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


The call for applications will open in February 2018.


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 $25,000 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.

Exemptions for career interruptions may be sought from the Academy. Reasons for exemption can include (but may not be limited to) illness, birth of a child or carer requirements. To apply for an exemption, please include a short explanation stating the grounds for why an exemption is being sought and how long your research career was interrupted.


  • 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 should include the following information:

  • The following completed cover sheet (DOC, 13 KB). If there are 2 applicants, supply 2 cover sheets.
  • A Research Proposal structured under the following headings: Aims & Background, Significance of the research, Methodology, Management implications of the project (Maximum of 2 A4 pages using 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 1 A4 page using 12 font)
  • Brief CV including qualifications, summary of professional/research experience, publications/presentations (Maximum of 1 page A4 using 12 font)
  • Two referees’ reports should also be attached to the application. The reports should be addressed to the ‘Awards Committee’ and be no more than one page in length and indicate the referees’ knowledge of the research and the researcher’s ability to carry out the project successfully.
  • Please type name of applicant on top right corner of each page

Applications and referee reports, must be emailed to Late applications will not be considered.

Applications are considered carefully against the selection criteria by a committee of scientists with diverse expertise. The decisions of the committee are 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

Past awardees


  • Jan Strugnell, James Cook University: Dating the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet using next generation sequencing of marine invertebrates
  • John Morrongiello, University of Melbourne: Marine extremes: understanding how marine heatwaves impact on fishes and fisheries productivity
  • Jason Grant Bragg, National Herbarium of NSW: Climate cycles and blue gum populations: insights from the genome
  • Peter Vesk, University of Melbourne: Testing the functional traits responsible for tree distributions in long separated branches of the eucalypt phylogeny
  • Vanessa Wong, Monash University:Testing the functional traits responsible for tree distributions in long separated branches of the eucalypt phylogeny
  • Jeff Powell, Western Sydney University: Decomposer interactions and carbon flux: termite influences on microbial wood decay within the TERN Australian SuperSite Network
  • Christopher Fulton: The Australian National University: How will marine climate change affect seaweed growth on coral reefs?


  • Martin Francis Breed, University of Adelaide: Adaptive potential in Dodonaea viscosa as a model for plant climate change adaptation
  • Shu Kee Lam, The University of Melbourne: Overcoming the reduction in cereal grain protein under elevated CO2 by the use of a nitrification inhibitor
  • Peter Macreadie: Can overgrazing of seagrass destroy ancient carbon stocks?
  • Robert Sharwood, Australian National University: Unlocking the diversity of Rubisco catalysis from deep-sea ocean α-cyanobacteria for eventual transplantation into higher plant chloroplasts to improve photosynthetic CO2 assimilation


  • Melanie Bishop, Macquarie University: Developing indicators of seagrass carbon storage
  • Jonathan Plett, University of Western Sydney: Enhancing root health through a better understanding of plant genetics that enable mutualistic relationships with soil microbes
  • Rebecca Lester, Deakin University: Carbon sequestration by wetlands: A fresh(water) approach to tackling climate change
  • Shane Powell, University of Tasmania: Effect of pH changes on biofilm communities

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science