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Support for up-and-coming Indigenous researchers

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Indigenous Australian researchers and research students can join a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Researchers’ Network, which will help them seize more research opportunities and advance their research in a supportive environment.

The Gillard Labor Government is providing up to $800,000 a year over four years — through the Australian Research Council — to establish and support the new network, which will build the capacity and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers.

Announcing the Network, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are under-represented among higher degree research student enrolments and completions.

“Only 0.5 per cent of students who complete PhDs in Australia are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This highlights a need for strategic investment to support talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to pursue research degrees and research careers,” Senator Carr said.

“The key to the success of this new network lies in harnessing the leadership and guidance of successful, experienced university-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers with their own strong track records.

“These experienced researchers are well placed to develop research programs that focus on Indigenous approaches to knowledge and also to mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research students and early-career researchers, improving their chances of staying on and completing their higher degree research and pursuing successful research careers.

“This Network will help us address one of the key needs identified in our Research Workforce Strategy — we need to ensure Australia enlists all of the research talent we can, including Indigenous Australians who offer a unique cultural perspective and knowledge base that nobody else can provide.”

The Network will bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers of all career stages and from a range of discipline areas, at research institutions across the country. It is being funded under the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiatives scheme.

A call for proposals for the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Researchers’ Network will occur in coming months, to be advised by the Australian Research Council.

For more information on the scheme and the Government’s support for Indigenous researchers, visit and

Media contacts: Aban Contractor, Minister's Office, 0457 989 842 Tamsin Allen, ARC, 0412 623 056