Each year Professionals Australia provides up to two scholarships for scientist members to attend Science meets Parliament (SmP), a two-day event that brings together more than 200 of Australia’s top scientists and decision-makers in Canberra.
This year’s event will be held between Tuesday 13 August 2019 – Wednesday 14 August 2019.
Why should you apply for the SmP scholarship?
The Science Meets Parliament scholarship serves two purposes.
First, it demonstrates Professional Scientists’ Australia ongoing- commitment to the continuing professional development of our early to mid-career members.
Second, it is an opportunity for you to start dialogue and debate around the key issues facing science in Australia straight to the politicians in Canberra.
With the event happening 87 days after the May 18 Federal election, the successfully applicants could either be debating against the Coalition’s cuts to science and R&D or Labor’s commitment to a demand-driven system.
How to apply?
To apply, please submit a brief CV and an essay 1000 words or less.
The scholarship is selected based on an essay competition and each scholarship covers recipient members’ conference fees, travel and accommodation.
This year’s topics are:
“What kind of support, structures and practices in science and R&D will be necessary to allow us to meet the contemporary and future challenges we face as a nation?”
“In your view what policy settings and initiatives would help attract the next generation of scientists to the profession and encourage innovation?”
“In your view what initiatives, investment and policy settings would best support the creation of a committed, agile diverse and sustainable STEM workforce?”
Entries close on Friday 31 May 2019. All entries should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
What do I write?
Where science once received bipartisan support, the profession has been at the mercy of cuts to funding. This has most likely affected you and your colleagues in a variety of ways and we encourage you to base your essay on the challenges you face in your workplace, relative to the topics listed above.
To give you some inspiration, here are two excerpts from last year’s topic:
“In your view, what policy settings and initiatives would help attract the next generation of scientists to the profession and encourages innovation?”
Ryan wrote:“Heroes and role modes inexorably play a part in attracting students, especially in the formative years to a particular field of study. Australia sorely lacks a scientist that children can look up to and find inspiration in. America has Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, Britain has Steven Hawking and Brian Cox, ask the average Australian to name a celebrated current scientist and you’ll be rewarded with a blank look. Like it or not, celebrities feature as a draw card and encourage young minds…”
Katie wrote: “What is required is cultural change. A change in the way we view our scientists and their contribution to our society and economy. It’s easy to look at scientific discoveries as adding value economically in hindsight, once a discovery is made profitable and useful. It is more difficult to look at scientific work (especially in the early stages) and to preconceive how important that development may be in the future…”
You can read more of Ryan and Katie’s essays here.