NHMRC’s Outstanding Contribution Award recognises outstanding long-term contributions, individual commitment and support to NHMRC.

Photograph of Professor Doug Hilton


2023 NHMRC Outstanding Contribution Award


Professor Doug Hilton is the Director of WEHI and an internationally recognised expert in the field of molecular regulation of blood cell production. He has changed Australian health and medical research through a progressive mentoring approach, campaigning for gender equity in science, and leadership in the sector. Professor Hilton’s service to NHMRC spans more than two decades, including key contributions as a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Structural Review of NHMRC’s Grant Program (2016–17) that led to significant changes to NHMRC’s funding system, and NHMRC’s Research Committee.

Professor Hilton’s advocacy for health and medical research has been inspirational. He has made deep and long-lasting contributions through his many advisory and leadership roles – for example, as a member of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, as president of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes, through his leadership of the landmark Discovery Needs Dollars campaign, his advocacy for the Medical Research Future Fund and his role in establishing the now-national Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Not only is he vocal about issues affecting the research sector, he takes action and is not deterred by the difficult paths ahead. His outstanding contributions, energy and commitment have improved the landscape of health and medical research in Australia for the benefit of us all.

Read more about the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Photograph of Reverend Kevin McGovern


2023 NHMRC Ethics and Integrity Award

St Cecilia's Catholic Church, Glen Iris

Reverend Kevin McGovern is one of Australia’s leading ethicists, active in education, research and policy for over 25 years. Throughout his professional life as a parish priest, academic and community leader, Reverend McGovern has brought to innumerable discussions and debates the highest quality and intensity of consideration. His reputation for the courage of his convictions and his openness and respect for others with a diversity of views is unparalleled.

Reverend McGovern served on the Australian Health Ethics Committee for nine years, contributing immense value to deliberations on dozens of important ethical issues and to the development of guidelines for assisted reproductive technology, organ and tissue donation and transplantation, mitochondrial donation and research involving human biospecimens including stem cells. Reverend McGovern also served as a member of NHMRC’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Review Committee and Mitochondrial Donation Expert Working Committee.

Read more about the Ethics and Integrity Award.

Photograph of the Queensland Aphasia Staff

Queensland Aphasia
Research Centre

2023 NHMRC Consumer Engagement Award

University of Queensland

Aphasia is a common and devastating communication disability affecting speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. People living with aphasia systematically experience exclusion from meaningful activities, social interactions and the research that drives the services they receive.

The Queensland Aphasia Research Centre (QARC) brings together people with aphasia, their families and friends, clinicians and researchers in the collaborative development of innovative and novel health interventions that transform lives. QARC’s development was driven by the lived experience of the consumers and communities it serves and its priorities have been co-designed with people with aphasia, their families and speech pathologists. Today the QARC team are recognised leaders and innovators in developing and conducting research that directly addresses the health and social needs of people living with aphasia.

Read more about the Consumer Engagement Award.

2023 NHMRC Research Quality Award

There was no nominations received that met the award criteria for 2023.

Read more about the Research Quality Award.

Photograph of Doctor Caleb Dawson


2023 NHMRC Science to Art Award


Dr Caleb Dawson is a postdoctoral research fellow at WEHI, where he is using imaging and tissue engineering to study immune cells in breast development and cancer. Dr Dawson has used advanced 3D and intravital imaging to reveal novel breast resident macrophages and to study epithelial stem cell behaviour during puberty. Dr Dawson’s work has been recognised by an NHMRC Investigator Grant (Emerging Leadership), a Jack Brockhoff Early Career Research Grant, the Griffith University Discovery Award and several microscopy art prizes.

Read more about the Science to Art Award.