Early Career Academics to be leaders in the ANU Grand Challenges Scheme worth up to $10 Million

1 March 2018 NECTAR gathers to discuss 

ANU Grand Challenge Scheme guidelines 2018 now online

ANU’s Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt has announced that the ANU Grand Challenges Scheme (now open) will be granted to teams with leadership from a ‘high proportion’ of early to mid career academics.

“This scheme should create leadership opportunities for Early Career Researchers and thus platforms for future funding.”

This scheme will favour unique interdisciplinary collaborations.

Prof Schmidt says he wants this scheme to “expose the next generation of researchers and scholars to the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration”.

Nevertheless, Early Career Academics have contacted NECTAR expressing private concerns that the ECA of ANU will be sidelined in the grab for this money bag.

“The professors in our school are putting together a proposal and I think they are just going to add some names of Early Career Researchers to their scheme but after they get the funds who knows if there will be any leadership opportunities for us!” They said.

What do the guidelines say on this scheme, do I hear you ask? They can be found here.

Basically they say established research leaders can be included in this scheme to provide guidance and support to develop future leaders.

NECTAR Custodian, Sophie Baker, wants to know how Early Career Academics are going with this scheme. Are you putting in a proposal and do you need collaborators or help? Are the established leaders around you supportive? What are the intractable problems you are facing? And would you like any support from the NECTAR team?

“I propose a meeting for Early Career Academics and Researchers to discuss this scheme at the next NECTAR social gathering“. Early Career Academics and their family members are actively encouraged to attend. Register for free food.

Submissions for this scheme are due on the 24th of July by 3 min video. Need help with that? Ask NECTAR.

Images of the NECTAR Early Career Academic Retreat

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Expressions of interest to serve on the ACCAN Independent Grants Panel

Expressions of interest to serve on the ACCAN Independent Grants Panel

If you are an Early Career Academic at ANU and you want to be on this panel then ask NECTAR for back up. Contact us

ACCAN is calling for expressions of interest for one additional member to serve on the Independent Grants Panel.

The Independent Grants Panel is responsible for assessing grant applications for funding under the ACCAN Grants Program. The Grants Program funds projects that work towards the vision of communications services that are available, accessible and affordable for all consumers. Projects address current consumer concerns by providing education, representation and/or research into issues of importance in the telecommunications marketplace.

If you would like to make an expression of interest please write a short statement (no longer than three pages) addressing the selection criteria and submit this with your curriculum vitae (CV) to nominations@accan.org.au by 5pm AEST on Tuesday 18th July, 2017.

For more information on the process, selection criteria and the role itself, please visit the Independent Grants Panel page on our website.

Each panel member is recruited for a three year term. We are especially keen to hear from candidates with a background in community sector project selection and management, commercial or consumer issues generally, and/or technical expertise and the social impact of communications technology.

ACCAN values diversity: women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, persons with disabilities and people from diverse cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Please also share this email with any candidates who would be interested in serving on the panel.

Warm regards,



Narelle Clark

Acting CEO



Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)


Redefining the ANU PhD – NECTAR invited to the discussion

Join the discussion on redefining the ANU PhD Program

You are invited to Open Forums where you can have your say in this important discussion. (See below).

NECTAR has also been offered the opportunity to nominate a representative for the Committee of Inquiry. Expressions of interest for this position to NECTAR by 10am, 30th June.

Here is the letter from Prof Imelda Whelehan (ANU’s Dean of HDR)


We are redefining the ANU PhD program.

During the development of the new Strategic Plan we made a commitment to redefine our PhD program.  We are now starting to work out what this will mean for our academic staff, supervisors and students.

ANU has the highest HDR load per total student population of any Australian university, consistently high research rankings and an enviable international reach. To continue to provide some of the best academic programs around the world and to give our students the best opportunities for their futures, we have a responsibility to reflect on what we do well, and to discuss what we might review and change. We are inviting you to help shape our discussions and have your say on what the new ANU PhD of the future could look like.

To start the discussion I will be hosting open forums for all interested staff and students. Please register below for one of the forums.

Questions will include:

  • What should a 21st century PhD look like?
  • How can we ensure that the ANU secures our position as a world leader in graduate research education?
  • What is best practice for PhD delivery worldwide?
  • What changes can we make?

In these forums I will be using Poll Everywhere to allow live interactive audience participation. Bring a mobile device (phone, tablet, laptop or iPad) to enable you to join the interactive discussions.

Please join me.

With best wishes


Professor Imelda Whelehan

Dean, Higher Degree Research Office of the Vice-Chancellor | Chancelry 10 East Road


Wednesday, 5 July from 10am-11.30am Venue: R214 Seminar Room, Ian Ross Building #31 ANU Register here.

Tuesday, 25 July from 1pm-2.30pm. Venue: The Drawing Room, University House, 1 Balmain Crescent ANU Register here.

Thursday, 3 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: ANU. Exact venue to be confirmed shortly. Register here.

Tuesday, 8 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: The Drawing Room, University House, 1 Balmain Crescent ANU Register here.

Thursday, 10 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: 1012, Fred Gruen Economics Seminar Room, HW Arndt Building #25A50 Register here.



Supervision Improvement Consultation

Dear colleagues,

Document for discussion: ANU Supervisor Database Proposal Consultation .pdf

The consultation process on this proposal, was due by 13 June. NECTAR compiled a collective response. Read NECTAR’s collective response here: 170612NECTARResponseProposedSupervisorDatabase.pdf

At the NECTAR Retreat we had a further discussion on ANU’s Supervision Improvement Plan with ANU’s new Dean of HDR Professor Imelda Whelehan. She has invited us to her next consultation on redefining the ANU PhD.

We’re interested to hear your opinion on these consultation processes. Contact us


NECTAR Retreat 2017

NECTAR Retreat is ANU’s Annual Early Career Academic Development event

At this event you can: 

  • Be heard,
  • Take charge of your own network, and
  • Lead the future strategy of ANU!
In 2017 this event was held at the National Museum of Australia over two days. It looked like this:

Key events in the program:

  • Roundtable discussion with Professor Brian Schmidt, ANU Vice-Chancellor
  • Direct collegial discussion with both ANU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellors!
  • Strategic directions: What does it take to see your vision realised?

With Professor Graham Durant, Director of Questacon; Professor Joanne Tompkins, Executive Director (Humanities and Creative Arts), ARC, and Dr Tony Willis, Executive Director, NHMRC.

  • Workshop on innovation in teaching with Glen O’Grady, Director CHELT
  • Engaging with industry to advance your vision through strategic partnerships

With Professor Michael Breadmore (1 of only 3 Australians in Analytical Sciences top 40 under 40) and world leading anthropologist Professor Genevieve Bell

  • Engaging with the public as an expert, Dr Rod Lamberts, Deputy Director CPAS
  • How to improve supervision at ANU and develop a culture of mentoring, with ANU’s new Dean of Higher Degree Research, Professor Imelda Whelehan  

(Full program NECTAR retreat 2017 available here .pdf)

More info:

Contact us

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Image of NECTAR Retreat 2016