GEORGINA SWEET AWARDS 2017 CEREMONY
Pictured (left to right): Mibel Aguilar, Edwina Cornish, Stephanie Gras, Leann Tilley, Anne Kelso, Jacqueline Matthews, Frances Separovic, Alyssa Barry
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science on Monday 23rd October. We had a fantastic turnout with the audience treated to some compelling presentations from our winners, along with an inspiring talk from our guest speaker Professor Anne Kelso about forging a career in science.
Thank you to Professor Edwina Cornish for moderating a thoughtful panel discussion about what it means to be a woman in science and thank you to Westbourne Grammar School for making a special visit and taking steps to encourage the next generation of female scientists.
Congratulations again to our 2017 winners Megan Maher, Alyssa Barry and Stephanie Gras
Pictured (left to right): Megan Maher, Mibel Aguilar, Alyssa Barry, Alicia Oshlack, Stephanie Gras, Leann Tilley
Monash University - Sweet success for Monash scientist
Centre for Advanced Molecular Imaging - Sweet Award for AI Gras
Applications will open for the third annual Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science
Ceremony for the 2018 winners of the Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science
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The Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science were created by Professor Leann Tilley as part of her Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship program to promote and support female scientists who demonstrate excellence in the area of Quantitative Biomedical Science.
Quantitative Biomedical Science is Biological/Biomedical Research that employs a quantitative approach, particularly in areas such as Computational Biology, Biophysics, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Genomics, Structural Biology, Cell Biology etc.
Two new awards were established in 2016:
- Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science: Up to three awards of $25,000 will be made in 2018 to Australian female researchers who demonstrate excellence in the area of quantitative biomedical science. Applications will open on 1st May 2018.
- Georgina Sweet Travel Support for a Female Keynote Speaker in Quantitative Biomedical Science: Up to three awards of $3,000 are available each year to support the attendance of a female keynote speaker at an Australian conference. Applications are open at any time until awards have been allocated for the year. Download the guidelines and application form.
2017 Award Winners
Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science
- Alyssa Barry, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
- Stephanie Gras, Monash University
- Megan Maher, La Trobe University
2016 Award Winners
Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science
- Alicia Oshlack, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
- Kathryn Holt, University of Melbourne
- Freya Fowkes, Burnet Institute
Pictured (left to right): Alicia Oshlack, Kathryn Holt, Leann Tilley, Freya Fowkes at 2016 Georgina Sweet Awards ceremony
Promoting gender equity in Science
During the course of Prof Tilley’s Laureate Fellowship (2015 – 2020), she will engage in different strategies to support the promotion and advancement of women in science. Some of the issues she will be targeting include:
Developing and promoting templates for gender policy for scientific conferences
Many scientific conference speakers and panels are currently male dominated, even in disciplines where the balance between male and female researchers is approaching equality. Over the next few months, we hope to develop gender equity policy principles that will be made available as templates for conference organisers. As an example, see this article on how gender balance was achieved in three years at the Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function.
Female speakers in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences
Prof Tilley is developing a list of high profile Australian and international female researchers in quantitative biomedical science. The current list is available to download here.
If you would like to nominate a high profile female researcher in quantitative biomedical science to join this list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . To be included on the list, researchers should have an excellent research track record in quantitative biomedical research, be an experienced conference speaker and have an engaging presentation style. Researchers will be contacted to gain permission prior to inclusion on the list. The list will be reviewed and updated periodically.
For ideas on how to increase the number of women speakers at conferences, see this article in Nature. The following web sites may also provide information on female speakers from around the world:
- American Society for Cell Biology has a women’s community (WICB) site
- WICB has a searchable list of female cell biologists who are potential conference speakers, with links to the subject’s home page for further information on each person.
- The Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) has a Women in Science group and awards an annual prize and lists previous winners who may be available as speakers:
- The American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology has a timeline of female researchers in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, including links to each person’s home page.
Mentoring and development programs
The University of Melbourne offers:
- A workshop on establishing your research career is available for early career staff.
- Academic orientation programs are offered for both early career and senior staff.
- The University supports the practice of mentoring and this can be arranged individually or with help from your Head of Department.
