On 13 March 2008, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, announced a major review of Australia’s higher education system which will examine and report on the future direction of the higher education sector, its fitness for purpose in meeting the needs of the Australian community and economy and the options for ongoing reform.
A Discussion Paper was released on 10 June 2008. The Discussion Paper was followed by consultation sessions hosted in capital cities around the country, in which CAPA and its affiliates were participants.
On the 23rd of May 2008 Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, called for interested Australians to respond to a consultation paper on the development of the Government’s new Future Fellowships scheme.
In the Federal Budget, the Government met its election commitment to fund the $844 million Future Fellowships scheme for top mid-career researchers.
Administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the scheme will offer 1,000 talented Australian and international mid-career researchers four-year fellowships of up to $140,000 a year. Host organisations will receive an additional $50,000 a year to support related infrastructure, equipment, travel and relocation costs.
The scheme aims to provide an incentive for Australian researchers based overseas to return home to continue their work and attract the best international researchers.
The scheme will seek to encourage those researchers who can demonstrate a capacity to build collaboration across industry, research institutions, and with other disciplines.
The ARC will collaborate with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and other public research organisations in assessment of funding proposals. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate a link between each Fellowship and the host organisation’s research strengths to ensure that they align with planning for renewal and expansion of the research workforce.
The first round of Fellowships will be awarded in 2009.