Government funding for science, maths and research

Thursday, 03 July, 2014


Minister for Education Christopher Pyne has announced four years’ worth of funding for maths and science projects across 10 Australian universities.

With funds provided under the Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program (AMSPP) competitive grants round, Pyne explained that the universities “will work in partnership with schools and other organisations to promote study of these disciplines at a school and tertiary level”.

“These grants will support increasing mentoring in science subjects, teacher training and professional development to improve teacher quality, and increasing women’s and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in maths and science,” he added.

Project highlights include:

  • RMIT University’s Making Something Out of Maths, a project that shows students some of the real-world applications of mathematics;
  • University of Melbourne’s Growing Tall Poppies, where female students will work on science projects with mentoring and career guidance from scientists; and
  • University of SA’s Excellence and Equity in Maths, a project to improve Indigenous students’ achievement in mathematics and numeracy education at the high school level, better equipping them to go on to university.

The full list of projects can be found at http://education.gov.au/successful-projects.

Pyne noted that mathematics is the only subject that consistently underpins capability in many fields of science and that “Australian businesses will increasingly need people who are highly skilled in mathematics and science”.

“These skills are crucial to our national prosperity and into the future, and we want to equip our kids with the knowledge they need to succeed in a highly competitive world,” he said.

In addition, the Australian Research Council (ARC) has recently allocated funds for several projects around the country. As part of the Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects scheme, the Australian Academy of Science will receive $474,334 to develop 10-year plans in the disciplines of chemistry, agricultural science and earth sciences.

Researchers will work with industry and government to identify Australia’s future needs for key science disciplines and outline how future research investment should be prioritised. Academy President Professor Andrew Holmes said the decadal plans will “help to improve research outcomes and training, and build stronger engagement with industry, with a direct impact on the economy, health and wellbeing of Australia”.

Several other institutions have reported the reception of ARC grants, including but not limited to:

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