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Science research fellowships

ARC and NHMRC fellowship opportunities
We welcome the opportunity to increase the capacity and impact of our research by hosting fellows in areas of strength and strategic importance.

Supporting the very best and brightest researchers is at our core.  We offer excellent support for our early- and mid-career research fellows, through mentoring and targeted support schemes. 

Many of our fellows have used these opportunities to catapult their career into research leadership roles on the national and international scene.

The University of Sydney has invested heavily in research capacity across the full spectrum of the sciences.

From an island field station on the Great Barrier Reef, to world leading nanoscience laboratories, our scientists have access to world-leading facilities and equipment. 

Our multi-disciplinary initiatives and core research facilities offer collaborative spaces, critical mass of researchers, and the very best research tools available.  

Opportunities

A launchpad for early career researchers, up to 5 years out of PhD.

Overview

The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) grant opportunity provides focused research support for early career researchers. Normally up to 200 three-year DECRAs are awarded each year by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Successful fellows are supported by up to $50,000 per annum in project funds.

The DECRA scheme aims to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers;
  • support national and international research collaboration;
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas;
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways; and enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments.

Eligibility

Early Career Researchers receiving their PhD in the last five years or have eligible commensurate career disruption.

Check your eligibility

ARC message on eligibility extension (1 May 2020): Due to the impacts of COVID-19 to early career researchers, the ARC has introduced a one-year automatic eligibility extension for all researchers currently in their final year of eligibility. Researchers in their final year of eligibility for DECRA may choose to apply in 2020 (for DECRA 2022) within the existing eligibility timeframes or in 2021 (for DECRA 2023) utilising the automatic one-year extension. Final year applicants cannot apply in both rounds.

Read more

Deadline

Applications for DECRA fellowships commencing in 2022 are due 25 November 2020, but potential applicants should contact their supporting School by 09 September 2020.

Of the researchers who were awarded a DECRA fellowship in the Faculty of Science in the last 9 years:

  • 96% continued as researchers in the Faculty
  • 37% continued as researchers at University of Sydney
  • 24% continued as a researcher overseas
  • 13% obtained an ARC Future Fellowship

Enabling the best and brightest mid-career researchers – 5 to 15 years out of PhD.

Overview

The Future Fellowships scheme seeks to retain and attract the best and brightest mid-career researchers to undertake high-quality research programs in areas of national and international benefit.

Up to 100 four-year Future Fellowships may be awarded each year by the Australian Research Council (ARC).  These fellows are supported by up to $60,000 per annum project funding.

The Future Fellowships scheme aims to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research and research training by outstanding mid-career researchers to be recruited by universities in academic positions;
  • support national and international research collaboration; and enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas.

Eligibility

Future Fellowships candidates receiving their PhD in the past five to fifteen years or have eligible commensurate career disruption.

Check your eligibility

ARC message on eligibility extension (1 May 2020): Due to the impacts of COVID-19 to mid-career researchers, the ARC has introduced a one year automatic eligibility extension for all researchers currently in their final year of eligibility. Researchers in their final year of eligibility for Future Fellowships may choose to apply in 2020 (for FT 2021) or utilise the automatic one-year eligibility extension to apply in 2021 (for FT 2022). Final year applicants cannot apply in both rounds.

Read more

Timeline

Applications for Future Fellowships commencing in late 2021 are due 9 December 2020, but potential applicants should contact their supporting School by 07 October 2020.

Overview

The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme supports excellence in research by attracting world-class researchers and research leaders to key positions and creating new rewards and incentives for the application of their talents in Australia.

Preference is given to researchers who will play a significant, sustained leadership and mentoring role in building Australia’s internationally competitive research capacity.

Up to 17 five-year Australian Laureate Fellowships may be awarded each year by the Australian Research Council (ARC), providing a salary supplement, in addition to a Level E professorial salary provided by the Administering Organisation; funding for up to two Postdoctoral Research Associates (five years) and two Postgraduate Researchers (four years); and up to $300,000 per annum project funding.

The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme aims to:

  • support ground-breaking, internationally competitive basic and applied research
  • forge strong links among researchers, the international research community and/or industry and other research end-users
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas
  • attract and retain outstanding researchers and research leaders of international reputation
  • provide an excellent research training environment and exemplary mentorship to nurture early-career researchers.

Deadline

Applications for Australian Laureate Fellowships commencing in late 2021 are due 28 October 2020, but potential applicants should contact their supporting School by 31 August 2020.

This scheme provide the highest-performing researchers at all career stages with funding for their salary (if required) and a research support package (RSP) for five years.

Investigator Grants will support:

different career stages – early career researchers, mid-career researchers and established researchers

researchers with clinical responsibilities (such as clinicians, public health and allied health practitioners) and part-time researchers.

Structure

Investigator Grants will be offered in two categories:

Emerging Leadership (EL) – recipients will have the title ‘NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow’

Leadership (L) - recipients will have the title “NHMRC Leadership Fellow’

Five levels of salary support and six tiers of research support packages (RSP) will be offered across the scheme.

Salary

Applicants to the Investigator Grant scheme select the most appropriate Level (Emerging Leader 1 - Leader 3) for their career stage and the percentage of salary required to support their research activities, while ensuring they meet eligibility requirements.

If applicants request a salary, the Leadership Level selected will determine the salary awarded. Salary levels have been set at the top of current, broadly equivalent NHMRC Fellowship levels.

Research Support Packages for NHMRC Investigator grants

Successful applicants at Emerging Leadership Levels 1 and Level 2 will be awarded a fixed RSP of $50,000 and $200,000 per annum, respectively.

There are four tiers of RSP for the Leadership Investigator Grants. These have been set at $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 and $600,000 per annum and will be allocated independently of the Leadership level, based on the overall peer review score of the application. As a comparison, the average Project Grant provides approximately $200,000 per annum for three years (excluding clinical trials grants).

Research Support Packages can be used to fund Direct Research Costs.

NHMRC Emerging Leadership Investigator Grants will be restricted to researchers who are ≤10 years post-PhD or equivalent on 1 March of the application year.     

Investigator Grants comprise a Research Support Package (RSP) and a salary component. The salary component of Investigator Grants is provided as a contribution to assist Administering Institutions with employing the successful applicant. However, an Investigator Grant recipient’s total salary is agreed through negotiation between the researcher and their Administering Institution.

Contacts

The Faculty of Science is structured with Associate Heads of Research located in each of the Schools. 

For further information please contact your Associate Head or your Research Adminstration officer who can provide you with an information pack and assistance with your application .

School

Associate Head of Research

Research Administration Officer

School of Chemistry

Professor Chris Ling

chemistry.researchsupport@sydney.edu.au

School of Geosciences

Dr Maria Seton

geosciences.research@sydney.edu.au

School of History and Philosophy of Science

Professor Dean Rickles

hps.admin@sydney.edu.au

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Associate Professor Joy Becker

soles.research@sydney.edu.au

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Professor Ruibin Zhang

sonia.morr@sydney.edu.au

School of Physics

Associate Professor Archil Kobakhidze

physics.research@sydney.edu.au

School of Psychology

Associate Professor Ben Colagiuri

psychology.research@sydney.edu.au

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Professor Jacqui Norris

vetsci.research@sydney.edu.au