awk inside qsub: issues with awk $

Consider this working awk one-liner: awk '$1 ~ /hello/' a.txt. When I attempt to submit it to qsub, $1 is incorrectly recognized as a shell variable and replaced with empty space:

awk ' ~ /hello/' a.txt.

I tried suggestions in Using awk with qsub and issues with quotations, including \$1 and

qsub -- awk '$1 ~ /hello/' a.txt.

Neither works.

I can certainly put awk in a script and call qsub that way, i.e., qsub awkscript.sh. However, if there's a way to use qsub+awk from the command line, I'd like to learn how.