[ASA] Science & Technology Australia e-Bulletin

John O'Byrne john.obyrne at sydney.edu.au
Tue Oct 23 08:44:33 AEDT 2012

In this Bulletin:

Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) - impact on science and research
Defence Trade Control Bill 2011
STA Annual General Meeting and Nominations for Executive Committee Vacancies
CEO position
Are you an Early or Mid Career Researcher?


1.  The Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) was released on Monday.
Science & Technology Australia's response can be downloaded here: http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/in-the-media/impact-of-myefo-on-science-and-research/

NHMRC and ARC funding has NOT been affected.  Some savings measures will effect the Higher Education sector and are anticipated to have an indirect impact on research.  Specifically:
indexation arrangement for Sustainable Research Excellence has changed.  SRE funding in 2013 will remain at the same level as 2012 and will then increase over the subsequent 3 years to a maximum of $300 million in 2016. From 2017, funding will be indexed annually  by the Higher Education Indexation Factor.   In 2012/13 this represents a $79 million short fall for universities.
Facilitation Funding for universities will cease from 1 January 2014 (reducing payments by $270 million over three years from 2013‑14).
The Government has reduced uncommitted grants funding by $157.5m in 2012-13 but this has not affected ARC and NHMRC grants. 
The announcement means the temporary grants pause that was put in place has now been lifted. 

2.  Defence Trade Control Bill 2011

The Defence Trade Control Bill 2011 is currently making its way through the Federal Parliament.

To satisfy  Australia's defence trade treaty obligations with the USA the Bill expands the existing permit control regime covering trade in goods on the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) such that intangible transfers (including the flow of knowledge and information) related to any good on the list are captured.  The DSGL includes a wide range of technologies and materials commonly found in research laboratories and used in teaching.  

The Bill has unintended consequences which impact the research and education sectors. STA has made representations on behalf of its members to the responsible Minister, members of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee who are responsible for reviewing the Bill, the Chief Scientist and Chief Defence Scientist.  STA has also been involved in a consultation process lead by the Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, in view of  minimising the impact on the research and education sectors.
The outcomes of that consultation are outlined in the attached letter from the Chief Scientist to the Senate Committee members.  
STA supports the agreed way forward outlined in the letter.  In going forward, STA will work towards ensuring:
the amendments are adopted;
the Chief Scientist is strongly encouraged undertake a comprehensive education campaign so that all researchers are aware of their obligations and any unintended consequences are adequately documented and included in the final report that is delivered to the Parliament after the 24month trial period;
we are uncompromising in our position that the burden on Australian researchers be no more onerous that the burden on our American or British counterparts;
Academic freedom is not compromised

3.  STA Annual General Meeting

On Friday 19 October I wrote to you to advise that the AGM will take place on Friday 23 November in Canberra.  I encourage you to participate and to give consideration to the Executive committee vacancies that arise on this occasion. If you would like to discuss the roles and responsibilities of various Executive positions please feel free to contact me or any of the current executive members. Their contact details can be found here:  http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/about-science-australia/governance-and-board/

4.  STA is looking for a new CEO

It does feel a little unusual to be advertising one's own position! However, as you may be aware I have tendered my resignation as CEO of Science & Technology Australia, effective 30 November 2012. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you over the last 3 years.  STA is an organisation vital to the science and technology sector and I hope I have been able to make a significant contribution to achieving its objectives.  I am confident that STA will continue to grow and evolve and will remain and important, relevant and effective national voice for scientists across the nation.

A recruitment process has commenced to find a new CEO.  The position description and selection criteria are available on the STA website on both the homepage and in downloadable version at: http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/about-science-australia/vacancies/

The closing date for applications is COB Monday 5 November 2012.

In January 2013 I will commence as General Manager of Questacon – the National Science & Technology Centre in Canberra.  It is an exciting opportunity and one that will allow me to continue to work with many of you and the science and technology sector more broadly. I look forward to continuing to support STA in any way I can in the future.

5.  Are you and Early or Mid Career Researcher?

If so, you might consider subscribing to the Australian Academy of Science's Early and Mid Career Researcher (EMCR) database and mailing list at www.science.org.au/ecr/ecrlist.html
The list is used to disseminate information on funding and training opportunities as well as other relevant information for EMCRs and the Academy’s quarterly newsletter for EMCRS, Early Days. You will also be informed about ways to get involved with Academy and EMCR Forum activities. The list is also a database profiling Australian EMCRS. It outlines who the EMCRs are, and will help you get organised and active to shape the future.

Anna-Maria Arabia
Chief Executive Officer
Science & Technology Australia
Giving voice to Australian Science & Technology for over 27 years

T: 02 6257 2891
M: 0412 940 921
F: 02 6257 2897

PO Box 259
Canberra City ACT 2601
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