Govt grants and scholarships to support women in STEM


Friday, 21 January, 2022

Govt grants and scholarships to support women in STEM

The Australian Government is offering grants of up to $1 million and also supporting new scholarships to support women and girls in securing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs.

Round four of the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) program opened this week, with $13 million available to strengthen and expand projects that are driving lasting and systemic change by removing barriers to STEM for women and girls. This round offers the largest amount of funding to date, with grants ranging from $500,000 up to $1 million, and will focus on supporting successful existing projects that reduce or remove systemic and cultural barriers to participation in STEM education, careers and entrepreneurship.

For more information and to apply for the program, visit www.business.gov.au/WISE.

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has meanwhile been named as the delivery partner of the government’s Boosting the Next Generation of Women in STEM program. ATSE will be awarded $41.2 million to offer up to 500 university scholarships for women to work with industry and bolster their STEM qualifications, to be delivered over seven years starting in July.

The transformational program, nicknamed Elevate, aims to address gender inequities in STEM through fostering more women-led industry–academia collaborations in applied research and business, growing skills of women in STEM and propelling women into senior leadership. ATSE and its partners will co-design a high-quality program spanning industry, academia and government to upskill women with STEM qualifications, as well as research and business expertise, so they can lead and shape a dynamic and impactful Australian STEM sector.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said the program will be a game changer for creating a diverse, inclusive and vibrant STEM ecosystem that can attract, retain and progress girls and women into STEM education and careers.

“Elevate is designed around three pillars: education and impact designed and led by women; skills building, supported by mentoring and networking; and leadership to increase the influence and profile of women in STEM,” she said.

“As well as supporting a strong, thriving cohort of future women leaders and role models to enter and excel in Australian STEM jobs, Elevate will nurture a collaborative and innovative economy-building culture between Australian universities and Australian industry.

“Our goal is to immerse these trailblazing scholars in an expansive network of influential and inclusive research and industry leaders who will inspire and cultivate their future careers. We are thrilled to support their journey.”

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the WISE grants and scholarships will be pivotal in supporting efforts for gender equity in STEM.

“We’ve seen throughout the COVID pandemic just how important the STEM sector is to protecting Australians, which is why the Morrison government is committed to increasing women’s participation in this essential and growing field,” Price said.

“It’s also important that we see more women in leadership and decision-making positions, and the WISE program is designed with this in mind.

“The scholarships program will also focus on increasing cooperation between researchers, industry and students.”

The Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, has also welcomed the announcements.

“With a renewed emphasis on programs that target lasting change to policies, procedures, attitudes and behaviours, the WISE grants will help create the system-wide change our nation needs to attract, retain and progress women in the STEM sector,” Prof Harvey-Smith said.

“The government’s focus on programs that are already running and have proven effective through evaluation means we are investing in initiatives that can show evidence of their success.

“By upscaling such programs, the impact across the nation can be even greater.

“Alongside WISE, industry scholarships will support the progression and retention of women, creating a pipeline of women STEM leaders.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Vladimir Borovic

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