RN Robertson Travelling Fellowship
Up to $4000 is available to award in 2021 to support domestic or international travel for an early career researcher to undertake a research visit outside their host institution. More than one award can be made if the total requested funds are less than $4000.
Applications for the R.N. Robertson Travelling Fellowship should be forwarded in electronic form to the Hon Secretary of ASPS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applications for the 2021 Fellowship will open 3 February 2021 and close 16 April 2021. To be eligible for this fellowship round some fraction of the planned work must take place in 2021.
The application form can be downloaded here.
The R.N. Robertson Travelling Fellowship recognises and celebrates the sustained contribution made by R.N. Robertson (Sir Bob) in nurturing plant scientists in Australia spanning across four decades from the 1950s. A biographical memoir of Bob Robertson is available here. Grants from this Fellowship should be used, where possible, to leverage further support for the proposed research visit. As the level of secured funds increases so will the size and/or number of the grants being offered.
The Australian Society of Plant Scientists is indebted to Hank Greenway and Joe Wiskisch who generated and championed the early development of the R.N. Robertson Travelling Fellowship. We would also like to acknowledge The University of Western Australia for their ongoing support of this award. The guidelines are given below (for an application form please click on the link given above).
The Professor R.N. Robertson Fund has been established by donations – further donations are welcome. Please email: email@example.com
The fellowship supports current ASPS members who are graduate students or recent PhD graduates to undertake research at another overseas or Australian interstate institution to provide access to expertise and facilities outside of that currently available to them. For overseas applicants, the proposed host research institution must be within Australia and the host must be an ASPS member. The application should conform to the guidelines of the Professor R.N. Robertson Fund as outlined below.
The objective of the R.N. Robertson Travelling Fellowship is to encourage young Plant Scientists to participate in mechanistically (functionally) orientated research in a discipline that differs from their own. Comments on the objective:
- “Young” because Bob was renowned for his stimulation of undergraduate and postgraduate students; there will not be an age restriction, but funds will be available only for postgraduate students and postdocs who were awarded their degree with less than 2 years of effective research before applying for the award.
- “Mechanistically (functionally) orientated research” because Bob strongly favoured the establishment of mechanisms (function), even in programs that had a long-term applied aim.
- The fund will be specifically dedicated to projects that give recipients experience in cooperation with others whose experience is in an area or at a different level from their own.
- Applications from young plant biologists from overseas will also be considered for work in Australia, if it can be demonstrated that the research project will establish or strengthen contacts, and introduce new ideas and techniques into an Australian plant science department.
Type of project to be supported by R.N. Robertson Travelling Fellowship: A period of research consistent with the objective of the fund, in a university or research institution. The research should complement the existing research of the applicant by providing access to expertise and facilities outside of that currently available to them and preferably in a field different from the expertise of the applicant; as an example, a biochemist might work in a research group on molecular biology or biophysics. Funds will be available for a period of research, rather than for attendance at conferences.
Level of award: The level will depend on the objective of the proposal, and would include travel costs and some living allowances. It is expected that the recipient will use the grant to negotiate additional funding from the group with whom they intend to work, or from their existing institution, or other funding sources. It is important that the current supervisor of the applicant make considered comments on the scientific and financial viability of the proposed research program.
Eligibility: Young plant scientists from Australia and beyond, who are doing honours-level projects or postgraduate research projects or have completed their PhD with less than 2 years of additional effective research experience before the closing date of the applications. Applicants based in Australia must be ASPS members. For incoming international applicants, the host supervisor must be an ASPS member.
Location: For Australian recipients: Australia or overseas, but not in the Australian state where the work for the degree is being, or has been, carried out. For overseas recipients: Australia.
Study stage at which grants will be considered: Honours, Masters and PhD degrees, all with research as the main objective, and early postdoctorates (at most 2 years post the degree being awarded). The project can be carried out during the work for the degree or during the first two years of effective research time after obtaining the degree. For Honours and Postgraduate students, the supervisor will be consulted to establish that the study during the fellowship will contribute to the fulfilment of requirements for the degree. However, for Honours for which research is less than 70% of the year’s commitment, the period proposed may only begin after graduation, and there should be an intention to enrol for a higher degree by research.
Selection Committee: The selection of the candidate will be decided by a selection committee from within the members of Council and co-opted members of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists subject to there being no conflicts of interest.
Administration of funds: Administration of the fund will be undertaken by The University of Western Australia.
- Joanne Castelli
- Mikolaj Cieslak
- 2009 Foteini Hassiotou, University of Western Australia (see report in Phytogen April 2010)
- 2009 Bianca Kyriacou, Flinders University (see report in Phytogen April 2010)
- 2010 Cara Griffiths, Monash University (see report in Phytogen April 2011)
- 2012 Heidi Dalton, Monash University
- 2013 Johannes Scharwies, University of Adelaide (see report in Phytogen July 2014)
- 2014 Stephanie Watts-Williams, Monash University (see report in Phytogen 2014)
- 2015 Alice Burgess, University of Adelaide
- 2016 Nicole Dakin, University of Western Australia (see report Phytogen May 2016)
- 2016 Millicent Smith, University of Sydney (see report Phytogen September 2016)
- 2017 Jesse Beasley, University of Melbourne
- 2018 Jonathan Dragwidge, La Trobe University (see report Phytogen June 2018)
- 2019 Carolyn Vlasveld, Monash University
- 2019 Juan De La Cruz Jimenez Serna, UWA
- 2021 Xiaoyang Wei (University of Newcastle)