APSA Carer Support for Conference Attendance Funding Scheme

The Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) acknowledges that carer responsibilities have the potential to hinder academics from being able to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by academic conferences.

This may result in members finding it difficult to access important networking opportunities and participate in the knowledge exchange that occurs within and across disciplines with these effects often having a disproportionate impact on those who are in the earlier stages of their academic careers. For the Association and its membership, these considerations may also have the effect of placing limits on the diversity and inclusivity of conferences as venues for intellectual exchange and debate.

The APSA Carer Support for Conference Attendance Scheme seeks to recognise these effects by providing financial support to APSA members for the additional caring responsibilities that arise from conference attendance with a limited number of grants worth up to $500 each. The potential uses of these awards include, but are not limited to, short-term childcare or professional carers for elderly relatives.

Application Submission

Applications for 2021 round should be submitted (via email) to the APSA National Office (arts-ssps-apsa@unimelb.edu.au) by 5pm on Monday 6 September 2021 (Melbourne time). Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email. The application form can be downloaded from here: Application form.

Successful applicants will be reimbursed for the actual cost following the conference on submission of all relevant receipts via email to the APSA National Office.

Rules of the Scheme

  1. Eligibility:  
    • Applicants must be a current financial member of APSA
    • Applicants must be presenting a paper at the conference and must have already had their proposal/abstract accepted
    • Applicants must not already be in receipt of a Carer Support program for conference attendance from their home institution, and only costs incurred to cover childcare that is in addition to normal arrangements are eligible for consideration.
    • A budget will be set aside each year and funding will be allocated up until it has been exhausted.
    • If there are more applications than funding available, then the available budget will be prioritised amongst members who:
      1. are unwaged (including researchers on non-permanent, fixed term or casual contracts)
      2. are students or Early Career Researchers (as per the ARC’s definition, which can be found here)
      3. are single carers (e.g. the care giver belongs to a one parent family, has been impacted by domestic or family violence or the care giver’s partner is unable to provide care during the given time period because of circumstances such as significant illness, disability or conflicting work commitments); and/or
      4. members who have not been a previous recipient of funding under this scheme (where, all other things being equal, preference will be given to those who have not accessed the fund previously)
    • The Selection Committee reserves the right to consult with appropriate assessors
  2. Each year, applications will open following the announcement of the conference schedule with accepted papers and panels:
    • Applications should be sent via email to the APSA National Office (arts-ssps-apsa@unimelb.edu.au ) by the stipulated closing date.
    • The completed application form should include the nature of the care that is required, and a budget stating the cost of this care (which may exceed the total amount that can be granted).
    • Normally, applicants will receive notification of the outcome within 45 days of the close of the application
    • Successful applicants will be reimbursed for the actual cost following the conference on submission of all relevant receipts to the APSA National Office.
  3. The amount granted will be the same for each applicant up to the $500 maximum and working within the annual budget that has been set aside for the scheme. If there are more applicants than available funding, then the total budget will be split equally between those members who meet one or more of the prioritised funding categories identified in point 1 above.
  4. For the purposes of this scheme, a primary carer is the person who assumes the principal role of providing care and attention. Examples of costs covered by this scheme would include: additional days/hours of care provided be a professional source (e.g. childcare centre, adult care centre, family day care or Nanny), additional use of after school care provided by a school, costs incurred for an individual accompanying a member to the conference in order to provide care, or costs incurred for a child to accompany a member where there is a clear need for the child to be accompanied by the care giver (e.g. the child belongs to a one parent family, is being breastfed and/or has a disability). However, costs not covered by this scheme include: existing childcare arrangements, costs incurred for a child accompanying a member (with the exceptions noted), food and drink or entertainment related expenses.
  5. In applying for funding, applicants agree that their names can be published on the APSA website, in the APSA Newsletter and elsewhere unless they notify the National Office otherwise.

Any enquires can be directed to the APSA National Office (arts-ssps-apsa@unimelb.edu.au).