The Thomas Davies Research Grant for Marine, Soil and Plant Biology


This award is closed for applications and will re-open in early 2020.


The Thomas Davies Research Grant for Marine, Soil and Plant Biology is funded through a generous philanthropic bequest from the estate of the late Thomas Lewis Davies to the Australian Academy of Science.

The Fund offers annual Science Grants of up to $20,000 each to Early-and Mid-Career Researchers in the field of Marine, Soil and Plant Biology. Grants are GST exclusive.

For this grant Early-and Mid-Career Researchers are classified as scientists with up to 15 years post PhD experience*.

* The Australian Academy of Science is committed to ensuring that all eligible researchers can be considered for awards and collects career interruption information to assess their opportunity to demonstrate scientific excellence. Accordingly, extensions to the post PhD eligibility requirements for Early and Mid-Career awards will be provided for qualifying career disruptions.

A career disruption involves prolonged interruption to a nominee’s capacity to conduct Full Time Equivalent (FTE) high-level research, either due to part-time employment or absence (for periods of one month or greater) and/or long-term partial return to work, to accommodate carer’s responsibilities, illness or other interruption.

The career disruptions here must have occurred post the date of the letter advising that the PhD thesis was passed and resulted in significantly reduced research productivity or nil research output. Career disruption periods will be taken into account for those who would otherwise be beyond the Post PhD Career Eligibility requirements.


  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Applicants should have held a PhD (or equivalent) for no more than 15 years at the time of the award closing date*.
  • Funding may be used towards the costs of research assistant salaries, equipment and other costs not covered from other sources. Funding may not cover, bench fees, managerial, insurance or visa costs.
  • Grants should be spent within 24 months from the date of award.
  • The work should lead to publication in high quality scientific journals.
  • Successful grant winners will be expected to present annual progress reports starting 12 months from when the award is made using the Academy's grant reporting template. A full report is also required within 3 months of the termination of the research project.


Applications are to be completed through an online form found here.

Applications must include the following:

  • A research proposal structured under the following headings; aims & background, significance of the research, methodology, management implications of the project. Maximum of two pages using size 12 font.
  • Itemised budget with brief justification for each item, the names and details of research funding already received (project title, funding body, amount). Maximum of one page using size 12 font.
  • Brief CV including qualifications, summary of professional/research experience and publications/presentations. Maximum of three pages using size 12 font.
  • Applicants must submit two referee reports with the application. The reports should be addressed to the Awards Committee and indicate the referee’s knowledge of the applicant’s research and their ability to carry out the project successfully. Maximum of one page using size 12 font for each report.

Late applications will not be considered.

Applications are assessed  by a committee of scientists with diverse expertise based on the assessed competitiveness of the proposal. The Academy is not able to enter into discussion or correspondence regarding the reasons why an application is successful or not. 

Grants are offered to successful applicants by November each year for projects to be carried out in the next year.

The Australian Academy of Science encourages applications from female candidates and from candidates from a broad geographical distribution.

For more information contact



  • Dr Joel Daniel Haywood, University of Western Australia: Structure-based investigations into plant growth pathway proteins.
  • Dr Sambasivam Periyannan, Australian National University: Protecting Australia’s Eucalypt landscape from myrtle rust invasion by rapid identification of natural resistance.
  • Dr Adriana Vergés, University of New South Wales Sydney: What are the food web implications of temperate reefs becoming increasingly dominated by tropical species?
  • Associate Professor Tracy Ainsworth, University of New South Wales Sydney: The impact of a changing climate to New South Wales coral populations.
  • Dr Staffan Persson, University of Melbourne: Monitoring fungal root wilt disease on canola in real-time.
  • Associate Professor Heloise Gibb, La Trobe University: Can we restore soil microbial communities by reintroducing digging mammals?
  • Dr Cindy Gunawan, University of Technology Sydney: Does the commercialised use of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles facilitate co-selection and spread of antibiotic resistance genes in marine microbiota? A metagenome study.

Previous years

Download the list of previous awardees (PDF, 93 KB).

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science