A new $2 million fellowship program which will target female researchers for UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, has been launched in the United Kingdom this month.
The funding comes from Santos, with the fellowships to focus on research into key areas for future industries development – minerals and resources engineering; energy and advanced manufacturing; environmental science and engineering; and biomaterials engineering and nanomedicine.
UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, says women make up more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but just 17 per cent of senior academics in institutions across the country – that is something we want to turn around at UniSA.
“These fellowships will ensure that more women in science have the opportunity, not only to contribute to innovation, but also to lead that innovation,” he says.
Prof Lloyd also says that the support from Santos represents a strong investment in South Australia, which will help to attract some of the smartest minds to the State.
“This is a great move because it invests in the future intellectual capital of the State and that is the way to fire up the new ideas, discoveries, and refinements that will deliver for the SA economy,” Prof Lloyd says.
“This builds on our partnership with University College London, through the University’s Future Industries Institute, which is is spearheading the development of new research in key industry areas and research that is informed by industry needs globally.”
UniSA’s Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Professor Tanya Monro, says that getting more girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at school is key to getting more women into science careers.
“More women should be encouraged to go into STEM fields, however this needs to start right from the school years with girls enrolling in STEM subjects and understanding that working in STEM industries can be an attractive career choice,” Prof Monro says.
“I welcome this new fellowship program which recognises the importance of STEM for women to help build our workforce of the future.”
Prof Monro says the program is especially important as UniSA gears up its activities as a part of Australia’s Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) project.
Modelled on the UK’s Athena Swann Charter, SAGE is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, to address the systemic barriers to women’s career advancement.
The new research fellowships will be available for a period of five years and successful candidates will receive an annual support package to cover travel and other additional expenses.
See In Pictures for photos from the launch, which took place at a special UK Alumni UniSA cocktail reception at Australia House in London.