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Criteria & Nomination Process

AARE makes this award to encourage and support educational research by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. The award aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers to present at the annual conference and become activily involed in the Association. The winner of the award will be announced at the Annual Conference. The Award provides $800 to assist with conference expenses.

Funds will be made available (usually by direct transfer to the winner's bank account) following the conference paper presentation.

 The winner of the Award may be invited by the editors of the Australian Journal of Indigenous Education or the Australian Educational Researcher to consider preparing thier paper for publication. 

Eligible persons may apply for the Award themselves, or may be nominated by another person (e.g., a colleague or supervisor or a conference paper reviewer or referee).

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must demonstrate that they meet all the following criteria:

  • be a member of AARE
  • identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • meet the closing date for abstract submission via the conference abstract submission portal
  • submit a first-authored conference paper for review by the Conference Awards Committee to the awards email address ( by 5pm 5 September 2018
  • be able to attend the full conference
  • have a paper accepted for presentation at the conference through the abstract submission process via the AARE conference website
  • deliver the paper at the conference as scheduled
  • have not previously received a Betty Watts Indigenous Researcher Award

Please see the paper guidelines here

It is possible to submit a jointly authored paper for an award. Award applicants must be the first named author on the paper. AARE places the responsibility for full disclosure to co-authors with the first author of a paper submitted for consideration in these award categories. 

Merit Criteria

As the intent of the award is to honour and facilitate high quality scholarship, applications will be judged on the basis of the following academic merit criteria:

  • Originality
  • Contemporary significance and/or scholarly relevance
  • Conceptual, methodological and theoretical soundness
  • Disciplined, focused and persuasive argument
  • Coherent organisation and clarity of written expression
  • Comprehensive reference to appropriate literature

Only one paper per researcher or research team should be submitted for this Award in any year. Papers previously submitted may not be re-submitted. The same paper may only be submitted to one award.

Application Process

Applicants must meet the AARE Conference deadlines for abstract submission and award application submission.

Submit an abstract via the AARE Conference online submission system by  5pm 5 September 2018.

Submit a covering letter addressing the eligibility criteria for the award and a copy of the full paper to awards email address ( The subject line of your submission email should state your full name and the paper code assigned to your submitted abstract and include the award name (e.g. Betty Watts Indigenous Researcher Award).

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