) either in terms of new findings or new readings of existing knowledge (50%).

3.1.2 The submitted piece shall be assessed for clarity and method. It should be well-structured, factual, make ethical use of sources through appropriate acknowledgement, and employ language in a suitable and effective way (25%).

3.1.3 The Committee may refer submissions to expert readers only if it believes it is required for purposes of assessing the submission according to the criterion set out in section 3.1.1.

3.2 Presentation (25% of assessment; to be assessed at conference).

3.2.1 One member variously selected from the Committee shall assess each applicant’s presentation and report his or her findings to the committee.

3.2.2 The applicant shall deliver her or his presentation in a clear and effective manner. In addition to the manner of delivery, the relevance and substance of audio and visual aids and examples, or performances where appropriate should be considered herein.

3.2.3 The presentation shall adhere to the permitted timeframe as set down by the National Conference Organising Committee, e.g. 20 minutes with 10 minutes of questions.

3.2.4 The ability of the presenter to adequately address questions at the end of their presentation in an informed and coherent manner shall be considered when appropriate.

3.2.5 The Committee shall determine the manner in which components listed in 3.2.2 to 3.2.4 are scored.

3.3 To assist in the numerical ranking of all submissions, a scoring sheet should be completed by each Committee Member and used as the basis for the determination of the Prize. Each Committee should agree as to the format of the scoring sheet. An example of such a sheet is provided as Attachment A in the MSA Operations Manual.

3.4 In the case of tied scores, a vote by the Committee shall determine the final outcome.

3.5 All determinations of the Committee are final. There shall be no recourse to review or appeal on its findings.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Past recipients of the Prize are ineligible for any subsequent Prize.

4.2 The student must be a Student Member at the time their scholarly work is considered and the Prize is awarded.

4.3 The Prize is open to candidates enrolled in a program of supervised research at a recognised Australian or New Zealand institution of Higher Education or Australian or New Zealand citizens studying overseas in non-Australian institutions of higher education. Foreign citizens studying at a non-Australian or non-NewZealand institutions of Higher Education are ineligible for the Prize.

4.4 Only the version of the scholarly work that is actually presented at the conference is eligible for consideration.

4.5 The submission must be presented at the conference.

4.6 The submission shall not have already been presented at another national or international conference, and shall not have already been published.

4.7 While nominally the Prize is intended for an individual Student Member, the Committee will consider joint submissions by student members. The Committee may grant an exception to this eligibility rule where convention dictates that the student member as principal author name additional individuals as co-authors out of ethical or conventional considerations, e.g. supervisors or traditional owners.

5. Outcomes and Notification

5.1 The Committee reserves the right not to award the Prize if submissions lack sufficient overall merit.

5.2 The Chair of the Committee or a nominated representative shall announce on behalf of the National Executive the winner of the Student prize at the Annual General Meeting, or (in cases where the AGM does not coordinate with the National Conference) a Prize Ceremony during the National Conference. In years when no Prize is awarded, the non-award of the Prize shall be noted at the Annual General Meeting.

Application requirements

  • Please note that the total intended presentation time should not exceed 20 minutes. In terms of reading text, this equates to approximately 2500 words, less if you are including musical examples or intend explaining graphics or tables extempore.
  • Please insert any important data from powerpoint slides at the relevant place in the document you upload.The file size of embedded graphics should be minimized. Do not include photos (for example of composers) or other graphics unless they are integral to your argument.
  • Please include a bibliography at the end of the document.
  • The document submitted must be the same as the paper presented at the conference, with only minor adjustments being permitted.
  • Please name the file you upload with your surname and first name, in the format [SurnameFirstname]

Submissions that do not comply with these requirements will not be considered for the prize.