Fenner conferences on the environment


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 Professor Frank Fenner FAA FRS and the late Mrs Bobbie Fenner, the Academy has established a series of environmental conferences on the environment and conservation issues in Australia and its environs. The purpose of these conferences is to bring together those with relevant scientific, administrative and policy expertise to consider current environmental and conservation problems in Australia, thereby contributing to the formation of policies that can alleviate some of these problems.

One conference is funded annually. Conferences are usually of about two days duration with a membership of 20-30. 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 a Fenner Conference on the Environment 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.


  • 2024/25: Characteristics, causes, and prospects of Australian drought under a changing climate
  • 2022/23: Compound events in Australia – strategic planning for multivariate risk
  • 2021/22: Exceptional times, exceptional plants: Alternative ex situ conservation strategies for Australian plants
  • 2020/21: Making Australian agriculture sustainable
  • 2019/20: Managing wild and weedy Australia across boundaries and disciplines
  • 2018/19: The use of gene drive technology in conservation
  • 2017/18: Fenner Conference on the Environment: Urban Sustainability and Conservation
  • 2016/17: International Forward Osmosis Summit (IFOS) 2016
  • 2015/16: Maximising the capacity of citizen science for science and society
  • 2014/15: ‘Addicted to Growth?: How to move to a Steady State Economy in Australia
  • 2013/14: Coral Reefs on the edge—new challenges for high latitude coral reef communities
  • 2012/13: Population, Resources and Climate Change—Implications for Australia's near future
  • 2009/10: Healthy climate, planet and people: co-benefits for health of action on climate change
  • 2008/09: The art and science of good environmental decision making

For more details on these and other past conferences, see the event list.

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science