The Capstone Editing Grant for Mid-Career Researchers provides up to A$10,000 of seed funding for one researcher per year to undertake an innovative research project. The expectation is that the research project will gather preliminary data and lead to the development of a research council funding application.
The grant can be used to cover any costs related to the research project, such as software or small lab equipment; domestic or overseas travel to learn new techniques or collaborate with colleagues; academic editing of the grant proposal; and data analysis.
We recognise that many mid-career researchers suffer from job instability and insecurity. According to the National Tertiary Education Union, only one-third of employees in higher education have ongoing employment. The competitive nature of securing grants, combined with procuring contracts (that are often only short term), means many mid-career researchers navigate extended periods of uncertainty about their employment.
Lack of sufficient governmental investment into the research sector has meant that funding is becoming even more competitive for mid-career researchers—especially those in the fields of science and medicine. Understandably, some academics find this instability untenable and opt to leave their research field—this represents a significant loss for research in Australia. Others move overseas to secure longer-term positions. If mid-career researchers are not better supported into permanent roles and sufficiently funded, Australia stands to continue to experience a significant ‘brain drain’ that could devastate our higher education industry.
Capstone Editing values Australian research careers. As such, we have targeted this grant to support mid-career researchers, particularly through the preliminary stages of their research project. We hope that the Capstone Editing Mid-Career Researchers Grant will provide the successful applicant with the funds to begin preliminary work, leading to them winning a grant that will help them progress their career.