The Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship Award


Applications for the Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship Award are now open


The Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship Award is an annual award of up to $20,000 per awardee to assist PhD students or early career researchers in their research. It provides funding support toward the costs of travel, courses or research, or to supplement PhD scholarships with necessary top-up funding.

The award is named in honour of Dr Maxwell Frank Cooper Day AO FAA who is the longest serving Fellow of the Academy and who has spent a lifetime championing entomology, conservation and forestry, and helping other scientists.

Dr Day and his family are generously funding this Fellowship to support scientists early in their careers, acknowledging the support that Dr Day himself received as a young researcher to travel overseas to gain his PhD at Harvard.

  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents at the time of application.
  • Applicants should either:
    • be accepted to undertake a PhD (or equivalent) or be currently enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent)
    • have held a PhD (or equivalent) for no more than 5 years at the time of the award closing date*.

Applicants must conduct their research in one or more of the natural sciences relating to one or more of the following disciplines:

  1. conservation of Australia’s flora and fauna
  2. ecologically sustainable resource use
  3. environmental protection
  4. ecosystem services (either provisioning services, or habitat and supporting services).

* Exemptions for career interruptions may be sought from the Academy. Reasons for exemption can include (but may not be limited to) illness, birth of a child or carer responsibilities. To apply for an exemption, please include a short explanation stating why an exemption is being sought and for how long your research career was interrupted.

Selection criteria

Applicants may use the award in Australia or overseas but preference will be given to applicants who:

  1. will undertake their study or research in Australia, and/or
  2. undertake their study or research at an institution that is internationally recognised as being a leader in one of the above disciplines, and
  3. are recognised for previous work which has been done in, or has made an impact on, Australia.

For PhD (or equivalent) research students, preference will be given to applicants who are able to demonstrate:

  1. that they have a passion for research in their chosen area
  2. they can fulfil and extend their research ambitions through the provision of this Fellowship.

For post-doctoral researchers (or equivalent), preference will be given to applicants who are able to demonstrate:

  1. that they have taken an interdisciplinary focus in their research to date
  2. that they have achieved positive environmental outcomes in their previous research
  3. that they have had prior international collaboration or international support for their proposed research.
Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses are all expenses that fall under the following areas of funding:

  • costs for a recently graduating student to travel to undertake a PhD degree program (or equivalent)
  • course fees
  • cost of travel to undertake research
  • supplementation of a PhD scholarship by way of a top-up. Scholarship top-up funding will only be considered where a good case is made for the need of the top-up
  • funding may be used towards the costs of fieldwork, equipment, consumables and other research costs not covered from other sources. Funding may not cover bench fees or overhead costs.

Applications should include the following information:

  • A completed application form (DOC, 35 KB)
  • A Fellowship Proposal summarising your chosen area of study/research and why the Fellowship will be of particular benefit to you (maximum of 2 A4 pages using 12 font)
  • Itemised budget detailing eligible expenses with brief justification for each item, the names and details of funding already received (funding body, amount) (maximum of 1 A4 page using 12 font)
  • Brief CV including qualifications, summary of any professional/research experience, publications/presentations (maximum of 1 page A4 using 12 font)
  • For PhD students a letter is required from your supervisor or prospective supervisor confirming and commenting on your planned or existing research work
  • For post-doctoral researchers, two referee reports should be attached to the application. The reports should be addressed to the Awards Committee and be no more than one page in length and indicate the referee’s knowledge of the applicant’s proposed Fellowship activities, and the potential benefits of these activities to the researcher and/or the research field
  • The name of applicant typed on the top right corner of each page.

Applications and referee reports must be emailed to: by 9 am AEDT Monday 12 December 2016.

Late applications will not be considered.

Applications are considered carefully against the selection criteria by a committee of scientists with diverse expertise. The decisions of the committee are based on the assessed competitiveness of the proposal. The Academy is not able to enter into discussion or correspondence regarding the reasons why an application is successful or not.

The inaugural grant will be presented to the awardee at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 23 May 2017 at the Academy’s Science at the Shine Dome event. In subsequent years, the successful awardee will be notified of the award by early November for a Fellowship starting up to 12 months from the date of award.

The successfull Fellow will also be offered travel and accommodation to attend the Science at the Shine Dome event as part of their award.

For more information contact

Award Conditions
  1. Applicants must commence their research within 12 months of being offered the Fellowship, after which the Fellowship offer will automatically lapse. The Fellowship may be held concurrently with awards or grants from other institutions.
  2. Successful applicants must provide a progress report on their research and expenditure to the Academy within one year of being awarded the Fellowship.


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