Mitigating the impact of extraordinary personal circumstances on academic careers
Momentum Fellowships support the research momentum and retention of Level B and C academics whose extraordinary personal circumstances have impacted their career progression. This includes staff whose health, illness, disability and/or disproportionate caring responsibilities have significantly impacted their capacity to progress their academic career.
Examples may include but are not limited to: the impact of losing a partner and becoming a primary carer; caring for a loved one with high needs; undergoing treatment for a serious illness; acquiring a disability or chronic condition that impacts their capacity to pursue their research.
The Fellowships help staff to maintain research momentum at pressing points in their careers, and to develop a plan to obtain external research funding.
Providing support for success
The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences awards up to two Momentum Fellowships each year.
They include a maximum award of up to $100,000 per year for two years. The funding is for salary and research-related expenses.
Fellows retain their existing appointment with the Faculty for the duration of the Fellowship, and are expected to develop and agree on a plan to achieve research independence and sustainability with their supervisor and Department/Centre Head, and to apply for external research funding during this term.
Eligible staff include Level B and C academics who are employed on short-term/non-secure contracts (fixed term or continuing-research contingent) in the Faculty
Staff whose extraordinary and compounding personal circumstances, including illness, disability, health conditions and markedly disproportionate caring responsibilities, have significantly restricted their capacity to progress their career.
This includes their capacity to:
Undertake research and research training activity, including severely impacting their ability to publish their research, supervise graduate research students and apply for and obtain competitive external funding
Undertake key engagement activities with relevant disciplinary communities and government, business, professional or community organisations that are critical to enhancing excellence in their research and research training and enhancing their competitiveness in their field
Contribute to cross-disciplinary collaborative research projects and teams that are key to maintaining their research momentum and competitiveness
Build their leadership and service profile as well as making vital contributions to the advancement of their discipline within and beyond the University
Note: 1. To be eligible, applicants must at the time of application hold a short-term salaried, fixed-term or continuing (research contingent) academic appointment in MDHS. The fellowship is not available to Honorary staff. 2. Eligible applicants may submit a maximum of one application in a single round. 3. A Momentum Fellowship can only be held once.
Selection criteria, guiding the values-based assessment of applications
In assessing the Fellowship applications, the Selection Panel will consider:
The impact of and extent to which extraordinary personal circumstances have compounded and restricted the individual's capacity to secure external funding
The applicant’s overall ability through evidence of their capacity to develop and sustain an academic career consistent with a leading university
The applicant's effective demonstration and promotion of our Faculty’s values as well as Faculty’s expectations for appropriate behaviour, including upholding the Faculty’s commitment to a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace
Other Fellowship or salary-related financial assistance the staff member may be receiving
Apply for a Fellowship
- Monday 7 August 2023
- Monday 11 September 2023
- Monday 23 October 2023
Explore the Fellowships
Read the Fellowships website including the:
- Overview, including terms of the Fellowships and expectations of Fellows
- Eligibility and selection criteria
Discuss the potential of your application:
- Discuss your application for a Fellowship with your supervisor as well as with mentors and trusted colleagues
- Please ensure your supervisor and Head of Centre/Department are aware of the Conditions of the Award
Step 1: Review the Fellowships website including expectations and eligibility criteria
Step 2: Preview the application form and prepare your answers
Step 3: Complete the application below
Applications are open until midnight 11 September 2023
Prepare your application
Start your application:
Draft your written application, responding to the eligibility and selection criteria on this website:
- A summary describing why you are seeking a Fellowship (maximum 200 words)
- Describe the impact of your particular circumstances on your academic career to date (800 words)
- Include an overview of how this fellowship will assist you with maintaining your career trajectory (maximum 500 words)
- Include a a statement demonstrating your alignment with Faculty values (300 words)
- Include one letter of support from a senior academic colleague who can speak about your capacity for success in academia (maximum 1 A4 page)*
*Note: It would be helpful for the assessment panel if the letter includes relevant information regarding the impact of your personal circumstances on your career trajectory and/or research outputs. If the letter of support is not from your Head of Department, Centre Head or Head of School, we will contact them to seek endorsement and support of your application for a Momentum Fellowship. Please ensure they are aware of your intention to apply.
Prepare and attach a curriculum vitae:
- Include an abbreviated, up-to-date copy of your curriculum vitae (maximum 5 pages)
If appropriate, provide documentation supporting the salary shortfall
- Attach an email from your Department/Centre manager outlining how the salary shortfall will be met
Attach optional supporting material:
- Maximum 5 A4 pages
- Clarify the reason for including supporting material in your written application
Submit your application
Complete and submit your application online:
- Submit your application by midnight Monday 11 September 2023
- Note the application form strictly enforces word limits, and page limits are to be adhered to—additional pages will not be considered by the selection panel
- All applications are confidential
Conditions of Award
- The Momentum Fellowship provides up to $100K contribution per year over two years towards the applicant’s salary, including on-costs.
- The funding contribution is split between the Faculty and the applicant’s School , 50% each from Faculty and the School.
- If there is a shortfall between the Fellowship funding and the applicant's salary including on-costs, the shortfall must be met from other sources e.g. external funding, local or other support. The additional funding needs to be confirmed with your supervisor, Head of Department/Centre and local Business Manager, prior to submitting your application (This is to ensure that additional funds are available, and from an appropriate funding source based on your employment type (eg. fixed term, continuing research-contingent) to cover you).
- If salary and on-costs require less than $100K per year (or the applicable pro-rated amount), remaining funds may be used to support other research costs for the applicant, as required. It is essential that applicants discuss and confirm this with your supervisor prior to submitting an application.
- The total amount awarded is pro-rated based on the applicant’s time fraction (FTE) and specified in the application. If applicable, the applicant's contract end date will be extended to cover the duration of the Fellowship.
- The Fellowship is available up to a maximum period of 24 months. Funding is intended nominally for the period 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026. An extension may be possible under exceptional circumstances via the Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion.
- Staff who are coming off externally funded fellowships in the next 6 months, and those without any external fellowship support will be prioritised for support.
- Momentum Fellows who subsequently secure external salary support are encouraged to take up the external salary funding as soon as possible and must not defer, ensuring completion of the Momentum Fellowship within the allocated funding term.
- Fellows cannot hold another internal University nor external fellowship where salary support has been awarded concurrently.
- Fellows are expected to develop a plan to achieve research independence and sustainability with their supervisor and Head of Department/Centre/School.
- Fellows are expected to apply for external fellowships and research funding during the term of the Momentum Fellowship.
- Fellows are expected to provide appropriate acknowledgement of Faculty support when communicating research outcomes arising from the tenure of the fellowship.
- Fellows are subject to the University of Melbourne's Conditions of Employment.
- Fellows retain their existing appointment within the Faculty for the duration of the Fellowship.
- Twenty days (pro-rata) annual leave per annum must be taken during the term of the Fellowship to ensure annual budget allocations are met, to avoid the budget division incurring additional costs at the conclusion of the Fellowship. If leave is not taken during the term of the Fellowship, the administering Department/Centre will be responsible for any additional leave incurred beyond the conclusion of the fellowship term. Fellows must utilise their full annual leave entitlement each year for the duration of the fellowship. Please refer to the University’s Leave Policy.