AIATSIS – An incubator for Indigenous Researchers? Lessons from the Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship and AIATSIS Grants Program is a commissioned discussion piece for the Review of Indigenous Higher Education Access and Outcomes in 2011.
AIATSIS is viewed by the Committee as an incubator for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and the Committee requested critical comment on how the Review can best approach the building of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researcher capacity and what can be learnt about the challenges in developing Indigenous research capacity (including training, grant rounds, recruiting Indigenous researchers and barriers to employment).
As background, this paper examines the broad role of AIATSIS within the Research and Innovation sector and its support role within the Higher Education sector. The paper will examine the criteria applied by AIATSIS in relation to its Research Grants program to foster Indigenous research involvement. The bulk of the paper provides a detailed analysis of the Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship Program, which has emerged over the past six years as a vital incubator for Indigenous researchers. In particular this program has played a small but critical role in transitioning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into research careers and supporting completions of Higher Degrees by Research (HDR). The paper will reflect on the rationale and needs analysis that led to the introduction of the program, the structure of the program, the key learnings from its administration and the outcomes achieved.