Celebrate notable achievements by Fellows, uncover the Universities Accord Final Report, and explore research opportunities.
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Making news
this month:

This month there's a stack of exciting new opportunities in the social sciences both in Australia and abroad, impressive achievements by Fellows and more. 

Scroll down to find news and events, and tips on the latest social sciences updates to read, listen, and attend.

President's Message

This month saw the release of the Universities Accord final report. There has been much commentary, positive and negative in the press, and many of those reading this would have themselves contributed their thoughts to the Accord panel. For those who aren’t up for reading the 400-page report in full, read the brief incisive summary from the Academy Policy Director. The Academy will continue to make our voice heard and will seek to shape the implementation of measures in the final report that help advance universities in general and the social sciences in particular.

This is also a good opportunity to remind you of the extraordinary work the policy committee does across a range of issues. While 2023 was a year chock full of government inquiries, this year will likely be more about synthesis and implementation, and our policy committee—which met last week—has an exciting workplan to contribute to what will be another important year in government policy affecting our Academy and Fellows.

I am also thrilled to say that the Rechnitz Fund, which provides $20,000 grants for early- and mid-career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social science researchers, is open for the second year.

Let me conclude by thanking you for your contribution to our Academy, and remind you that if you have comments or suggestions, please do feel free to email me directly.

Richard Holden 


Universities Accord Final Report

The Academy welcomes the Universities Accord Final Report, released on 25 February 2024. The report contains 47 recommendations which provide a big-picture plan for Australia’s higher education sector and, if implemented, will have a positive impact on the social sciences system, including:

  • recognising the important mission of the national tertiary education systems to underpin a strong democracy and drive national economic, social and environmental prosperity

  • reducing contributions for students studying other society and culture by replacing JRG with a system based on projected lifetime earnings and reforming HELP repayment arrangements

  • creating a pathway toward funding the full cost of research

  • increasing the Australian Government's use and uptake of Australian research and innovation

  • increasing investment in the Australian Research Council’s capacity to support fundamental research

  • providing predictable long-term funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

The report also recommends the Australian Government commission a cross-portfolio examination of Australia’s research funding and develop a strategy that sets targets for Australia’s overall spending on Research and Development—which were key recommendations in the Academy submission to the Accord process.

Invitation: Social Science Regional Summit

Registrations are now open for the Social Science Indo-Pacific Regional Summit taking place from 9-10 May 2024 in Thailand. We invite all social science researchers, funders and policymakers in the Indo-Pacific to join us for discussions on collaboration, policy engagement and research impact.

The meeting is co-hosted by the Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC) and the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), in partnership with Global Development Network and supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Australian and Chinese Social Scientists Secure Funding for Collaborative Research

The Academy has announced $28,000 in new grants for collaborative research initiatives involving Australian and Chinese social scientists. The Australia-China Joint Action Program jointly led by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), facilitates collaborative research ventures between Australian and Chinese researchers in common research domains.

The Academy extends its congratulations to the recipients and looks forward to seeing the results of continued international cooperation.

Opportunities galore

Investing in knowledge: 

Grant available to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars 

The Academy is proud to host the Rechnitz Memorial Fund, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars in the social sciences. 

Applications are now open (closing 13 May) for grants of up to $20,000 to support early- and mid-career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers working across the breadth of the social sciences.

Apply Now: Moran Award for History of Science Research

Applications for the Australian Academy of Science’s Moran Award for History of Science Research are now open. Aimed at postgraduate students and other researchers with expertise in the history of Australian science, it provides up to $10,000 to support access to archives that record the history of science in Australia, and it can be used towards travel and accommodation costs. The outcomes of the selected project will be considered for publication in the Historical Records of Australian Science journal. Applications close 1 June 2024. 

Call for nominations: 2024 Stein Rokkan Prize

The annual Stein Rokkan Prize celebrates the legacy of Stein Rokkan, apioneer in comparative social science research, acknowledging a submission deemed a substantial and original contribution in the field. Presented by the International Science Council, the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), and the University of Bergen, it carries a prize fund of EUR 5,000. 

New Australia-Korea Foundation Visiting Professor of Australian Studies 2024-25

Applications are now open for the Australia-Korea Foundation Visiting Professor of Australian Studies 2024-25. Enhance Australian-Korean relationships with a funded, 10-12 month visiting position at Seoul National University. Closing 15 April 2024.

Pacific Circle Early Career Researcher Prize

The Pacific Circle has a new prize for early career scholars in the history of science, medicine and knowledge practices in the Asia-Pacific region. Recent PhD graduates have the opportunity to receive US$500 to assist in transforming their research into a first monograph or a set of papers.


Congratulations are in order for a number of our Fellows over the past month, including:

  • Fellow Marcia Langton who was announced as Victoria's joint-recipient of the public-voted Excellence in Women's Leadership award presented by Women and Leadership Australia. The Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership spotlight outstanding accomplishments of Australian leaders across business, government, and community.

  • Fellow Ross Gittins who, after more than 5,000 columns and 50 federal budgets, celebrated 50 years in economics journalism last month. He celebrated by writing about his dream job and his hopes for the future.

  • Fellow Felicity Meakins co-authored picture book, Tamarra: A Story of Termites on Gurindji Country made the Notables List for the Children's Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award. Described as 'glorious' and a 'true labour of love' by the judging panel, the book features three languages and involved over 30 Gurindji Elders, artists, storytellers, linguists and scientists.

Price gouging report release

A landmark report by Fellow Allan Fels, initiated by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, raises serious concerns about pricing practices of businesses across the banking, supermarkets, aviation, and energy sectors. The report calls for measures to enhance competition, improve consumer information, and expose exploitative practices, urging action against unfair pricing across various industries.

Discover Yumi Sabe

Yumi Sabe is an Australian Kriol term that translates to 'we know', or, 'we have the knowledge'. Yumi Sabe is a data platform managed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) that showcases the complexity and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' research and culture. Explore or join the Yumi Sabe community and start sharing your research.

Social Sciences Week 9-15 September 

We are delighted to announce RMIT as the Principal Sponsor for Social Sciences Week 2024.

Get ready for an amazing celebration of all things #socialscience! Subscribe to alerts or get in touch about sponsorship opportunities to be part of the week.


Fellow Lois Bryson is remembered as a pioneer of Australian sociology as well as teacher much appreciated by her many students. Throughout her extensive career, Lois occupied numerous academic positions, including Head of Sociology at UNSW, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Newcastle.

Lois published widely across a range of topics, including issues around social policy, gender, work, the welfare state and women’s health. Some of her key publications include the first Australian sociological study of a suburb, An Australian Newtown (1972), written with Faith Thompson; a follow up study, Social Change, Suburban Lives (1999), co-authored with Ian Winter; and Welfare and State: Who Benefits? (1992). She continued to have an active voice on policy issues and remained involved during her retirement with many community organisations focused on women and issues of social welfare.

Read, Listen, Attend


The Academy’s submission to the 2024–25 Federal Budget offers eight recommendations to strengthen Australia’s research ecosystem, improve education and learning outcomes and deploy social science research to address key challenges facing Australia.

Explore the report from our 2023 Education and Anthropocene funded workshop, delving into the crucial role of education in tackling climate change. This workshop was convened by Fellows Professors Jill Blackmore, Julie McLeod, Terri Seddon and Russell Tytler. 

Australia’s most common vices, including drinking, smoking and illicit drugs, have been revealed in the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. Co-led by Fellow Roger Wilkins, the HILDA survey tracks the same 17,000 Australians each year, with participants followed over the course of their lifetime. The survey collects information on many facets of life and is the only study of its kind in Australia.

Fellow Marian Baird’s At a Turning Point: Work, care and family policies in Australia provides a comprehensive account of key policy areas that shape the experience of work and care across the life course and argues that a new social contract that puts gender equality, economic security and the well-being of carers and those they care for at the centre of policy design is essential to national productivity and prosperity.

Discover intriguing insights into the world of economics and its impact on our lives with Fellow Andrew Leigh's latest book, The Shortest History of Economics: The Powerful Story of Economic Ideas and Forces that Shape Our World. Explore the hidden economic forces behind war, innovation and social transformation. From ancient times to the modern era, learn about capitalism, key figures in economics, and the challenges of climate change.

Understand the complexities of multicultural Australia in Multicultural Arc: Making Multicultural Australia: Past, Present, and Future by Fellow Andrew Jakubowicz as he delves into the challenges and opportunities facing our diverse nation as we navigate the next generation.


Fellow Marcia Langton paid tribute to Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG and talks openly on ABC Radio National about why she feels the Voice referendum failed and where the conversation needs to move now.


Interested in urban design, data and health policy? At 1pm on 28 March, join AURIN’s Director Professor Pascale Perez for a Population Health Research Network webinar in which he'll explain the Australian Urban Health Indicators (AusUrb-HI) Project.

AUKUS is Australia’s most significant strategic partnership and since 2022 it has enjoyed bipartisan political support. Seeking to inform public discussion, the Academy is convening a two-day symposium on AUKUS from 15-16 August 2024 in Canberra featuring analysis and discussion of its political, legal, strategic and economic benefits and costs. Sign up to our Events newsletter for further program and registration announcements.

From 3-7 June in Melbourne, join the AIATSIS Summit Celebrating Indigenous Brilliance: Then and Now which provides a unique forum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, leaders, and youth along with Academics, Native Title stakeholders, legal experts, GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector and government representatives to come together and collaborate on the issues that matter most to First Nations peoples. Call for abstracts closes 10 March 2024.

Events schedule
View and register for upcoming events.

Policy and publications
Read recent submissions and other publications.

Listen to the Seriously Social episodes.

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia.

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our national office is located, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, and

to their elders past and present.

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
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