Prof Susan Scott awarded 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Prof Susan Scott (ANU) is Australia’s leading general relativity theorist. The 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science was jointly awarded to Susan and three other members of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).

Prof Scott initiated the Australian effort in gravitational wave data analysis in 1998, and led Australian research in digging gravitational wave signals out of detector noise. Her team contributed key components to the LIGO Data Analysis System through which the detection signal was processed in 2015; designing and conducting the first gravitational wave search to be carried out under Australian leadership.

Congratulations Susan and team!

Physics Nobel Prize

Prof Andrea Ghez (University of California) has been jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy”. Prof Ghez is only the fourth woman ever to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics.


Women in Math and the COVID-19 crisis

The Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) of the International Mathematical Union is putting together a webpage on Women in Math and the COVID-19 crisis:


The webpage contains links to texts related to the crisis, followed by brief testimonials from women around the world on what the COVID-19 crisis has meant for their lives as women in mathematics.

Professional scientists in Australia have a 17% wage gap

Science and Technology Australia have launched the 2020 Professional Scientist Employment and Renumeration Report. This report analyses data from across the scientific professions in Australia. Some of the key findings are the gender wage gap, the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment, and high levels of fatigue.

Mothers in Science

We are supporting a global survey conducted by Mothers in Science and its partner organisations to study how parenthood impacts on the career advancement of professionals and students in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine). This research addresses the inequalities and career obstacles faced by parents in STEMM, and which have been recently magnified by the coronavirus pandemic — especially for mothers.

The survey results are crucial to raise awareness of the barriers hindering the career progression of parents in STEMM, and to create long-term solutions for promoting workplace equality and increasing the retention of women in STEMM fields.

Please take the survey and spread the word! https://www.mothersinscience.com/survey

Open Letter on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The European Women in Mathematics (EWM) has written an open letter on the impact of COVID-19 on junior and women mathematicians.  


WIMSIG fully endorses this letter written by EWM — it advocates for proactive measures from employers to support current employees in temporary positions and future job applicants.

Girls in STEM

The Girls in STEM project has produced some lovely video interviews, including one with Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger: https://www.thegist.edu.au/students/women-in-stem/video-interviews/.


2020 AustMS Meeting

The 64th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society will be an online conference, hosted by the University of New England, from December 8–10.

Registration is free for AustMS members and closes on 16 November 2020. (The fee for non-members is $50, and can be put towards AustMS membership.). 

Special Session on ‘Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) in Mathematics

Presentations are invited on the following three themes:

  • Structural impediments to academic careers,
  • Good Allyship,
  • Broadening mathematics for everyone.

However, we welcome your contributions on any IDE topic that you would like to share with the mathematics community.

Talks in this session may span a wide range of topics relating to mathematics and inclusivity, diversity and equity in: the professional community (e.g. academia, industry, government), the higher-education student body (under- and post-graduate students), and more broadly in society. 

Examples of under-represented and under-included groups and knowledges are: women mathematicians; Indigenous mathematicians; LGBTQIA+ and gender-diverse mathematicians; mathematicians with disabilities; mathematicians from non-dominant cultural backgrounds; mathematicians with physical or mental health challenges; mathematicians from low SES or other non-traditional educational background — and there are many more.

WIMSIG Virtual Business Meeting and Virtual Forum

The WIMSIG Virtual Business Meeting and Virtual Forum will be held on Monday 7 December 2020 as part of the 64th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society.

The event is open to all participants of the AustMS meeting, regardless of gender or membership of WIMSIG. The purpose of the Virtual Forum will be to support women, and particularly early career researchers, to enter and establish careers in mathematics. Come along to hear about the careers of the AustMS 2020 female plenary speakers, to discuss issues concerning women in mathematics in Australia, and to network (virtually) with fellow WIMSIG members and supporters. The annual WIMSIG Business Meeting will also be held on Monday 7 December, just prior to the Women in Mathematical Sciences Forum. As with the Forum, anyone interested in WIMSIG activities is welcome to attend the Business Meeting. 


