The Auxilium Foundation and SIMS are very excited to open applications for the third year of the ‘Auxilium Kick Starter Prize’

The Auxilium Foundation is focused on providing financial and mentorship support for projects which can deliver an environmental impact for a fairer and more durable society. 100% of Auxilium’s funds are directed to helping the environment with a strong skew to aiding our ocean’s health.

The Kick Starter Prize provides a wonderful opportunity for early-career researchers from SIMS, our partner universities and associate members, assisting researchers to compete for future competitive grant funding and helping to shape the future of marine science in Australia.

This award was generously established by John Preston, founder of the Auxilium Foundation in 2021. Last year’s winners were Dr Nina Schaefer and Dr Mitchell Gibbs for their innovative marine research projects. Hear from the 2021 researchers themselves on how their projects have advanced with the support of the Kick Starter Prize:

The awards are available for early-career researchers who are undertaking marine research in the broad fields of:

  • Restoring our marine environments
  • Understanding tropicalisation
  • Building climate resilience in Sydney Harbour
  • Ocean sustainability

This year the submission format will be a 5-7 minute video pitch. The pitch should highlight why the research project matters and the impact that you believe can be achieved with a kick-starter funding grant along with detail of the nature of the research that will be undertaken.

Video presentations should be submitted in .MP4 format and must be received before 5pm August 18th, 2023. Submissions can either be addressed to Martina Doblin and physically delivered on media to the Institute (USB storage preferred) or attached as an email or publicly available link to

A representative selection committee comprising SIMS board, SAC, SIMS staff, or other suitably qualified people will review the applications and announce the recipients of the two awards.

Any researchers who require assistance in the production of their video submission are welcome to contact the SIMS Communications Officer, Isobel Lerpiniere ( for video production support.

Applications open on Friday June 16th and will close on Friday 18th August.