The School of Mathematics and Statistics Research Competition provides school-aged students with the opportunity to understand what it means to conduct mathematical and statistical research.
Students will be given a set of open-ended research questions from which they choose one. They can then employ methods used by mathematical researchers to investigate their problem; they can gather data, simplify, visualise, hypothesise, conjecture and prove. The aim of the competition is to allow students to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to make choices about how best to ask and answer questions about their chosen project. As teamwork is a valuable and essential skill for research, students are encouraged to participate in the competition as part of a team which will provide opportunities to reason and work collaboratively with others. Students may participate individually if they wish.
Students must be enrolled in an Australian or New Zealand government or non-government school, or registered home school. The competition is open to three age categories:
- Senior (AU: Year 10 - 12, NZ: Year 11-13),
- Intermediate (AU: Year 7-9, NZ: Year 8-10) and
- Junior (AU: Year 5 - 6, NZ: Year 6-7).
If a team includes students from different age categories, then they must enter in the category of the oldest student. Schools are encouraged to enter multiple teams; students are limited to one entry in the competition.
Brochure and Flyer
The following links allow you to download a brochure and flyer that you may want to use to advertise the competition to students in your organisation:
Brochure and flyer for the 2023 competition will be available in February 2023.
2023 Question Booklet
If you would like to take part in the 2023 Research Competition, please provide your details using the link below. You will be sent a copy of the question booklets, updates and announcements, and details about information sessions when they become available.
- Research Question Booklet available – 14th March 2023 (π Day!)
- Information session (attendance is optional) – May, June, July 2023
- Submissions close – 31st July 2023
- Finalist teams* notified– September 2023
- Finals Presentation* – October 2023
- Certificates issued – November 2023
* Report projects only
The Outreach Team will be facilitating information sessions (attendance is optional) to answer your questions about the competition. The information session will provide an overview of the competition and reflect the information available in the FAQ and the Submission Guidelines. There will be time for questions about logistical/administrative aspects of the competition. The information session is NOT intended to provide guidance on the research projects.
These sessions will take place over Zoom, the links will be sent out to those who have provided their details to receive the question booklets. If you wish to attend an information session, you can choose ONE from the following options:
Information Session 1
Date: Monday 1st May 2023
Time: 4 PM – 4:30 PM AEST
Information Session 2
Date: Thursday 1st June 2023
Time: 4 PM – 4:30 PM AEST
Information Session 3
Date: Monday 3rd July 2023
Time: 4 PM – 4:30 PM AEST
Each team selects one from a set of research question to work on, there are different questions for each age category. Once they have finished their research, they must present their findings. They may do this by either:
- Writing a formal report, or
- Creating a visual display (poster, slideshow, video)
All work must be the sole product of the registering team.
Teams with the highest quality projects will be invited to participate in the 2023 Research Competition Finals Presentations which will be held at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus. Travel subsidies may be made available for teams that need to travel from remote, regional, interstate or international locations. Arrangements will also be made for live stream presentations for teams unable to travel.
Each team will have a 15-minute slot in which to present a brief synopsis of their project and to answer questions from the judging panel and other academics. Further details about the Finals will be provided to finalists closer to date.
Visual display projects:
Teams with the highest quality visual display projects will be awarded a cash prize.
Prizes and Certificates
All teams who successfully submit a completed research project will receive a certificate for participation, merit, high commendation, or distinction. The highest quality projects in each age category will receive awards and cash prizes according to the following table:
|Project Type||Award||Number Awarded||Cash Prize Amount*|
|Visual Display||Shortlist||3 to 6||100|
|Report||Finalist||3 to 6||200|
*Amounts are awarded per person in the team.
Additional prizes may be awarded, such as:
- Top project from a female/non-binary team (opt-in)
- Top project from a First Nations team (opt-in)
- Top project from a regional/remote team
- Top non-finalist project in state/territory (report only)
Visual display projects will be judged separately to report projects. The criteria for judging will vary depending on the age category and the complexity of the research project. However, whenever explicit mathematics is involved, mathematical accuracy is vitally important, as is the correct use of mathematical language. We strongly encourage teams to approach their questions with mathematical reasoning and generalisation where possible. In addition to these, the judging criteria include elements for originality, creativity, communication and presentation.
This page contains the submission guidelines and requirements. Please read all the information on this page before submitting an entry. The online submission form is at the bottom of the page.
- The submission deadline 11:59 PM Monday 31st July 2023 (Melbourne time, UTC +10:00); entries received past this new time will not be considered.
- The original submission deadline was 11:59 PM Wednesday 10th August 2022 (Melbourne time, UTC +10:00).
- To enter a project into the competition, the completed research project must be submitted via an online submission form.
- We recommend that you complete the submission form using a desktop computer.
- The submission form can be completed by a School Contact (including home school) or student team.
- Each student is limited to one entry into the competition.
- If you a School Contact submitting multiple entries; you must complete the submission form again for a different entry.
- We recommend that you avoid delaying the submission until the day of the deadline to avoid issues and allow time for changes if needed.
- The person completing the online submission form must declare the type of project being entered: written report or visual display. In 2023, the two types of entries will be judged separately, with prizes awarded for the best projects of each type.
School Contact Details
- The School Contact must provide their full name, email, contact number, and school (including home school).
Student Team Details
- All students in the team must provide their full name and year level.
- The team must nominate one student as the Corresponding Author and provide that person’s email.
- A declaration form must be completed and uploaded as part of the submission process.
- The declaration requires signatures from the School Contact and the students in the team, declaring that the submitted project is the students' own work.
- If a team comprises students from different schools, one declaration form must be completed and uploaded for each school.
- If Section B of the declaration form is not signed by a School Contact, the entry will not be eligible to be shortlisted for awards and prizes.
- If the declaration form is not adequately filled out, the entry will not be considered.
The declaration form for the 2023 competition is included with the Question Booklet.
- If a submission is missing the required information (contact details, declaration form, project files), it will not be considered.
- We recommend that you gather the contact details for all relevant persons and project files well ahead of the submission deadline.
- Only files submitted through the online submission form will be considered for judging.
- Do not send files to the Outreach Team via email; these will not be considered.
- See below for further details regarding file upload requirements.
File Upload Requirements
- The online submission form will accept the following types of project outputs with specific file extensions:
- Written report: .pdf
- Static visual display (e.g. image/figure, photograph, poster, infographic, slideshow, spreadsheet): .pdf
- Code/programming script: .pdf
- Video: .mp4, .mov, .avi, .flv, .mkv, .wmv
- Audio: .m4a, .mp3, .mp4, .wav, .wma
- If the project is a written report that comprises sections involving code/programming script; it can be included in the report as part of the appendices and does not need to be uploaded separately.
- Any code or programming script should be presented in PDF format, clearly labelled with a page break between separate scripts.
- There is a size limit of 100 MB for each file.
- Only one file is permitted for each type of project output.
- All files must be related to the project.
- File extensions which will not be accepted by the submission form include: .rar, .zip, .exe, .ppt, .pptx, .pptm, .pps, .ppsx, .ppsm, .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .csv, .txt, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .htm, .html, .xlm, .doc, .docx, .r, .py, .m, .c, .cs, .java, .pl, .sh.
- It is the students’ and School Contact’s responsibility to ensure:
- the project files comply with the above requirements,
- the project files are converted to the acceptable file extensions if necessary, and
- all uploaded files are not corrupt (unable to be opened).
- Files which do not comply with the file requirements will not be accepted by the submission form.
- Files which cannot be opened will not be considered.
- Files not received via the submission form will not be considered.
- Video and audio files must not exceed 5 minutes in length.
- Written reports must not exceed 20 pages in length. This page limit excludes any tables, figures, appendices or references. There is no minimum page requirement.
- A slide show visual display must not exceed 10 slides. This slide limit excludes any tables, figures, appendices or references. There is no minimum slide requirement.
- Please exercise reasonable judgment when deciding on the size of other types of project outputs.
Updating a Submitted Entry
- It is the School Contact and students’ responsibility to ensure all details and files are correct. A confirmation email will be sent to both the School Contact and Corresponding Author upon completion of the submission form. Check junk/spam/promotions folder if the confirmation email is not in the inbox.
- If you need to make changes to a submitted entry, email us (email@example.com) with as much detail as possible and we will send you a link to update the submission. DO NOT email any files to us; they will not be considered.
- If you make multiple submissions for the same entry (same project and team); the Outreach Team will process the most recently submitted entry.
Submissions will be allowed from April 2023
The online submission form will close at 11:59 PM Monday 31st July 2023 (Melbourne time, UTC +10:00). Please ensure you have read the above information fully before submitting an entry.
This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the competition. If your question is not answered, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administration and Joining
What is the fee to enter the competition?
Is there a deadline to register teams or individuals?
Teams/individuals officially register when they submit a project via the online submission form. The 'provide your details' form is not an official registration; you provide your details so that we can send you the Research Question Booklets, updates, and announcements.
Can home schooled students participate?
When is the submission deadline?
11:59 PM Monday 31st July 2023 (Melbourne time, UTC +10:00)
Do the projects need to be submitted?
No. However, prizes and certificates will only be awarded to teams which have officially submitted.
Will solutions to the projects be released?
No. However, the shortlisted projects will be published on the Outreach website upon conclusion of the competition.
I am a teacher. What is my involvement in this competition?
You are expected to give the project booklets to your students and sign a section of the declaration form stating that you believe the project outputs to be the students' original work. You are not expected or permitted to help with the projects in a technical capacity.
What is a School Contact?
For the purposes of this competition a School Contact is one of:
- A registered teacher employed at the same school of a student submitting a research project.
- A responsible adult acting as a home school instructor for a student submitting a research project. This adult must hold a valid registration with the home education authority of their state, territory or region.
As part of auditing, the School Contact may be asked to provide proof of registration.
Is there a limit on how many teams a school can enter?
