Professor Mark Scott and Professor Emma Johnston in the University Quadrangle.

Sydney invests in Australia's research future with innovative fellowship scheme

5 June 2023
Record investment for emerging researchers to dream big, take risks and drive change
An unprecedented investment by the University will support up to 40 new continuing positions, empowering the world's most talented emerging researchers to undertake innovative research to address some of the biggest challenges of our time.

A $100 million investment and a cornerstone of the University’s 2032 Strategy, the Sydney Horizon Fellowship scheme is the first of its kind in Australia and among the most generous university fellowships in the world.

“The Sydney Horizon Fellowships are an unprecedented investment for the University in early and mid-career researchers and demonstrate our commitment to deliver research that is a catalyst for innovation and change,” Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO said.

“We know if we want to grow innovation we must support our researchers to tackle the greatest challenges for the common good."

Early career researchers are vital to solving the challenges of the future and building a better world.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mark Scott AO

The scheme, which focuses on research in climate change, health and sustainability, is expected to be hugely popular with both local and international researchers.

It offers up to 40 continuing positions, commencing with a five-year research-focused fellowship which includes training and mentoring, a competitive salary and a generous research funding package.

Professor Emma Johnston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said she was proud to launch the Sydney Horizon Fellowships, which she believes will be a game-changer for future academic leaders.

“As knowledge and innovation grow, our early and mid-career researchers are the generation we need to unlock the solutions to climate change, health and sustainability challenges.

“Compounding global crises are having a profound impact on all of us and this record funding gives researchers the time and security to develop their big ideas.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston

Open to all disciplines, research programs could include the development of novel technologies, biomedical, legal, business, design, policy and political instruments.

The fellowship scheme also upholds the University’s commitment to equity and diversity, aiming to recruit at least 50 percent female-identifying researchers and strongly encouraging applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and those with lived experience of disability.

The University of Sydney ranks 28th in the world for research performance and is in the top five universities globally in the QS Sustainability Rankings, covering research, teaching and community engagement.

“We are proud of our success to date in research in climate change, health and sustainability, such as our leadership on the State of the Environment report, our world-leading work in melanoma and innovations in renewable energy storage,” said Professor Johnston.

“The new fellowships will build our capacity to deliver more work of this calibre and impact in the future.”

Some of the University’s areas of interest include the development of new technologies to mitigate climate change; building understanding of the impact of climate on the environment, business, human health and society; drug discovery and the role of technology in promoting health; and policies and strategies to promote sustainability in agriculture, architecture, energy, finance, waste management, water and transportation.

The fellows will be supported to join existing research centres of the University of Sydney and build new networks across schools and faculties while being mentored by some of the top leaders in their field.

The fellowships are part of a suite of initiatives aimed at supporting the next generation of researchers under the University’s 2032 Strategy. Other projects in development include the creation of a graduate research school to better support higher degree research students, new programs to support research commercialisation and translation, and a comprehensive training and development program supporting early-career researchers to thrive in academia.

Applications for the Sydney Horizon Fellowships close Wednesday 5 July 2023, with the fellows commencing in 2024.

Banner image: Professor Mark Scott and Professor Emma Johnston in the University Quadrangle. Photo by Michael Amendolia

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