Travelling for conferences and research visits is vital for an academic career. The AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards are designed to provide full or partial support for Australian female mathematicians to attend conferences or to visit collaborators, with approximately eight domestic Travel Awards and four international Travel Awards awarded annually. By having more women attend conferences, we also increase the size of the pool from which speakers at subsequent conferences may be drawn, and thus address the persistent problem of the scarcity of women speakers at some conferences.
The Awards are funded by the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS) and are an initiative of the AustMS Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group (WIMSIG), which administers them. Awards are determined on a competitive basis by a selection committee of distinguished mathematicians, appointed by the Executive Committee of WIMSIG.
There are two rounds of the Travel Awards per year, with closing dates on April 1 and on October 1 each year. Applications, using the application form and accompanied by a CV and other supporting documentation as detailed in the rules below, should be sent to the Selection Committee via the email address email@example.com.
The Awards are named after Professor Cheryl E. Praeger AM FAA, in recognition of her contributions to supporting and encouraging women in mathematics. Cheryl E. Praeger was appointed as Professor of Mathematics at The University of Western Australia in 1983. She was the second woman appointed to a mathematics professorship in Australia, after Hanna Neumann at ANU in 1964. Professor Praeger has published over 330 journal articles and four research monographs, mostly in group theory, algebraic graph theory and combinatorics. She has supervised 30 PhD students, including nine women. She was the first pure mathematician to be awarded an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (2007-12). She was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 1999 for her “service to Mathematics in Australia, especially through research and professional associations”, and she is a recipient of a Centenary Medal of the Australian Government in 2003 for services to mathematics. She is the first woman to be awarded the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, in 2013, and the Moyal Medal from Macquarie University, in 2011.
Professor Praeger was the first female President of the Australian Mathematical Society (1992-94), was made an Honorary Life Member in 2013, and has been Editor in Chief of the Australian Mathematical Society Lecture Series since 2008. She gave the inaugural Hanna Neumann Plenary Lecture at the Australian Mathematical Society’s Annual Meeting in 2010. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1996, and she will serve a term on its Executive Committee as Foreign Secretary (2014-18). She is an Executive Committee member of the International Mathematical Union (2007-14), Vice-President of the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (2013-16), foundation board member of the Australian Mathematics Trust, Chair of the Australian Mathematics Olympiad Committee, and former Chair of the Australian Council of Heads of Mathematical Sciences. She was 2009 Western Australian Scientist of the Year, and chaired the selection committee for the International Congress of Mathematicians 2010 Emmy Noether Lecture.
The current members of the Selection Committee for the Awards are:
- Florica-Corina Cîrstea (Chair) — The University of Sydney
- Sarah Herke — The University of Queensland
- Sevvandi Kandanaarachchi — RMIT University
For queries about the Awards or the application process, please contact Valentina Wheeler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Application form: PDF or DOC
- Rules of the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards (PDF, 180KB)
- Advice For Applicants (PDF, 114KB)
- Conflict of Interest Policy (PDF, 84KB)
Rules of the WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards
- The WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards scheme provides funding for full or partial travel expenses for conference travel or research visits for women working or studying in the mathematical sciences in Australia.
- Eligibility: Applicants must be women who either (a) hold a PhD (or equivalent) in the mathematical sciences and have a work address (or home address in the case of an applicant who is not currently employed) in Australia, or (b) are studying in a PhD program in the mathematical sciences at an Australian university. They must also have been members of the Australian Mathematical Society for at least twelve months at the time of application. (Backdating of membership to the previous year is not sufficient.) Each applicant can receive at most one WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award in any two-year period. Applicants receiving more than $2000 annually in external funding for travel, at the time the application is made, are ineligible. (Here “external” means “from sources outside the applicant’s home institution”.) However partial travel funding from other sources does not make a candidate ineligible.
- Awards will be based on the benefit of the proposed travel to the applicant’s research program, on whether the applicant will give a talk, and in the case of conference travel, also on the level of visibility of women at the conference. The Selection Committee reserves the right to consult with appropriate assessors.
