Elizabeth and Frederick White research conferences


The call for applications is currently open

Closing date

June 01 2024 - 11:59 PM AEST

The 2025 award round is now open.

Award background and eligibility

With the generous support of the late Lady White MBBS and the late Sir Frederick White FAA FRS, the Academy has established a series of research conferences in the physical and mathematical sciences related to the solid Earth, the terrestrial oceans, Earth's atmosphere, solar-terrestrial science, space sciences and astronomy.

The purpose of the conferences is to advance at the most fundamental level of the understanding of the subject, to introduce to Australian research new aspects or directions, and to encourage participation of overseas scientists.

One conference is funded annually. Conferences are usually of about two days duration. A sum of up to $10,000 is provided. The supplementation of this sum is encouraged.

Organisers are asked to make an undertaking on acceptance of an offer of funding from the Academy to call their conference an Elizabeth and Frederick White Conference and to advertise it as such.


Research conference applications are in two stages. 

Organisers are invited to submit an online Expression of intent (EOI), which should include:

  • proposal (1 page) 
    • the aims, value and timelines of the conference, including an indication of support from the local scientific community and the importance for Australian science
    • a tentative program, including expected number of attendee and any known or invited speakers
    • a brief outline of anticipated budget
  • provisional dates and venue
  • names of the organisers
  • how the diversity and inclusion of speakers and attendees will be actively considered and where possible, achieved.

Note that conferences that are one of a continuing series are less likely to gain support unless they specifically address a newly emerging theme or topic within the broader area of the series.

Expressions of Intent are short-listed by the awards committees in June and the organisers of short-listed proposals are asked to provide a detailed application by 1 August. The final decision is announced in early November.

Venue hire of the Shine Dome is complimentary for up to two days where requested. Please note that AV equipment and technician, catering and caretaking are not included in the complimentary Shine Dome venue hire. Shortlisted applicants are requested to contact the Shine Dome Venue Coordinator for a quote as part of their application budgeting.  At this stage, applicants should also check availability of proposed dates, and a tentative hold will be placed on these dates. Please note that this is not secured until the award is granted, but will increase the likelihood that the dates will still be available if/when awarded.

(Please submit your application using the Apply button found on the left of this webpage)

For more information about the application process, contact the Awards Officer, at awards@science.org.au or call +61 (0)2 6201 9467.


  • 2023/24: Integrated Earth: linking our planet’s processes from the core to the atmosphere
  • 2022/23: Crafting a science agenda for Critical Zone Research in Australia
  • 2021/22: Multiscale Dynamics of the Southern Ocean
  • 2020/21: Mathematics Sol Terrae
  • 2019/20: Linking galaxies from the epoch of initial star formation to today
  • 2018/19: Gas–Solid Reactions in Earth Sciences and Astronomy
  • 2017/18: The sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to marine climate change perspectives from the past
  • 2016/17: Galactic archaeology and stellar physics: understanding the origins of the galaxy and its stellar content
  • 2015/16: Mining data for detection & prediction of failure in geomaterials
  • 2014/15: Quantum astronomy and stellar interferometry: celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Narrabri Stellar Intensity Interferometer
  • 2013/14: Mathematics of planet Earth
  • 2012/13: Exploring the radio continuum universe with SKA Pathfinders
  • 2011/12: The evolution of photosynthesis and oxygenation of the Earth
  • 2010/11: Minerals at extreme conditions—integrating theory and experiment

For more details on these and other Elizabeth and Frederick White Research conferences, see the event list.

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