Winners 2nd Annual Emerging Sleep Hero Award

sleep week home banner 2021

We are delighted to announce the winner and runners up of the Emerging Sleep Hero Awards held Thursday, 18 November 2021:

1st - Anastasia Suraev
2nd - Aaron Schokman
3rd  - Svetlana Maskevich

People's choice award - Aaron Schokman

Congratulations to all the winners. The quality of all presentations was excellent and it was a very difficult task for the judges to select the top three.

You can view the presentations here:



The 2nd Annual Sleep Health Foundation Emerging Sleep Hero Award is coming up on Thursday, November 18!

Our finalists will be sharing a presentation outlining their work - and we can't wait to see it. We are delighted to congratulate finalists Aaron Schokman, Anastasia Suraev, Atqiya Aishah, Jenny Haycock, Svetlana Maskevich who have made it into the final round!

Join us for this virtual award event from 6.30-7.30pm, Thursday, November 18 2021.

To register to attend the event, click here:


 The 2nd Annual Sleep Health Foundation Emerging Sleep Hero Award

Hosted by the Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) & the Australian Sleep and Alertness Consortium (ASAC)

Thursday, November 18 @ 6.30-7.30pm, 2021 (to be held virtually)



The Emerging Sleep Hero Award is an initiative of the Sleep Health Foundation (SHF).  A total of five finalists will present their research during a one-hour, online event to be held from 6.30-7.30pm (AEDT) on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

The SHF is pleased to hold an event that focuses on the future leaders in the field of sleep. It will be a fun, relaxed, informal event and a forum in which we can continue to inform the local sleep community of our mission and objectives.

What is involved?

Post-graduate students who are currently enrolled at a University in Australia or New Zealand and are Sleep Health Foundation members, are invited to submit an entry to be considered for the “2021 Sleep Health Foundation Emerging Sleep Hero” Award. This initial entry should be in the form of a mock ‘press release’ about their research (max 250 words) outlining their topic and how it will positively impact the sleep field and the wider community in future years. This mock ‘press release will be assessed by members of the SHF Marketing and Communications committee and associated volunteers.

From this initial judging process, five finalists will be identified, and these five finalists will be invited to present, live, at the online event on Thursday, November 18 at 6.30-7.30pm (AEDT). This will be a 5-minute pitch of their research and how they could see their research being translated into practice and enable it to have a positive impact on society. There will be three judges for this live judging section and also live polling from the audience to award the “People’s Choice Award”.  


The Award is open to all present post-graduate (including Honours) students investigating a topic within the sleep field right across Australasia who are Sleep Health Foundation members.

If you are not already a member you can join here.

Entry information

Entry involves a two-stage process:

  1. Students submit a simple written mock ‘press release’ (max 250 words) to highlight their research and how it could make a positive impact. Entries will be judged by how effectively they communicate their research and its potential impact (see judging criteria below). Submissions to be sent to  by COB Monday, Oct 25, 2021.

Five finalists will be chosen from this initial stage to take part in the event and will be notified by November 1, 2021. The five finalists will be invited to ‘pitch’ their research and how they predict their findings could be translated into significant and positive impacts on the sleep health field and society as a whole. This pitch will be allocated as a 5-minute maximum session.  This pitch can be a simple presentation, a slide show, or even a short video. The finalist can be creative about how they want to best represent themselves (see judging criteria below).

The winner will be offered exposure of their research and their achievements across SHF social media channels as well as temporarily on the SHF website and newsletter. The winner will become our featured ‘hero’ for a week, and receive a free annual membership to the SHF. All 5 finalists will receive free SHF membership for 2021-2022.

First place will receive a cash prize of $350, second place $200 and third place a $100. 


  • Submissions due by COB Monday, Oct 25, 2021
  • SHF to identify the five finalists according to the highest scores according to the judging criteria rubric
  • SHF to notify the five finalists on Monday, Nov 1, 2021 and invite them to participate in the live virtual event on Thursday, Nov 18, 2021.

Judging criteria

  • Two judging panels will be appointed for each stage 1 and stage 2 of the awards

Stage 1 judging Identification of five finalists -following an expression of interest (EOI) process and judging of submitted ‘press releases’.

Stage 2 judging Identification of first-place, second-place and third-place winners from the five finalists on the night of November 18, 2021.



Stage 1 Judging Criteria

  • Did the ‘press release’ clearly describe the key results of the research including brief overview of methodology, conclusions, outcomes and implications?
  • Was the ‘press release’ written well; was it clear, legible, in plain language, concise and within the 250 word limit?
  • Did the ‘press release’ provide a clear description of how this research will potentially contribute to our society?
  • Has the researcher been convincing about the promise of their science and how their findings might make a significant difference?

Score  /40 The judging criteria will be based on an objective 1-10 scoring system (where 1 = extremely low rating and 10 = extremely high rating)

Stage 2 Judging Criteria

  • Was the ‘pitch’ topic, key results, research significance, outcomes and impact communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention, i.e.was there demonstrated engagement from the audience and was it entertaining and creative?
  • How convincing was this researcher’s pitch on the potential delivery on the promise of their science? That is, how convinced are you that the outlined implications are possible?
  • How highly do you rate the finalist’s description of the need for this research, and its potential promised impact on society, compared to all other entries.

Score  /40 The judging criteria will be based on an objective 1-10 scoring system (where 1 = extremely low rating and 10 = extremely high rating).



Winners announced

  • All participants will receive an email thanking them for their entry and letting them know whether or not they have been selected to take part in the Sleep Health Foundation Emerging Sleep Hero Award event on Thursday, November 18.
  • The winners, from the five finalists, will be announced at the live event, at the conclusion of the event.
  • The People’s Choice will be announced at the live event, at the conclusion of the event.