The Palaszczuk Government is offering Queensland researchers the chance of a lifetime – to visit leading researchers at the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.
Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch this morning launched the 2019 round of the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship program.
“Queensland Government funding of up to $25,000 is available for the nominated fellow to travel to America for a project ranging from 8 to 16 weeks in duration,” Minister Enoch said.
“This program creates an invaluable exchange of skills and knowledge for Queensland and America, and enhances our science, educational and cultural capabilities.”
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, comprising 19 museums and the national Zoo, with research facilities in the USA, Panama and elsewhere.
“This Fellowship gives researchers the chance to forge strong links with their counterparts in America and share their wealth of knowledge with their colleagues back home,” Ms Enoch said.
“To be eligible for a fellowship, proposals must address an area of mutual interest between Queensland and the Smithsonian Institution.”
“This includes biodiversity and heritage; clean, sustainable energy production; managing climate risk and building resilience; sustainable energy production and water use; digitally-enabled technologies; growing the public value of the arts; and strengthening our museums’ cultural tourism role,” Ms Enoch said.
Dr Tobias Smith, who received a 2010 Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship, said that his visit to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama added immense value to his existing research and helped cast him on his current career trajectory.
Dr Smith who runs educational start-up company Bee Aware Kids, visited the Panama research institute to collect data on wild bees living in Panamanian rainforests, to compare with his data from north Queensland.
“Collaborating with bee experts at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute provided me with not only the ability to collect unique and valuable data for my research, but also allowed me to see my research on tropical bees from a completely different perspective,” Dr Smith said.
“In Panama I saw numerous stingless bee species propagated and kept in box hives, and this started my journey to Australian stingless bee keeping and research, and to the communication of my passion for these bees.”
Dr Smith said the Fellowship gave him the knowledge and confidence he needed to start to share with Queenslanders the importance of bees, and their role in our ecosystems.
“It inspired me to create Bee Aware Kids, where I have had the privilege to pass on my enthusiasm and knowledge to thousands of school students and the next generation of Queensland scientists, in part through the keeping of stingless bees.”
For more information about how to apply for a 2019 Smithsonian Fellowship, visit the Queensland Government website at https://advance.qld.gov.au/universities-and-researchers/queensland-smithsonian-fellowships-program.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch