Student Prizes

Undergraduate Prizes

The School of BEES awards a number of undergraduate academic prizes on an annual basis. Although the prizes awarded are subject to change, the prizes recently awarded were as follows.

Prize Description Discipline
Lord Mayor’s Perpetual Trophy Awarded to the top ranking  Environmental Science graduate on first attempt. Environmental Science
Savills Prize Awarded to the top ranking Environmental Science student in 3rd year on first attempt. Environmental Science
Butler Prize Awarded to the top ranking Plant Science graduate on first attempt. Plant Science
Mulcahy Prize Terms of reference given below. Zoology
O’Rourke Prize Awarded to the top ranking Zoology student in third year on first attempt. Zoology
Crawford Hayes Prize Awarded to the top ranking Ecology graduate on first attempt. Ecology
Rising Star Award Awarded to the most improved BEES student from Year 2 to Year 3. BEES
Nichol Prize Awarded to the top ranking Geology research project on first attempt. Geology

About the Undergraduate Prizes

  • The Mulcahy Prize is awarded in honour of Prof. Maire Mulcahy, Emerita Professor of Zoology at UCC and the first female Professor of Zoology at the university.
  • The Butler Prize is presented in honour of Sir Edwin John Butler, UCC graduate, noted plant pathologist and founding director of the Imperial Bureau of Mycology.
  • The Nichol Prize is awarded in honour of Professor James Nichol, the first Professor of Geology at University College Cork from 1849-1853.
  • The O'Rourke Prize is awarded in honour of Prof. Fergus O'Rourke who served as Chair of Zoology at University College Cork from 1954 to 1982.
  • The Crawford Hayes Prize is presented in honour of Thomas Crawford Hayes. In 1922 Miss Isabelle Hayes bequeathed £27,600 to the National University of Ireland, in memory of her late brother Dr Thomas Crawford Hayes, for the purpose of "founding or aiding a Chair of Biology in the University and also for the furtherance and promotion of natural knowledge".

Delap Prize for Postgraduate Research

Maude Delap, an Irish marine biologist who was the first person to observe and describe the full life cycle of jellyfish

Terms of Reference

1. The Delap Prize is named after Maude Delap, an Irish marine biologist who was the first person to observe and describe the full life cycle of jellyfish.

2. The prize is awarded to the best peer-reviewed academic paper (including review papers) accepted for publication in a given academic year (1st September-31st August) by a registered/recently graduated postgraduate student.

3. Students are eligible to apply for the prize up to 12 months after receiving their postgraduate qualification.

4. Applicants must clearly be the first/principal author of the publication and have the School of BEES as their primary affiliated institution.

5. The prize will be awarded at three levels:
Gold - €900, Silver - €700, Bronze - €500

6. Each applicant will be required to submit a digital (ideally PDF) copy of their research paper and a short statement (Max. 200 word) outlining the potential impact of the published research. They will also be required to present evidence confirming that their work has been accepted for publication and an additional short statement (Max. 100 words) outlining their specific contribution to the paper. Applications are sent by e-mail to the Chair of the GSC and must be received before the announced deadline.

7. Judging for the awards will be carried out by a panel of five BEES staff members drawn from all disciplines within the School that will include the HOS and the Chair of the GSC. The Chair of the GSC will chair the judging panel and will select School staff appropriate for the topic range of research papers submitted. Panel membership selection will be very sensitive to any potential conflict of interest between panel members and applicants.

8. The judging criteria for the award will include:
(i) The ranking of publishing journal within the relevant discipline
(ii) The overall impact of published research

9. Prize winners will be required to give a short (15 minutes) presentation to the School at a dedicated Delap Prize Seminar event at the end of Semester 1 in the year of the award.

Tom and Mary Cross Award (Postdoctoral)

Tom and Mary Cross

The Tom and Mary Cross Prize (value €300) was instigated by Professor Tom Cross to celebrate the great times that he and his late wife, Mary, had in UCC, in what has now become BEES. Mary worked as a Research Scientist in Fish Diseases and Genetics, whereas Tom was a member of faculty, retiring as Head of ZEPS in 2011. He remains active in the fish genetics group in BEES, led by Dr Tom Reed and Professor Phil McGinnity, and participates in four or more papers each year. 

Professor Cross wants to promote the importance of research publications. The Prize targets Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) to encourage them to publish, as they are undertaking most of the research. Furthermore, interest in this prize should assist them in their journey towards becoming independent scientists, who can effectively compete to secure future employment in the global science community. 

The competition is open all papers submitted and accepted for publication between 2019 and 2022 with applicants as first author and with BEES as their address (PDFs who have already left BEES will obviously have a different current address). This should encompass work conducted by PDFs in BEES, but also prior work submitted while employed as PDFs in UCC. The only exclusion is those who have won the prize in previous years. 

Application is simple, involving the submission of the paper, a brief description of motivation and a CV. If shortlisted by the assessors (incorporating all BEES disciplines) applicants will then be asked to engage in a brief on-line interview. Applications should be emailed to  

Closing Date for the 2022 competition is Friday, 20th May 2022, 5.00pm.

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

Distillery Fields, North Mall, University College Cork, Ireland , T23 N73K.