I was one of 12 James Cook University alumni n honoured at the annual Outstanding Alumni Awards in Townsville.
The office of Australia’s Chief Scientist has featured me among it’s “Australian science superheroes”!
Regular successful grants are crucial for academic career advancement. Grants fund research, research leads to publications, and publications result in job security and promotion. But the likelihood of success is low, particularly for early-career researchers. Last year, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects, and National Health and Medical Research Council grants had a success rate around 18%, and ARC Linkage Projects around 30%.
A huge amount of effort is being dedicated to writing grants with very little chance of success.
How can we make this system better? My suggestions include prioritising funding for early-career researches, an expression-of-interest system to gauge the success of proposals, transparent and detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants, and changing the timing of grant season so that is more family-friendly.
Is crowd funding the future of grants for science and the arts?
As well as an alternative source of income for research, crowd funding allows direct and immediate contact with the public. You carry them along on the way with you, which is how science should be.
Kookaburras, koalas and kangaroos — Australia is well known for its charismatic animals and vast, seemingly untamable, wild spaces. But throughout the country, the national parks and reserves that protect these unique animals and ecosystems have come under increasing threat. New rules and relaxed regulations, which bolster immediate economic growth, are putting pressure on Australia’s already-threatened biodiversity.