What have we been up to?

Jana Phan
EMCR Policy Analyst
@jana_phan

We are wrapping up the year and looking back at everything we have done in the past 12 months, it has been a busy but very rewarding year. Thank you all for staying involved with the Forum and its activities throughout the year, nothing we do would be worth it without your help and support.

Consultations

Remember when we asked your help completing a survey to inform our submission to the Women in STEM Decadal Plan? Well, the results are in and we made sure to include your input in the final submission.

The EMCR Forum also released a statement stressing the importance and integrity of the allocation of research money being based on peer review after the news of the Ministerial veto in late October of grants recommended by the Australia Research Council.

Dr Róisín McMahon was invited to address the public hearing to talk about our submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Funding Australia's Research.  When the report came out we were incredibly excited to see that our voices are clearly reflected and supported. Your input was imperative for shaping this submission, we thank all of those who took the time to contribute and help us make this a reality.

Meetings

EMCR Forum Chair, Drew Evans, recently contributed to discussions with senior Academy staff to help shape the Academy’s position statement regarding the Science priorities for the 2019 Federal election. We are proud to see EMCRs included as an important part of this statement. The important role that EMCRs play in the research sector was echoed by the Federal Opposition Leader, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, on 28 November during his speech on the Labor Party’s vision for the Australian research sector. 

Dr Carly Rosewarne represented the EMCR Forum at the 2018 International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), Tokyo, Japan. 

Dr Róisín McMahon, Dr Justine Shaw and Dr Vanessa Wong met with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to share valuable insights on how to improve diversity in competitive selection processes. This work is based on workshops that we held at Science Pathways: Diversify your thinking and Science at the Shine Dome earlier this year. Thanks to all the EMCRs who attended these workshops and helped us to identify the current barriers to nomination processes in the award schemes and develop solutions to address them. We are in the final stages of preparing a full report of the workshop outcomes and a one-page set of guidelines to be shared with awarding bodies.

On 7 November, Dr Emma Beckett joined the Charles Sturt University Faculty of Science Research Forum to talk about the work of the EMCR Forum and engage with the EMCRs who attended the event.

Events

This last quarter has been filled with a number of exciting Theo Murphy Initiative (Australia) activities across Australia.

Theo Murphy supported activities and opportunities at the Cutaneous Biology 2018 conference; the attendance of women and gender diverse EMCRs in the mathematical and physical sciences at the Mentoring and Guidance in Careers workshop; and an industry–researcher engagement event at the 2018 International Conference of Young Researchers on Advanced Materials. It also helped EMCRs forge collaborations with researchers from diverse disciplines at the Collaboration Across Boundaries 2018 conference.

Thank you to all the EMCRs who put forward ideas for activities in the 2019–20 Theo Murphy Initiative (Australia) round. We are in the process of assessing proposals and will announce the new activities in March–April 2019.

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science

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