Awards For Early Career Researchers: An Important Step Forward

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3rd November 2010, 08:21pm - Views: 4457

Australian Academy of Science

Media Release

AAS 32/10

3 November 2010

Awards for early career researchers: An important step forward

The Australian Academy of Science welcomes the proposal announced today by the

Australian Research Council to create new Discovery Awards for early career


Professor Bob Williamson, the Academy’s Secretary for Science Policy, said 'Australia

has many excellent young scientists and doctors with first rate ideas, and this initiative

will let them run their own grants and learn how to build on their ideas. It is of great

importance that we allow the next generation to learn how to manage scientific research

when they are most likely to have new, innovative ideas and a high level of enthusiasm.'

The Academy has noted for several years that many of the best students are turning

away from science because of the absence of good career prospects after a researcher

obtains their doctorate degree. 

'Australia needs more investment in sustainable career paths to attract and retain

internationally competitive researchers, to build our economy, to help our medical and

environmental research, and to ensure a competitive position on the world stage.'

'There is nothing wrong with Australian talent,' said Professor Williamson. 'We just need

to provide opportunities like this for talented early career researchers, so that they do

not have to wait for 10 or 20 years before they can secure a grant.'

The Academy noted that up to 15% of key Discovery Awards would go to researchers

who will be under 35. 

'Our best young scientists can now be confident of better career prospects in Australia.

We will also be able to attract excellent new researchers from other countries,' said

Professor Williamson. 

'The large number of new awards will also help to ensure that talented women remain

on the career ladder, particularly as they will be structured to allow scientists to move

their careers forward in a flexible way and move in and out of scientific posts.'

For further information contact:

Professor Bob Williamson on 0409 706 255

Media officer – Mona Akbari on 0447 679 612

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