Submissions for the AMSI Workshop Review
have now closed
AMSI’s Research and Higher Education Committee has commissioned a review of the AMSI Workshop Program. Details of the current program and the relevant committees can be found here
The focus of the review will be on the range of events that AMSI supports, the way in which that support is restricted to specific expenditure and the purpose and effectiveness of the program.
Submissions are called for from the mathematical sciences community. Information about the current structure, funding offered and the background of the program can be found below.
Submissions are accepted online, in the form below, until 17 April 2015.

 

Professor Jan De Gier & Professor Gary Froyland
Review Committee
Call for submissions: Review of the AMSI Workshop Program
Why a review?

There are many different ways in which research activities can be supported. In thinking about your submission to the review we suggest that you consider your international experiences as a source of innovation. The Research and Higher Education Committee has made a preliminary identification of four categories that you should consider, but are not limited to, in your submission to this review:

  • Application and reporting processes
  • Type of program, e.g. new or recurring conference, (joint) workshops, lecture series, longer programs
  • People funded, e.g. eminent speakers, early career researchers, speakers from developing countries, gender balance, geographic balance
  • Activity funded, e.g. travel, accommodation, family support

Submissions should consider the following questions:

THE PROGRAM
1. Should AMSI broaden its current workshop policy of funding the travel and accommodation of eminent speakers?
2. Keeping in mind the limited amount of available funding, should AMSI consider re-allocating funds to activities other than 2-5 day workshops?
3. The program has always insisted on wide geographic participation and national benefit, how could benefit be improved?
4. Is there any bias, real, perceived or inadvertent, in AMSI’s funding program?

PROCESS
5. How would you improve AMSI’s application and reporting processes? In your answer to this question you could provide successful international examples.
6. Is AMSI’s decision-making process effective, i.e. does it achieve the objectives of the program, and does it do so in a timely manner?

OTHER
7. Other comments

Current Structure

In its current form the program sponsors workshops across the entire spectrum of the mathematical sciences. These workshops number around 20 per year and run for between 2 and 5 days.

AMSI funds each of these to a maximum of $10,000, with the selection process carried out by the AMSI Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).  For amounts below $5000, the decision is made by the SAC Chair, the AMSI Director, and a relevant SAC member, rather than the full SAC committee.

At the moment there is also a joint application process with the Australian Mathematical Society and ANZIAM for their own workshop programs and two rounds per year. These programs do not pool funds but the AMSI SAC advises the Society and ANZIAM on the quality of the applications. Of course many applications are directed to AMSI alone.

AMSI itself restricts its direct funding to the travel and accommodation support of a limited number of invited speakers, typically up to five per workshop. These individuals are usually internationals with a significant track record of achievement. There are many other ways in which AMSI could support workshops but AMSI has chosen to do it this way because it delivers proven benefit and because this single focus is clear cut for all parties.

In addition, the AMSI Member Travel Funds support workshop attendees from AMSI members without burdening the workshop organisers with the task of distributing travel support.

For links to program information see the “AMSI Scientific Funding” tab.

Background

The Workshop Program was one of AMSI’s first initiatives and it has had a major impact on our research environment. Peter Hall was the inaugural chair of AMSI’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) which assesses applications for workshop sponsorship. Jon Borwein is the current chair of the SAC.

In 2006 the AMSI Member Travel Funds were introduced by Phil Broadbridge to support workshop attendees from AMSI members without burdening the workshop organisers with the task of distributing travel support.

In the past the program has sponsored hot topic workshops put together at short notice and theme programs lasting weeks and months, however in recent years the program has settled in to sponsoring more or less conventional workshops across the entire spectrum of the mathematical sciences.

AMSI Scientific Funding
Type Amount (per annum) Webpage
Scientific Advisory Committee Funding $100,000-120,000 Workshop Funding
Travel Funding $1,000 (sm assoc.)
$2,000 (med assoc.)
$3,000 (lge assoc.)
$5,000 (full member)
Travel Funding
AMSI-SSAI/ANZIAM Lecturer $8,000 AMSI Lecturer
Mahler Lecturer $5,000 (every other year) Mahler Lecturer
MiSG $5,000 MiSG
Early Career Workshop $10,000