No, schools can enter as many teams as they like.
Can a student be in more than one team?
No. Each student is limited to one entry into the competition.
Can a team be made up of students from different schools?
Yes. See the submission page for information on additional requirements.
Can a team be made up of students from different age categories?
Yes, but the project must be chosen from the question booklet for the age category of the oldest student in the team.
- I am a student or part of a student team. How do I submit my/our completed project?
- I am a teacher. How do I submit the completed project(s) of my student(s)?
- I am a parent/guardian of a home schooled child(ren). How do I submit a completed project(s) for my child(ren)?
Can a team of students submit a project without a School Contact?
Yes. However, you must ensure that the Sections A and C (School Details and Team Details) of the declaration form have been filled in. If Section B (School Contact Declaration) has not been filled and signed, the entry will not be eligible to be shortlisted for awards and prizes but can be awarded one of: Participation, Merit, High Commendation or Distinction.
Why does a School Contact need to be involved in the process?
The research competition is a school program. To be shortlisted for awards and prizes, a School Contact must declare the originality of the students’ work by signing Section B of the declaration form. Projects without a School Contact's details and signature at Section B of the declaration form can be submitted but will not be eligible to be shortlisted for awards and prizes.
My child’s school will not take part in the competition nor sign the declaration form. What are my options?
These will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us at:
What are the rules for submitting a project?
Please refer to the guidelines and requirements set out on the submission page of the competition website.
I am a teacher. What is the easiest way to submit multiple entries?
Sign the appropriate section in the declaration form and then have your students submit their own projects along with the signed declaration form to the online submission form.
Finalists and Finals Presentation (report projects only)
How are Finalists chosen?
The judging criteria will vary depending on the age category and the complexity of the research project. However, whenever explicit mathematics is involved, mathematical accuracy is vitally important, as is the correct use of mathematical language. In addition to these, the judging criteria include elements for originality, creativity, communication and presentation.
What happens after a team is selected as a Finalist?
Finalists are invited to present their research projects at the Finals Presentation which will be held at the University of Melbourne Parkville Campus.
When will the Finals Presentation take place?
The Finals Presentation will usually take place in late October each year and is only for report projects. There is no Finals Presentation for visual display projects.
How do I participate at the Finals if I can't make it to the Parkville Campus?
Finalists unable to attend campus will be able to participate in the Finals virtually.
How will the Top Team be chosen at the Finals Presentation?
The Top Team is chosen by a panel of judges comprising academics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics and members of the Outreach Team. The judging panel will select the Top Team for each age category based on presentation quality, clarity, and communication.
What if I am a Finalist and I don't want my name publicised?
We will only publish your first initial and last name, along with the school with your consent. (E.g. J. Smith - University of Melbourne)
Prizes and Certificates
What are the awards available?
Teams that submit a valid research project will be awarded one of the following certificates:
- High Commendation
Information about other awards is available in the 'Competition Format' tab.
What are the prizes?
See the table in the 'Competition Format' tab.
How will teams receive their prize money?
The prize money will be awarded in the form of an e-gift card which will be sent to students directly.
How will teams receive their certificates?
- Non-finalist teams will receive digital certificates; these will be sent to the School Contact.
- Finalist teams will receive physical certificates at the Finals Presentation.
The third annual Mathematics and Statistics Research Competition has grown to include entries from New Zealand. For the first time, since the inception of the competition, the Finals Presentations were held in person at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus, with delegates from most states and territories flying in to give their presentations in person.
Below is the list of top teams and finalists for the 2022 year. The prize money is awarded per team and the 2022 Finalist projects, along with the question booklets for the year can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of the list.
Top Team received $1500
- Scotch College (VIC) – E. Wang, F. Tang & J. Li
Finalists received $600
- John Monash Science School (VIC) - W. Lee, S. Deshmuk & T. Shreekumar
- Camberwell Grammar School (VIC) - I. Nandurkar
- Smiths Hill High School (NSW) - Y. Guo & F. Guo
- Haileybury College (VIC) - H. Goyal, D. Suraweera & C. Appelberg
Top Team received $1500
- Newington College (NSW) - E. Jia, A. Xu & J. Haddad
Finalists received $600
- Kingswood College (VIC) - O. Niizeki, A. Jahja & F. T. Possum
- St Joseph's College (QLD) - V. Wu
- Sydney Girls High School (NSW) - C. Deng & S. Pillay
- Scotch College (VIC) - W. Onggara, T. Chu & J. Pan
- Presbyterian Ladies' College (VIC) - S. Au & C. Shen
Top Team received $1500
- MathsInside Studio & Caulfield Grammar School (VIC) - S. Fu
Finalists received $600
- Wesley College (VIC) - H. Nguyen
- MathsInside Studio & Caulfield Grammar School (VIC) - T. Ma
- St. Patrick's Catholic Primary School (NSW) - R. Gupta
- Christ Church Grammar School (WA) - J. Koh & F. Khoo
- Carey Baptist Grammar School (VIC) - O. Cameron
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