AHURI Researcher Awards

Each year at the AHRC, the AHURI present housing researcher awards. Read about the awards and the 2016 winners.

The AHURI researcher awards include: the Federal Minister’s Award for Early Career Researcher, which has been in place since 2006 and the Professor Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research, which was offered for the first time in 2015.

Professor Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research

Known as ‘The Berry’, this award is presented each year for the best piece of new research. Winners receive an engraved award, a $1000 cash prize and are listed on an honour board on the Housing Choices Australia and AHURI websites. The most recent recipient was Professor Kath Hulse from Swinburne University, for her paper Renting in a home owning society: Disaster, Deviance or Diversity?. The paper provided a nuanced understanding of private renters in Australia, their housing aspirations and motives. It builds on a significant body of research Professor Hulse has led examining the private rental system.

See Professor Kath Hulse’s staff profile.

History of award

The Berry was created in 2015 by Housing Choices Australia and AHURI to honour the outstanding contribution made by Professor Mike Berry to the affordable housing sector in Australia.

Throughout his career, Professor Mike Berry has made an exceptional contribution to the field of housing research as a former Executive Director of AHURI, a researcher of international repute and as Director of the AHURI Research Centre—RMIT University. He has published a vast body of research focussing on urban development processes, urban social theory, economics and public policy, and housing markets. He has been a long-term member of the Housing Choices Australia Board, including as Chair in 2013, and was Executive Director of AHURI from 1993 to 1999. He is currently Emeritus Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. This award encourages future generations of researchers to strive for the same levels of excellence Professor Berry has achieved throughout his illustrious career.

Federal Housing Minister's Award for Early Career Researchers (ECR Award)

The purpose of the ECR Award is to recognise excellence among those beginning their careers in housing and urban research. Winners of the award receive a cash prize of $500 and a trophy provided by AHURI. The most recent recipient of this award was Dr. Victoria Cornell from the Centre for Housing Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Adelaide for her paper Exploring The Impacts Of The Aged Care Reforms – Will They Help Low Income Older Renters Age In Place?


Applicants of the award must have gained a PhD since February 2011 or be otherwise new (less than five years as of November 2015) to the arena of housing or urban research.

Additionally, abstracts submitted for this award must show independent thought and work and originality.

Assessment process and criteria

A short-list of abstracts are assessed on the basis of the conference presentation and their potential impact on the practice of policy and theory in the area of housing and urban research. Abstracts and presentations are assessed against the following five criteria:

  1. Logical linkage of theory and practice
  2. Clarity of thought and argument progression
  3. Originality
  4. Contribution to the body of knowledge
  5. Potential for practical application.