Australia and India have launched a new fellowship program to enhance research collaboration and student mobility between the two countries.
Australia India Institute will lead the Australia India Research Students Fellowship (AIRS Fellowship) program, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and supports emerging researchers from India and Australia to undertake short-term research exchanges.
Seventy fellowships of up to AUD $10,000 are available, with 35 awards available to applicants from higher education institutions in each country.
Under the program, students will undertake a research project during an exchange of 4 to 8 weeks, to be completed by mid-October 2023.
Lisa Singh is the CEO of Australia India Institute.
She says the AIRS Fellowships will boost research and innovation partnerships between the two countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Australia is one of the world’s leading providers of education for international students and India is our second largest source of international students. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Indian international students contributed more than $6.4 billion to our economy,”added Ms Singh.
“Part of the India Economic Strategy to 2035 Action Plan, this program will strengthen our research and education ties with our important trading partner.”
The application process is now open to eligible research students and post-doctoral scholars (early-career researchers) across all disciplines.
Who is eligible?
1- Masters by research students (includes Master of Science and Master of Philosophy)
2- Masters by coursework students undertaking a research subject or research component
3- Doctoral research students (including Doctor of Philosophy)
4- Post-doctoral scholars (early career researchers) up to 5-years post-doctorate
The AIRS Fellowship program was launched in August at the sixth Australia India Education Council meeting, co-chaired by Australian Education Minister The Hon Jason Clare and Indian Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship The Hon Dharmendra Pradhan.
Australia and India have a long history of research engagement, with Science and Technology cooperation agreements in 1975, and in 2020 the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that covers a variety of research of interest to both nations.
What are the priority sectors for collaborative research:
A few which can be named as such are water, clean energy, agriculture and health-promoting solutions to shared challenges.
“Research collaborations across national boundaries can promote strong bilateral ties, and in Australia, the Indian diaspora has been a driving force in bilateral research collaboration,”Ms Singh said.
“The AIRS Fellowship program will provide opportunities for emerging Australian researchers to develop their India-capability and for young Indian researchers to build their Australia-capability, helping to create long-lasting connections between both countries.”
Applications can be made via the Australian Researcher Cooperation Hub-India – a digital platform promoting researcher engagement between India and Australia. Applications close Sunday, 13 November.
AII CEO Lisa Singh speaking about the AIRS Fellowships