ACDS update from the President

Melissa Brown Acds President

Message to Science Deans and Associate Deans – July 2023

Below are some updates from the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS), including:

  • Advanced notice of proposal to hold a Special Meeting of the Council to consider a recommendation for the ACDS to become an Incorporated Association
  • Welcome to new members
  • Upcoming ACDS Events:
    • National Research Forum – for Associate Deans Research and Deans August 2023 – registrations open
    • ACSME 2023 – University of Tasmania – early bird registrations closing 14 July
    • Annual Conference of the Council – save the date 24-25 October
  • ACDS Funding schemes for Teaching and Learning – applications now open
  • Call for expressions of interest to support the ACDS in the role of Executive Director


The Executive of the Council has completed a review of the governance and operation of the ACDS and is planning a Special Meeting of Members to consider a proposal for the ACDS to become an Incorporated Association.

It is proposed that the meeting to consider the proposal will be held via Zoom at 1pm on Monday the 21st of August 2023.  An announcement about this proposal will be sent to the ACDS member university dean in the coming weeks.  Please save the date, and if you are unable to attend, please nominate a proxy.


Welcome to Birgit Loch (UNE) who has recently joined the ACDS Executive Committee.

Welcome to new Deans of Science (or similar): Karen Dodd, Executive Dean, College of Sport, Health & Engineering at Victoria University, Andy Stewart, Dean of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences at Central Queensland University and Jacqui Ramagge, Executive Dean, STEM, UniSA STEM at The University of South Australia.


National Research Forum (NRF) – an annual event for Associate Deans Research (or equivalent) and Deans

The ACDS National Research Forum is back!  After the interruption of holding face-to-face meetings in recent years I am delighted to announce the NRF will be held at the University of Adelaide on the 16-17 August.

Key speakers include:

  • Professor Caroline McMillen (Chief Scientist, South Australia), who will speak on “Adventurous Innovation and Science Translation” during the Forum dinner.
  • Professor Merlin Crossley (DVCA, UNSW), who will speak on “Promoting Equitable Career Opportunities for T&R Academics“.
  • Judith Zielke, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Research Council (ARC),
  • Professor Stella Valenzuela (Director IDEAL ITRH, UTS) and Sanjay Mazumdar (ED, Defence Trailblazer Program, University of Adelaide), who will lead a panel discussion on “Building Productive Relationships between Australian University Science and Industry“.

The NRF is for Associate Deans Research and Deans. If you have not received an invitation please contact the ACDS.

Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) 2023 – University of Tasmania (30-August – 1 September)

The ACDS supports the annual ACSME conference for tertiary science and mathematics educators and leaders to share ideas and keep up to date on developments. 

In 2023 the Conference will be held at the University of Tasmania.  Please promote this event within your faculty and encourage staff to attend.  Details about the 2023 event are on the ACSME website including the draft program.

Early bird registrations close on 14 July. 

ACDS Annual Conference

Please note that our annual conference will be held on Tuesday the 24th and Wednesday the 25th of October in Canberra. Further details will be shared soon.


New ACDS T&L Fellowship scheme – applications open

The ACDS is delighted to announce a new Fellowships program to support and advance leadership in Science Teaching and Learning. This initiative is an outcome of one of the panel discussions at our Annual conference last October.

The aim of this new program is to create and sustain a cadre of leaders recognised nationally for their significant contributions to university science teaching and learning. The Fellowships are aimed at “rising stars” – mid-career to senior academics with experience in educational leadership or scholarship and who have a track record or potential to develop educational leadership capability within the sector.

Details about the program are available here

ACDS T&L grants scheme – applications open

Once again the ACDS is offering a funding scheme to support teaching and learning projects to advance learning and teaching in science and mathematics in Australian universities, addressing priority areas identified by the ACDS.

Project funding is available to the amounts of between $5,000 and $10,000 for small projects and between $10,000 and $20,000 for larger projects. 

Successful project applications will receive funding in late 2023 with a mid-term status report on the project required in July 2024 and a final report of outcomes and impact required in December 2024.

Details about the program are available here and were announced at the 2023 T&L Leaders Conference.


Call for expressions of interest – Executive Director ACDS

Following the departure of John Rice as Executive Director of the ACDS earlier this year we are now calling for expressions of interest to fill the role. The details are on SEEK and the closing date is July 24, 2023. Please share the following link for applications with anyone who you think might be interested in this important (and fun!) role :


Please take a look at the following communications that have been developed by the ACDS over the last few months: