The Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowships aim to assist young pure mathematicians in travelling in Australia and overseas so that they can enrich their mathematical research through contact with other mathematicians. The Fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, although need may be taken into account. The Fellowship is funded by the family of the late Professor Alf van der Poorten.

Alf at Bordeaux

Applications for the Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship should be emailed directly to the committee at  by 16 May, Prof van der Poorten’s date of birth. Prospective applicants should follow the guidelines governing the application procedures given in the Rules below. Please note, although the Alf van der Poorten Fellowship is usually awarded in odd numbered years, the fellowship is being offered again in 2024 because no winner was awarded the fellowship in 2023.

Alf van der Poorten was a professor of pure mathematics at Macquarie University. He published 180 papers, mostly in number theory and related fields. He was President of the Australian Mathematical Society 1996–1998 and he was awarded The George Szekeres Medal in 2002 in recognition of his career research achievements and his contributions to the mathematical sciences. Alf van der Poorten was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia, AM, in the Australia Day Honours List 2004, for service to “mathematical research and education, particularly in the field of number theory”.

The list of fellowships awarded by the Society can be found on the Alf van der Poorten Fellows page.

The members of the selection committee for the fellowship for 2024 are:

  • A/Prof. M. Nelson (Univ Wollongong) – chair
  • A/Prof A. Thomas (Sydney Univ) – outgoing chair
  • Prof C. Gonzales-Tokman – incoming chair
  • A/Prof K. Helmsted
  • Dr A. Tam

Rules of the Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship

  1. The Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship is offered in odd-numbered years to researchers who have obtained their PhD in pure mathematics from an Australian university.
  2. To be eligible to apply, a candidate must have qualified for their PhD within five years of the closing date and they cannot have previously been awarded the Alf van der Poorten Fellowship. Applicants must have been members of the Society for the consecutive twelve-month period immediately prior to the date of application. (Back dating of membership to the previous year is not sufficient.) Preference may be given to applicants who are resident in Australia.
  3. At most one Alf van der Poorten Fellowship will be awarded in odd-numbered years, unless no-one of sufficient merit is found, in which case no Fellowship shall be awarded.
  4. The Fellowship Committee of the Society will make recommendations to the President of the Society on the award of the Alf van der Poorten Fellowship.
  5. Applications for the Alf van der Poorten Fellowship should include the completed application form (PDF, 710 KB) detailing a travel and research plan and budget (at most one page), a budget justification, letters of support from all institutions being visited, a full CV and a letter from the awarding institution confirming when the applicant qualified for the award of their PhD. Applications should be sent to by 16 May in the year of the award.
  6. The applicant should arrange for two letters of support from experts in their field to be sent directly to the committee care of These letters should comment on the track record of the applicant and on the merits of the Fellowship application. One of these letters can be one of the letters of support from a host institution.
  7. The selection committee will recommend the amount to be granted, to a maximum of $10,000, to a successful applicant, taking account of the proposed research and travel activities, the need for support and the research track record of the applicant relative to opportunity.
  8. The Selection Committee reserves the right to consult with appropriate assessors.
  9. In applying for a Alf van der Poorten Fellowship applicants agree that if they are successful then their names, a citation and photograph can be published on the web pages and in the journals of the Society and they agree to submit a report on their Fellowship after its conclusion.
  10. The Alf van der Poorten Fellowships will be awarded, in the first instance, every odd-numbered year from 2015 to 2029. The amount of the award may be increased in consultation with the family of Alf van der Poorten.

[Approved by Council 25 September 2011; amended December 2014, September 2015; dates amended May 2017]