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The purpose of the prize is to recognise work done by an Honours or Masters student in Australia that is considered to be of outstanding quality.


The TH Laby medal for the best Honours or Masters thesis from an Australian University was established in 2018 to commemorate Thomas H. Laby, and is based on the former Laby Medal, which was awarded annually for the most outstanding Victorian Honours Physics student thesis by the Victorian Branch between 1992-2009.


The medal is awarded annually to the student who is judged to have completed the most outstanding Honours or Masters thesis produced in a one or two year Honours or Masters program in which there is a significant coursework component, under the auspices of an Australian university, from the preceding year. To be eligible for consideration the degree undertaken must have at least 25% assessed by coursework and at least 25% assessed by thesis. No candidate may be nominated more than once.

Only one medal shall be awarded. If the selection committee considers that none of the candidates nominated reach an appropriate standard, no award will be made.


Each Australian university may nominate one candidate.  These nominations are submitted to the State Branch committee.  The committee selects the best student from their State. Nominations must contain the following documentation to be considered:

  • electronic copies (or web links) of the selected thesis (nominators should note that when attaching a link to the student thesis, this link must be accessible by others outside of their own university)
  • electronic copies of the student’s academic transcript for their coursework
  • a letter of recommendation, outlining the significance of the work, from the Head of School. If the Head of School is the supervisor, then this letter should come from the Deputy Head or the Chair of the Research Training committee or equivalent.

These documents are then forwarded to the AIP Special Projects Officer.

Time Line

Nominations from the universities should reach the Secretary of the local State Branch by 1 July each year.

The selected nominations from the State Branches, with the accompanying documentation outlined, should reach the AIP Special Project Officer, by 1 Aug each year.

Award and Presentation of the Award

The award consists of a medal, certificate and monetary prize of $1000. The monetary prize can be used by the selected award winner in any way in which they see fit.

The medal will be presented to the chosen candidate at the AIP Congress in Congress years and in non-Congress years at a function to be arranged by the AIP Branch of the State of the candidate’s university. Reasonable expenses in attending the presentation will be met by the Council of the AIP.

Previous Winners

  • 2020 Matthew Goh, Australian National University

  • 2019 Simon White, University of Technology Sydney

  • 2018 Felicity Lee, Australian National University & Albert Zhou, University of Sydney
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