Academic Carer Support Scheme

Purpose

The purpose of the Academic Carer Support Scheme is to provide financial assistance to enable academics, particularly early- and mid-career, who have carer responsibilities* or who require a carer themselves, to participate in activities that significantly contribute to their career development.

*Carer responsibilities include care for dependent child/children or for a dependent relative with special needs

Background

In order to grow their networks, establish new collaborations and communicate their research or teaching scholarship, academics are expected to attend and present their work at intrastate, interstate and international conferences/symposia/workshops etc. Further, for some discipline areas, fieldwork is an essential element of the research process. For academics with children and little or no family support or who are responsible for a dependent relative with special needs, arranging appropriate care during time spent away from home is often difficult and expensive to organise, even for domestic travel. This tends to impact female academics more than their male counterparts as women often have greater responsibility for the direct care of children or dependent relatives, or for organising their care by others.

Eligibility

  • Academic (including Postdoctoral Fellows, and academic staff undertaking a PhD or Research Masters).
  • Full-time or part-time; continuing or fixed-term.
  • Carer of a dependent child/children or of a dependent relative with special needs or in need of a carer themselves.
  • Participation in a significant activity aligned with their career development plan, such as: presenting research or scholarship (paper and/or poster) at an international or significant national conference/workshop/symposium for which they have in-principle support from their school or faculty to attend or undertaking approved fieldwork or developing a major industry partnership.
  • Have achieved satisfactory work performance as evidenced by their Performance and Career Plan (PCP).
  • Not previously awarded funding through this scheme in the last 12 months.

Key elements

1.  The Academic Carer Support may be used for alternative care costs (locally or at place of activity), where existing care arrangements are not available and alternative care is required in order for the academic staff member to participate in the event or activity.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Additional days / hours of care provided to a dependent child / children or to a dependent relative by a professional care provider
  • Airfares for an individual to accompany the academic to be the carer of a dependent child / children or of the academic during conference / workshop or fieldwork
  • Airfares for a dependent child / children to accompany the carer to the conference / workshop
  • Additional accommodation expenses for a dependent child / children and / or for a carer

Examples of what it does not include:

  • Existing childcare or other related costs of caring (that is to say, the Academic Carer Support is not a substitute for existing childcare / related costs)
  • Food and drink for a dependent child / children or carer
  • Entertainment-related expenses for a dependent child / children or carer

2.  Applications must be submitted within a reasonable time period before the conference / workshop, etc. and any submission after the event will not be considered.

3.  In the event of a cancellation for any reason (including the instance where the Academic is unable to attend), the Academic will refund the monies to the University (less justifiable cancellation charges, if applicable) within four weeks of the date of the event.

4.  The financial assistance is capped at A$2,000 per application:

  • Up to $500 for conference / workshop / fieldwork within Western Australia
  • Up to $1,000 for interstate conference / workshop / fieldwork
  • Up to $2,000 for international conference / workshop / fieldwork

5.  Assessment Process

Applications for the Academic Carer Support will be evaluated by an Assessment Panel, who will allocate funds to eligible applicants.  The Assessment Panel, nominated by the Associate Provost, will comprise the following, with consideration of the gender balance:

  • Associate Provost (Chair)
  • a Dean Research or Dean Learning and Teaching
  • Nominee from People and Culture (Diversity and Inclusion)

6.  Applications will be accepted at any time throughout the year but they must be received in advance of the activity or event.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application, via email, as soon as is practicable.

If the application is successful, the approved funds will be paid into the Academic’s nominated bank account as part of their salary and will, therefore, be subject to taxation. The processing of funds will follow the normal operating procedure and timeline of Curtin’s Payroll team.

7.  It is the responsibility of the successful funding recipient to ensure that all travel and related expenditure complies with Curtin’s Travel Operations protocols and procedures.

8.  Submitting an application 

The Academic Carer Support Scheme form should be completed and sent with supporting documentation to Athena.Swan@curtin.edu.au for assessment. Supporting documentation should be no more than three pages.

Please click here for the Academic Carer Support Scheme form.

Examples of supporting documentation:

  • Existing care arrangements
  • Consideration of other possible care arrangements, evidence of reasonable costs for alternative care
  • Why proposed alternative care arrangements are necessary
  • Details of the local, national or international conference, workshop, symposia or fieldwork, and role at the event (for example, invitation to present, confirmation of abstract acceptance).