Flagship Activities

The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from Australian early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) for Flagship grants valued from A$15,000 to A$50,000 each, funded by the Theo Murphy Initiative (TMI). In the 2023-2024 round, TMI will support three Flagship activities that demonstrate the capacity to provide tangible benefits to STEM EMCRs and wider scientific community.  

The proposed Flagship activity must benefit EMCRs across more than one Australian organisation and include additional event partner sponsorship commitments.  The Academy will provide some support to the event where required, such as event website hosting, event registration and publicity. 


To be eligible to receive a flagship activity grant, applicants must: 

  • be less than 15 years post PhD, excluding career disruption or barrier* 
  • be in an activity organising committee where at least one committee member is a registered member of the Academy’s EMCR forum 
    The organizing committee must have at least three members and it is encouraged to have more members on the committee.
  • be employed at an eligible Australian research organisation as outlined below 
  • be currently residing in Australia and be either an Australian citizen or hold a valid Australian visa  
  • not have received a TMI Flagship or Amplify grant in the past three years. 

Eligible research organisations: 

  • Australian tertiary education institutions (as per the Higher Education Support Act 2003) 
  • Australian cooperative research centres 
  • Publicly funded research agencies 
  • Australian state and territory funded research organisations 
  • Australian public research companies 
  • Australian private research companies 
  • Australian not-for-profit research organisations 
  • Other Australian incorporated entities. 

Eligible applications must: 

  • be complete at submission, including all required responses and attachments. 
  • explain how the activity will be managed by the organising committee, including an outline of the experience of the activity organising committee members. 
  • outline the capacity of the proposed Flagship activity to provide tangible benefits to the EMCR community in Australia.  
  • complete the activity income and expense budgets, in accordance with the eligible and ineligible expenses in the ‘Terms of award’ section. 

*Career disruption or barrier: A career disruption or barrier is an interruption that has caused prolonged impact on a researcher’s capacity to conduct high-level research in the period since the conferral of their first PhD. It may be due to reduced opportunities for research which may be due to one or more of the following: prolonged absences due to unemployment, childbirth, carers’ responsibilities, limited or no access to facilities and resources, disaster management and recovery, medical conditions, disability, or accessibility needs, community obligations, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural practices and protocols.  

An additional 6 months (pro rata) can be applied for each year of eligible career disruption to account for the time it takes to reestablish research after a period of extended leave.  

Fields of research 

Applications are welcome from EMCRs in all fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

Terms of award 

Successful applications may receive an offer of funding from the Academy towards the cost of delivering the approved Theo Murphy Flagship activity.  

The terms and conditions of the grant are outlined below and the acceptance of these conditions is required at time of application submission.  

  • A funding agreement must be executed before any grant funds is released. 
  • Grant funds can only be paid to an eligible Australian research organisation as listed in the eligibility section. Grant funds cannot be paid to individuals.  
  • Funding can only be used towards approved eligible expenses as outlined in the executed funding agreement.  
  • Any alterations to the Flagship activity must be approved in writing by the Academy, and where relevant, a funding agreement variation must be executed prior to implementing changes.  
  • If required, the Academy can provide additional support/services to successful applicants such as event website hosting, event registration, and publicity. However, the services are subject to minimal fees as per Academy’s universal pricing standards.  

Eligible expenses: 

Direct costs to deliver the Flagship activity, such as: 

  • venue hire 
  • event catering 
  • audio visual services, including online streaming services 
  • design, printing, and production of activity material and, if applicable, event output such as editing of online streamed events or production of a video asset of event activities that can be accessed online 
  • travel arrangements for invited event speakers, subject matter experts or other event delegates as approved by the Academy 
  • fees for invited speakers or registered training providers, and  
  • other direct event expenses as approved by the Academy. 

Ineligible expenses: 

  • All salary and staff costs, including contractor expenses. 
  • Gifts or prizes for invited speakers, registered training providers and all other Flagship activity participants. 
  • Travel costs of organising committee members. 
  • Travel costs for any Flagship activity attendees or participants. 
  • Bursary, grant, or scholarship programs that fund event registration fees, or other event fees for participants. 
  • Research or project expenses. 
  • Any institutional expenses, including institute overheads, managerial and administrative costs. 

How to apply 

Submit an online application on the Academy’s grant portal, and attach the following documents: 

  1. Brief CV of the applying EMCR and organising committee members (maximum of three pages per document). 
  2. Demonstrated commitment of additional event partner sponsorship, such as an email trail or letter of support from the sponsor. 
  3. Quotes or screen shots to support the requested budget items. 

Assessment criteria  

Proposals will be assessed based on: 

  • the capacity of the proposed activity to provide tangible benefits to Australian EMCRs from more than one institute  
  • the relevance and benefit of the proposed activity to EMCRs and the greater scientific community in Australia 
  • the design of the proposed activity, including use of innovative approaches, knowledge management strategy, and the expected outcome of the proposed activity 
  • the capacity of the proposed activity to demonstrate inclusiveness and to address any diversity, equity and accessibility needs relevant to the delivery of the activity  
  • the commitment of sponsors and additional event partners to the proposed activity by way of cash or in-kind contributions 
  • the demonstrated effective use of grant funds in the activity budget, including attaching relevant supporting material for each requested budget item.  

Reporting requirements 

Successful applicants will be required to submit a report within three months of the Flagship activity completion date.  

If the funds are being managed by the Flagship activity organising committee, the final report must include a financial statement showing all income and expenditure for the proposed activity from the funded body and include the signature of the relevant delegate confirming the funds were used in accordance with the conditions of the executed funding agreement or most recent variation.  

Acknowledgement and use of assets   

It is a requirement that any publication or media release resulting from the activities funded by this program duly acknowledges the support of the Australian Academy of Science and the Theo Murphy Initiative (Australia). 

Notification of outcome  

Applications closes on 5 pm (AEDT) of 6th November 2023 and the outcomes are expected in mid-December 2023.  

Applications will be considered carefully against the selection criteria by a committee of scientists with diverse expertise. Final approval will be made by the Royal Society (Australia) Pty Ltd Board. The decisions of the Board will be based on the merit and impact of the proposals. The Academy will not enter into discussion or correspondence regarding the reasons an application is unsuccessful. 

For further information contact 

Fellowship and Awards  
Australian Academy of Science 
GPO Box 783 
Canberra ACT 2601 

Phone: +61 2 6201 9433 
Email: theomurphyau@science.org.au 


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