C.G.Stephens PhD Award in Soil Science

stephensThis is an annual National award for a PhD in Soil Science granted by an Australian university.   The award has a monetary value of $500 and a certificate and is for degrees awarded (not necessarily conferred) in the previous calendar year.

Charles G Stephens (1907 – 2002) was born and schooled in Tasmania, completing a degree in science at the University of Tasmania.  A comprehensive article of C.G. Stephens was published in Profile in September 2002 (issue 131).  To quote some of the article here “CG Stephens played a distinguished role in the establishment and health state of soil survey, classification and pedology in Australia. His participation in many surveys in all states means that he played a significant part in the development of regional Australia”.  C.G. Stephens was the first recipient of the J.A. Prescott Medal in 1972.

CG Stephens in the soils laboratory at the Waite Institute, early 1940s.· Image courtesy of CSIRO.

Award Winners

Year Award Winner Year Award Winner
2003 J.E. White 2010 C. Scanlan
2004 S.C. Boucher 2011 U. Stockmann
2005 P. Kopittke 2012 R. Setia
2006 M. Tighe 2013 B. Malone 
2007 S. Grover 2014 A. Marchuk 
2008 G. Kew 2015 B. Ryan
2009 C. Butterly 2016  Nathan Creeper 

Conditions of the Award


The Society shall award annually a Medal known as the ‘C.G. Stephens PhD Award in Soil Science”.
The Award will be made for the best PhD thesis on the basis of the originality of the PhD thesis, its’ significance to soil science and its’ clarity of writing. 
The C.G. Stephens PhD Award consists of a medal, certificate and sum of money determined by, and provided by Federal Council.

Award Committee
The Stephens Committee shall judge all nominations for the C.G. Stephens PhD Award in soil science.
The Stephens Committee will be constituted and appointed by Federal Council prior to May 31 each year.  Federal Council shall appoint new Members as may be required to maintain a Committee of three.  Federal Council may at any time disband and reconstitute the Stephens Committee.
The Stephens Committee shall consist of three financial Members of the Society.  Wherever possible the Stephens Committee will consist of one university academic, one non-university research scientist and one soil scientist from private industry. Each Member in turn shall act as Chair. The Chair shall retire after a Medal has been awarded.
If a Member of the Stephens Committee has supervised a nominee that Committee Member must stand aside and a replacement Committee Member be appointed by Federal Council.
Members of the Stephens Committee shall not be a nominator or seconder of a candidate.
Members of the Stephens Committee shall be ineligible for the award during their term on the Stephens Committee.
The Stephens Committee may at its discretion seek wider opinion on the thesis.

The Award is open to financial student and ordinary Members of the Society with a PhD thesis in soil science granted by an Australian University in the previous year. While the degree may not yet be conferred, the examination process must be completed and successful.
Students who join the Society only after submission of their thesis will be ineligible for this award.
If in the opinion of the Stephens Committee no PhD thesis for a particular year is of sufficiently high standard the Committee may decline to make an award for that year.

Nomination Process
Nominations must be made on the prescribed application form, available from the Federal Office or Soil Science Australia website, and shall be submitted electronically to the Federal Secretary and copied to the Federal Office not later than May 31 in the year in which the Medal is to be awarded. 
Nominations are confidential to the Stephens Committee and the Federal Secretary will forward them to the Chair of the Stephens Committee.  
The nominator is considered responsible for confirming the successful receipt of the nomination by the Federal Secretary if they have not received acknowledgement of receipt within seven days of submitting the nomination.
Nominations are to be prepared in each case by a nominator and a seconder.
Nominations must be made on the prescribed application form and contain the following information: contact details for the nominee including date of birth; nominee’s Society membership number; date the nominee joined the Society; date the thesis was submitted; title of PhD thesis being considered for the Award; an electronic copy of the whole thesis; an electronic copy of the Abstract; electronic copies of at least two external examiners reports. Note that no further supporting statements are required.
If in the opinion of the Stephens Committee no or insufficient suitable nomination(s) is/are received the Stephens Committee may cause a search to be made among Australian Universities to identify a suitable candidate.

Award Presentation
The decision of the Stephens Committee shall be considered final and will be forwarded to the Federal Secretary before October 31 each year.
The C.G. Stephens PhD Award shall be presented by the Federal President or proxy at each national conference held by Soil Science Australia or at another event determined by the Federal Council. 

Soil Science Australia


Soil Science Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that serves as the peak body for soil scientists across Australia, and seeks to advance soil science in the professional, academic and technical fields.  It is a member of the International Union of Soil Sciences



Visit Awards Page or download application forms below

J.A. Prescott Medal of Soil Science

J.K. Taylor, OBE, Gold Medal in Soil Science

Australian Society of Soil Science Inc Publication Medal

C.G. Stephens PhD Award in Soil Science

L.J.H Teakle Award


 Federal Office

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