- Each year there will be two rounds of the selection process, with closing dates on April 1 and on October 1. Applications should be sent via email to email@example.com. Applications must be submitted for either of the two rounds prior to the planned travel or that immediately following the travel. Individual applications will not be assessed outside of a funding round. Normally applicants will receive notification of the outcome within 45 days of the close of the round.
- Applications should consist of: (a) a current CV (at most three pages); and (b) the completed application form, including an explanation (at most one page) of the purpose of the proposed trip and how it will advance the candidate’s research, and a budget listing actual expected expenses (which may exceed the total amount that can be granted).
- In the case of conference travel, the applicant should provide supporting documentation including where possible the URL of the conference website, a letter of invitation (email is sufficient), evidence of conference registration, and confirmation of submission of an abstract.
- In the case of a research visit, the applicant should arrange for a letter of support from the person they will visit, and a CV for that person, to be sent directly to the Selection Committee, care of firstname.lastname@example.org, by April 1 or October 1. The letter should confirm that the writer agrees to the applicant’s visit, at the proposed travel time.
- Applicants who have caring responsibilities for others may also apply for the WIMSIG Anne Penfold Street Awards, to help cover the costs of these responsibilities incurred in relation to the same travel as in the application for the Praeger Award.
- If it is difficult for the applicant to travel, for reasons such as caring responsibilities for children or other relatives, then the applicant may request that the travel funds be used for a visit by a research collaborator to the applicant, rather than for travel by the applicant. In this case, the reasons for this variation should be explained in the travel proposal. Scheduled teaching responsibilities are not considered a sufficient reason.
- In applying for a WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award, applicants agree that their names can be published on the website and in the journals of the Society. Travel Award recipients agree to submit a brief report to the Society within one month of completion of the travel, and that this report may be published in whole or in part in the Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society and on the website and in other journals of the Society.
- The Selection Committee of the AustMS Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group will make recommendations to the Chair of the WIMSIG Executive Committee on the award of the WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards. The Selection Committee will recommend the amount to be granted, up to a maximum of $1000 for a domestic trip and $3000 for an international trip, to each successful applicant, taking account of the benefit of the proposed travel to the applicant’s research program.
- The Society expects to award annually eight or more WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards for domestic travel, and four or more for international travel. From time to time, the Society may change the maximum amounts of each award and the available funding for the scheme.
Past Selection Committee Members
- Round 13 (2020): Xiaoping Lu — University of Wollongong
- Round 11 (2019) and Rounds 12-13 (2020): Marcy Robertson — The University of Melbourne
- Rounds 10–11 (2019): Natalie Thamwattana — The University of Newcastle
- Round 9 (2018): Jennifer Flegg — The University of Melbourne
- Rounds 8-9 (2018): Valentina Wheeler — University of Wollongong
- Round 7 (2017) and Rounds 8-9 (2018): Cecilia Gonzalez Tokman — The University of Queensland
- Rounds 6-7 (2017) and Round 8 (2018): Jessica Kasza — Monash University
- Round 5 (2016) and Rounds 6-7 (2017): Jessica Purcell — Monash University
- Round 6 (2017): Amie Albrecht — University of South Australia
- Round 5 (2016) and Round 6 (2017): Joanna Wang — University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
- Rounds 4-5 (2016): Yvonne Stokes — The University of Adelaide
- Round 3 (2015) and Rounds 4-5 (2016): Barbara Maenhaut – The University of Queensland
- Rounds 2-3 (2015) and Round 4 (2016): Deborah Street — University of Technology, Sydney
- Round 1 (2014) and Rounds 2-3 (2015): Amie Albrecht — University of South Australia
- Round 1 (2014), Round 2 (2015), and Round 10 (2019): Julie Clutterbuck — Monash University
- Chair of Round 1 (2014): Cheryl E. Praeger — The University of Western Australia
Photo of Cheryl is courtesy of UWA.