What have we been up to?

Sandra Gardam
Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Project Officer
Australian Academy of Science


In February the EMCR Forum executive committee held its annual meeting in Canberra. The two-day meeting welcomed new executive members, farewelled those leaving the committee and gave everyone valuable time together to discuss, think and plan. It is an important opportunity as the committee members are spread across the country from Perth to Brisbane. The main business of the meeting was planning the focus areas for the year and developing an action plan. One of the focus areas this year is growing the Forum’s membership base. Help us out!

Gender equity

The EMCR Forum has long been an advocate for gender equity and many executive members past and present have contributed. The Forum has written best practice guides in this area and continues to work with funding bodies and other organisations to improve their work on gender equity.

The NHMRC has recently re-established its Women in Health Science Working Committee and invited Dr Nikola Bowden, Deputy Chair of the EMCR Forum to join the committee. Nikola will represent the views of EMCRs and work towards solutions on issues important to them.

A former EMCR Forum executive member is also due to take up a new position in gender equity. Associate Professor Kate Hoy, who served as the EMCR Forum’s Deputy Chair 2014–15, has accepted a position on the Academy’s Equity and Diversity Reference Group. Like Nikola, Kate will be representing the views of EMCRs and helping the Academy to strive for best practice in equity issues.

Science meets Parliament

Thanks to Science & Technology Australia (STA), March is a great month for scientists to talk to politicians. This year the EMCR Forum worked with STA on a networking opportunity for EMCRs attending Science meets Parliament. The speed dating-style event run by STA ECR representatives Alan Duffy and Francine Marques aimed to solve all the problems EMCRs face in just five minutes of discussion with a stranger! STA will report back on all the great ideas identified soon and we will let you know.

EMCR Forum executive members, Róisín McMahon and Jackson Thomas attended the event. Róisín shares her experience as a delegate in this issue.


The EMCR Forum executive is currently working on submissions to two consultations that are important to EMCRs. We encourage you to get in touch and let us know your views or write your own submissions.

The ARC is reviewing the effectiveness of Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE). Submissions are due 21 April.

Innovation and Science Australia is developing a strategic plan for the Australian Government on science, research and innovation. This plan will describe what our sector looks like in 2030 and how we will get there. You should have your say, because this one will certainly make an impact on everyone working in research and lots of other areas too. Submissions close 31 May.

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