WIMSIG Executive Committee — Call for Nominations

At the end of 2020, WIMSIG will be electing new members for the Executive Committee, to commence terms in February 2021. The positions that will be open and the length of term are as follows:

  • Student member, 1 year term
  • Secretary, 2 year term
  • Treasurer, 2 year term
  • 2 x ordinary members, 2 year term

If you are interested in the opportunity to lead the drive for gender equity in Australian Mathematics, please consider nominating for a position by November 30.

Please contact the current members to answer any questions you may have about the roles:

The Returning Officer is A/Prof Vanessa Venturi (v.venturi@unsw.edu.au).

Nominations should be emailed to the Returning Officer, and need to include the nominee’s name, the second nominator’s name, the role, and a statement from the nominee on why they would like to take on the role, which will be sent out to the WIMSIG membership list should there be an election.

Australian National University

  • Postdoctoral Fellow — Bioprediction (full time, continuing)
    — Closing date: Sunday 8 November, 2020
  • Postdoctoral Fellow — Object Detection (full time, continuing)
    — Closing date: Sunday 8 November, 2020

Statistical Society of Australia

  • Events Coordinator (casual position, 6-8 hours per week)
    — Closing date: Sunday 8 November, 2020

The University of Queensland

The University of Sydney

The University of Melbourne

WomenConnect Challenge

Call for Applications for the global WomenConnect Challenge for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women access and use technology.

This project provides four grants of USD $500,000 each towards advancing women’s digital development, through USAID. Separate grants of up to $130,000 are also available for solutions that close the digital gender gap in India specifically.

  • Apply for the global WomenConnect challenge here.
  • Apply for the India WomenConnect challenge here.

The deadline for applications for both grants is November 6.

AMSI-AustMS Workshop Funding

Applications for funding extended to November 10, 2020.

Are you interested in organising a mathematical sciences research event between 1 December 2020 and 30 June 2021? We invite you to apply for funding, promotional support and more. Proposals for both face-to-face and online events are welcomed. Early-career researchers and first-time organisers are strongly encouraged to apply.

Diversity: If your event has three or more organisers, they must come from several AMSI Member Institutions and include at least one woman, AustMS member and ECR. The event must be open to AMSI Member Institutions outside the host. Female keynote speakers must be featured and the application must present a clear strategy to encourage women’s participation. Contact WIMSIG for advice.

LEARN MORE & APPLY NOW: rhed.amsi.org.au/workshop-funding/fund-your-workshop-2020/

Committee For Women in Mathematics Event Funding

CWM invites proposals for funding of up to €3000 for activities or initiatives taking place in 2020/1 aimed at any of the following:

(a) establishing or supporting networks for women in mathematics, preferably at the continental or regional level, and with priority given to networks in developing or emerging countries,

(b) organising research workshops geared towards establishing research networks for women by fostering research collaborations during the event,

(c) other ideas for researching and/or addressing issues encountered by women in mathematics.

Applications should be sent to applications-for-cwm@mathunion.org before December 15, 2020.

SMRI Domestic Visitor Program

Applications are now open again for the Domestic Visitor Program of The University of Sydney Mathematical Research Institute (SMRI). Complementing our flagship International Visitor Program, this scheme is for researchers in the mathematical sciences from other Australian universities who wish to do research at SMRI, either individually or as part of a group of collaborators. Funding is available for successful applicants who are not based in Sydney.

This application round is for visits of at least 2 weeks within the period 1 March — 26 July 2021. Applications close on Monday 30 November 2020 and should be sent by email to smri.exec@sydney.edu.au with the information requested in the terms and conditions on the SMRI website at https://sydney.edu.au/smri.

Applications from female and gender-diverse researchers, and from researchers belonging to other groups which are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, are particularly encouraged. Please direct questions about the conditions to the Institute’s Executive Director Anthony Henderson at smri.exec@sydney.edu.au .


Have you read an interesting article? Have some news? Have an opportunity available?

Please send items to WIMSIG-news@women.austms.org.au.

Note: Newsletters are published on the 1st day of each month (or soon after). The deadline for submitted items is the 27th day of each month.

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