- A Women in Leadership program is available for level C and D staff.
Career interruption policies and opportunities
The University offers generous parental leave provisions and a return to work bonus following maternity leave. Further information is available here. The University also offers the Melbourne Research Fellowship (Career Interruption) to help researchers re-establish their career after carer, parental or other prolonged periods of absence.
The ARC and NHMRC both offer early career researcher fellowships and the NHMRC also offers career development fellowships. Both funding bodies have policies that take into account career interruptions when applying for these grants.
Recognition of women’s contribution to science
Women are highly underrepresented as recipients of the higher level awards for many scientific societies and often this is due to a dearth of female applicants. By contrast, there is no shortage of applications for the L’Oreal prize, which specifically targets women in science.
The Australian Academy of Science offers two Australian-based prizes for women in sciences:
- The Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science is open to mid-career researchers in the natural sciences.
- The Dorothy Hill Award, valued at $3,000, is open to early career female researchers in earth science.
In 2016, Profess Tilley established a new prize for women in science, the Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science. This award, valued at $25,000 is open to mid-career female researchers in quantitative biomedical science.
Careers in Quantitative Biomedical Science
Article in Science Magazine discusses careers in Quantitative Biomedical Science
Women in Science and Gender Bias in Academe
There are many Australian and international web resources that provide information for women in science.
Some international academic papers on gender bias in academe are also provided.
Women in Science resources
- Women in Science Australia website has an excellent resources section
- Women in Science Australia Speakers
- VESKI Inspiring Women in Science
- The NHMRC Women in Health Science Working Committee. The site also provides information on institutional gender equity policies.
- Data base of expert women in life science (WILS) (European based)
- Women in Science and Engineering, WISE, is for science and engineering students at the University of Melbourne.
- The Australian Academy of Science has a section on gender equity, including links to the SAGE and Athena Swan initiatives.
- Conversation article: Why aren’t there more women in Science?
- Article on achieving gender balance in scientific conferences in 3 years:
- Nature special on women in science
- Peer-reviewed research and resources for Women in STEM by Astronomer and Astrobiologist Dr. Sarah Rugheimer
- Message from the President of the Biophysical Society Suzanne Scarlata about resources within the society to help meeting organisers find established women and minority speakers
- Biophysical Society Blog post by Sharona Gordon regarding new anti-harassment policy
- Science & Technology Australia (STA) new program: Superstars of STEM - Empowering female role models
Other Grants & Awards
Gender Bias in Academe resources
- Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies
- Does diversity influence group success by Johanna Vandermaas
- Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines
- Women’s Belonging With and Motivation for Male-Dominated STEM Fields As a Function of Effort Expenditure Concerns
- Female peers in small work groups enhance women's motivation, verbal participation, and career aspirations in engineering
- National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track
- Why gender balance at conferences should become the "new normal" by Professor Julian Eastoe
Leann Tilley is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Associate Director, Structural & Cell Biology in the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, The University of Melbourne.
In 2015 she was awarded the Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship for her research on the malaria parasite to deliver new biotechnology and biomedical outcomes that may combat disease in livestock and humans. As part of its Laureate Professorship programme the Australian Government introduced the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2010. The award is made to a highly ranked female candidate from the science and technology disciplines. The Fellowship includes additional funding for recipients to undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research.
As part of her Laureate Fellowship, Prof Tilley is committed to promoting gender equality in sciences. Over the course of her Fellowship, she will initiate strategies to promote the recruitment and advancement of women in science. See this page for further information on these gender equity initiatives.
The first strategy to be implemented was the establishment of a significant award for women in science. Commencing in late 2016, Professor Tilley has been sponsoring the inaugural Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science. A $25,000 award will be awarded to each of three recipients in 2018 who demonstrate excellence in quantitative biomedical science.
Also implemented was the Georgina Sweet Travel Support for a Female Keynote Speaker in Quantitative Biomedical Science. Up to three awards of $3,000 are available each year to support the attendance of a female keynote speaker at an Australian conference.
Phone: +61 3 8344 2312/ +61 3 8344 2275