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We provide innovative platforms to approach and solve problems, such as huddles, ultimate peer reviews, pop-up research labs, retreats and more.

Visiting Fellows

Fellows must be outstanding researchers of international standing, who will enhance research in humanities and social sciences at the University of Sydney by participating in research-related activities including (1) collaborations with University of Sydney researchers, (2) talks or seminars, guest lectures, (3) HDR master classes, and (4) carrying out specific research while in Sydney.

The criteria for our four Fellowships:

1. James Fellow in Social Sciences at SSSHARC

Funded by The Ernest Athelstan James Bequest, which supports the furtherance of studies in the social sciences, this Fellowship is for a social sciences researcher.

2. Gilbert Fellow in Humanities at SSSHARC

Funded by The John Anthony Gilbert Bequest, which was in part established to support grants for visiting fellowships in the Faculty of Arts (as it was then known), this Fellowship is for a humanities researcher.

3. Charles Perkins Centre Fellow at SSSHARC

Funded by the Charles Perkins Centre, this Fellowship is for a HASS researcher working in relation to chronic disease and ethics and health policy.

4. SSSHARC Early Career Fellow

This Fellowship is for an early career researcher in any area of humanities or social sciences. (Nominees must have received formal notification of acceptance of their PhD within a period of no more than 5 years before July 1 in the year of application; career interruptions will be taken into account.)

Applications for our Visiting Fellows will open shortly.


Applications are now open to University of Sydney full-time or fractional (0.5+ FTE) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences academics.

One-day intensive group work on a research idea that is highly compelling but not yet formed clearly enough to move forward.

The aim is not to present talks but to bring ideas, arguments, evidence, studies to the table for intensive and critical group discussion, and seek clarity toward plans for initiating landmark research:

  • not a conference with talks
  • applicants will have a promising idea, but be unsure how to proceed; no sharp question yet, but good reason to believe there is promise for landmark research
  • participants are chemicals in an experiment, selected accordingly
  • as a strict condition of participation, all participants must submit a 1-page position statement on the huddle theme for pre-circulation before the meeting (submission and circulation of statements is handled by SSSHARC) 
  • postgraduate research students must be involved as participants
  • by the end of the event, conveners must articulate a sharp research question with clear coordinates for where to take it next (what, how, who is involved, etc)
  • recommendations for next research/funding steps to be made accordingly; should lead to a workshop, book development idea; or grant application
  • visiting scholar gives a master class for postgraduate research students
  • funding capped at $4500; SSSHARC manages budget and provides some help with event organization

Applications for 2020 huddles will open shortly.

Ultimate Peer Review

This scheme identifies University of Sydney researchers who have completed a draft of a major research output (traditional or non-traditional) with potential to be a landmark work, and brings brilliant, relevant international research authorities to Sydney to closely evaluate the work, with the aim of helping it realize that potential.

The researcher defends their work in a semi-open event, in which the invited scholar acts as interlocutor and critical ‘opponent’, with a participating audience. Alongside this event, the invited scholar contributes during their visit with further direct consultation with the author, and with other events as appropriate.

Applications for 2020 ultimate peer reviews will open shortly.

Pop-up Research Lab

Three-week intensive research program tailored specifically to advance a strong line of work that is up and running, and that has potential to scale up into a major program of landmark research (such as a centre or an externally-funded large grant project).

Applications for 2020 pop-up reserach labs will open shortly.


This five-day retreat is to be held off-campus in an intensive discussion-based setting (ideally with one on-campus day).

Participants must submit their contributions to be circulated before the retreat; the aim is not to present talks but to intensively and critically discuss the arguments, evidence, studies, and ideas tabled specifically for the occasion.

After the retreat is completed, the tabled contributions are to be revised accordingly and published in an appropriate form; the retreat conveners take editorial responsibility (eg as book editors).

Applications for 2020 retreats will open shortly.

Global Symposia

Each Global Symposium will:

  • Address a problem of global importance
  • Lead to landmark publications and similar agreed outcomes
  • Involve participants from at least four global regions (including Australia)
  • Involve collaboration with at least one of the University of Sydney’s global partner universities
  • Encourage participation from HDR students and early career researchers
  • Be open to public participation, both by attendance and online

It is envisaged that academic awardees will also actively seek additional internal support (such as through relevant Centres and Multidisciplinary Initiatives) and external support from participants’ contributions where possible, from global partner universities where applicable, and through other entities. Local administrative organization of the symposium will be supported by SSSHARC and the University of Sydney Office of Global Engagement.

Applications for our global symposias will open shortly.

Image by Esaias Tan on Unsplash