The University of Newcastle, Australia

UON welcomes STEM investment

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

University of Newcastle welcomes new investment in building Australia’s STEM economy

The University of Newcastle (UON) has welcomed the Coalition’s announcement of $31.2 million investment to encourage more women and girls to enter and succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

UON Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said investment in internships for STEM PhD researchers would help Australia build a competitive innovation economy. Professor McMillen also welcomed the $3 million earmarked for developing a National Career Education Strategy.

“Supporting more women and girls to make their career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics is vital for Australia’s economic competitiveness. Around half our early career scientists and researchers are female, but women make up just a quarter of the STEM workforce.”

“Reaching our nation’s innovation potential means ensuring talented women and girls are supported to study, research and work in STEM areas,” said Professor McMillen.

The Coalition’s proposals align closely to two key UON strategic initiatives: participation in the Science in Australia Gender Equity pilot; and the ‘UON Engaged PhD’ model, part of the University’s NeW Futures strategic plan.

The UON Engaged PhD will ensure doctoral students receive supervision and mentorship from senior colleagues in business and industry as well as academia, broadening graduate knowledge, skills and attributes and improving the employability of doctoral graduates.

These graduates will help strengthen the critical relationship between research and industry, ensuring greater commercial application of research outcomes, particularly in regional Australia.

To support this relationship, UON will establish a number of Industry Doctoral Training Centres with partner organsiations to build capacity in areas of national and global relevance and impact, ensuring bases exist for collaboration between industry and research.

“Ensuring our next generation of researchers is engaged with business and industry is a vital building block in creating Australia’s innovation economy. We welcome investment in translating research into impact,” said Professor McMillen.

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