Funding announced for veski inspiring women program

27 August

 

The Minister for Innovation, Louise Asher, launched the Inspiring Women Program on 26 August 2014, a new $700,000 Victorian Coalition Government initiative to enhance the state’s research capabilities by enabling women to pursue and maintain careers in science.

Ms Asher said the program would increase the state’s overall talent pool in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines by overcoming the barriers that can prevent women from realising their full career potential.

“Supported by the Office of the Lead Scientist and delivered by veski, this new program will improve the information, resources and support available for women pursuing equal opportunity science careers in Victoria,” Ms Asher said.

The Inspiring Women Program features a suite of integrated initiatives including fellowships, internships with industry and a dedicated web portal.

Valued at $150,000 each, the Inspiring Women Fellowships will enable women scientists to return to research following a career interruption.

Three fellowships will be awarded over a period of up to five years and provide flexibility through activities which may include: returning to work part-time; engaging a research assistant; or paying childcare.

Ten Inspiring Women Internships will be available to female honours and masters students in STEM disciplines and will be hosted by regional and metropolitan businesses that have an under-representation of women in STEM roles and are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, a skills shortage.

In addition to providing alternative career pathways for female scientists not wishing to pursue a PhD, the internships will foster links between academia and industry and help to meet current and future skills gaps.

A new web portal will provide easy access to relevant professional development, networking and mentoring information to assist researchers to identify resources, information and opportunities that support their career progression.

Ms Asher said the Napthine Government remained committed to enabling the state’s researchers to continue their world-class research and to compete in the national and international arena.

“That is why we are investing in new research facilities, in research technology platforms, in the operating costs of our best medical research institutes, in collaborative networks for researchers and in targeted programs in areas of special need of research,” Ms Asher said. 

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