Applications have opened for the inaugural round of grants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social scientists through the Academy’s Rechnitz Fund.

2-3 grants of up to $20,000 will support early- and mid-career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants working in any field of the social sciences.

Academy CEO Dr Chris Hatherly acknowledged the Estate of Wilhelm Rechnitz, its Executor Ralph O’Brien and former Academy President Professor Leon Mann AO FASSA for making the program possible.

“This program will fill an important gap; helping to support outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to establish and consolidate their careers as research leaders in the social sciences,” he said.

“Funding for research at the early- and mid-career stage is a big gap across the board. But it can be particularly challenging for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may not have had the same study opportunities as non-Indigenous scholars, and who have so much to contribute to our fields.”

The grants program will provide funding for research projects of up to two-years in duration across all social science disciplines, from anthropology, history and sociology through to economics, psychology and law.

Applications are open until mid-May, and will be assessed by an expert panel comprising both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous scholars.

Applications are open to established social science researchers within 15 years of their most recent research qualification, higher-degree research students enrolled in Masters or PhD programs, and experienced professional researchers who may not have formal academic qualifications.

To be eligible, applicants simply need to confirm their identification as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, confirm their status as an early- or mid-career researcher (which includes consideration of relevant career gaps) and provide a letter of support from their supervisor (for students) or head of department or school.

Application guidelines and an application form are available on the Academy’s website, and applications for the 2023 program are due by COB Monday 15 May.

Further information on the Rechnitz Fund and the Rechnitz family are available at