Increasing HDR stipend, colleagues to commend, approaching year end… and more – 15 December 2022

14 Dec 2022
Increasing HDR stipend, colleagues to commend, approaching year end… and more – 14 December 2022

Dear colleagues

We’re nearly there! This is the final edition of Inside UNSW for 2022 and it heralds the end of an enormous year and the beginning of a well-deserved break for everyone. It’s an edition that is characteristically replete with stories of high achievement and innovation – a clear demonstration that, even as the end of the year rolls in, colleagues throughout the University are working as hard as ever and achieving great things for our community. The increase in HDR scholarship stipends for 2023 (and again in 2024) is tremendous news, as is the wrap-up of the UNSW Education Festival, the UNSW Active Women in Sport Awards and the opening of the ARC Training Centre for the Global Hydrogen Economy, to cite but a few of the great stories in this edition. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to congratulate and thank you all for these, and the hundreds of other achievements over the course of this lively, industrious year.

HDR scholarship stipends increasing in 2023

I want to share again the excellent news that the stipend for new and existing HDR scholarship-holders at UNSW will increase to $35,000 from Term 1 2023, and to $37,684 in 2024.

It’s vital that HDR candidates can spend undistracted time and energy on their research, and the University has made this decision to help ease the financial stress caused by cost-of-living pressures. Our HDRs enable the discoveries and innovations that build research careers and make invaluable contributions to society, and increasing the stipend is an important step in enabling them to reach their extraordinary potential.   

The rate for 2023 will be one of the highest stipends among Group of Eight universities and well above the Department of Education’s standard rate of $29,863 for 2023. The rate for 2024 will be in line with the current living wage and is expected to be one of, if not the highest, for an Australian university.

Read more about the HDR stipend increase  |  Read the FAQs

Education Festival celebrates education and educators

Congratulations to all who organised and participated in our second UNSW Education Festival. The 10 main hosted events were complemented by dozens of short talks, keynotes, panel discussions and workshops – 84 sessions with more than 160 presenters, in a combination of in-person, online and hybrid modes that has become so familiar. The festival was a real celebration of education and educators, with cross-Faculty connections and collaboration both showcased and enabled through the week. There’s a great wrap of the Education Festival here.

The Education Festival culminated in the annual UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence. The awards honoured a brilliant array of colleagues for their (there’s no better word for it) passion for education. UNSW has tremendously talented, dedicated educators. Please join me in congratulating all the recipients of 2022 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence.

The Education Festival and Awards are an excellent way to recognise the importance of education as well as marking the end of a year in which we have redoubled our efforts to improve the student experience. My sincere thanks to every colleague who has prioritised our students, especially during some of the more challenging moments over this (and the past few) years.

Farewell Professor Eileen Baldry AO

On behalf of the University community, I congratulate Professor Eileen Baldry AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Equity Diversity & Inclusion, on her imminent retirement after a 30-year career at UNSW.

Eileen’s contributions to this University and to her field have been immense and, in 2021, her career and contributions were recognised with the honour of an Officer of the Order of Australia “for distinguished service to tertiary education, to criminology and social welfare policy, and as an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.” This well-deserved award is an excellent summation of a career of service and dedication.

The entire UNSW community has benefited from Eileen’s humanity and her commitment to social justice. Please join me in wishing Eileen a happy, healthy next chapter of her life. There will be an opportunity for colleagues to farewell her more formally early in 2023.

Vale Professor Chris Fell AO

I was very sad to hear that Emeritus Professor Christopher Fell FRSN HonFIEAust AO passed away last week. Chris is remembered very fondly by those who knew him as UNSW’s Dean of Engineering (1989–1991) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and International (1991–2001).

Chris was a world-renowned expert in nanotechnology, expertise recognised in his 2021 award of an Officer of the Order Australia “for distinguished service to science and engineering, particularly to nanotechnology research and fabrication, and to professional networks.” More on Chris’s remarkable career and achievements can be found in this remembrance written by UNSW Engineering Dean, Professor Stephen Foster.

I extend my sympathy to Chris’s family and friends. He will be very sadly missed.

A celebration of the career of Professor Mary-Louise McLaws AO

On Monday I night I was pleased to join more than 100 guests to celebrate the extraordinary career and lifetime achievements of Professor Mary-Louise McLaws AO. Mary-Louise is an influential, world-renowned epidemiologist whose expertise and advice have been sought by the world’s leading health organisations, including at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illustrating the very high regard in which Mary-Louise is held, the celebration was attended by guests including former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull AC; NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant AO; and UNSW Chancellor, David Gonski AC. I encourage you to read more about this celebration of Mary-Louise’s remarkable career.

Many more achievements and celebrations

Befitting this final edition of Inside UNSW for 2022, there are more stories of achievement and celebration than I can cover in my newsletter, but I encourage you to browse this issue for a swathe of worthy articles including:

A refreshing break for all

Looking back over 2022, I conclude that it has been another cracker of a year despite all the lingering challenges of the COVID pandemic. Every day I meet people at UNSW who are making the world around us a better place, striving for positive impact – and succeeding. Thank you to everyone in the University community and congratulations on your achievements. I wish you and your loved ones a refreshing, safe holiday period with R&R in the perfect proportions. See you all in 2023.

Best regards

Professor Anne Simmons
Provost, Acting Vice-Chancellor