The University of Sydney
MAY 2013
Welcome to our latest newsletter, which provides a glimpse into some of the University's current international activities. We hope you find it interesting and informative.
Tip of the iceberg

Sandra Meiras, Director International, reviews the University's recent international activities.

The first two weeks of May have brought notable international success for the University. First came the news that one of our leading academics, Professor Steve Simpson, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in London. Then, in the QS University Rankings, we were placed in the world’s top ten in three subjects – education, accounting and law.

Such brilliant, newsworthy stories are the tip of the iceberg as far as our international efforts are concerned. In the past two months the University has hosted visitors from all over the world through our VIP visit program, including the President of Mozambique, the Asian Development Bank and diplomats from many nations.

Our new Regional Advisory Groups (RAGs) for China, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, NE Asia, SE Asia, South Asia and the Pacific have been formed and the composition of SEG International has been revised and approved by SEG. The advisory groups will soon start to develop our regional plans for 2014, providing focus for our university-wide international activities.

The University of Sydney has also taken part in the DFAT-organised consultation process for the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. The University’s participation signals our high level of international engagement and our capacity to contribute to Australia’s international relations policy and soft diplomacy.

Within the International Portfolio, our international development managers have helped faculties and central portfolios with the organisation of focused delegations to China, Latin America and the Middle East.

Interest in this year’s International Program Development Fund has been strong, and we are getting ready to deal with applications after the 31 May closing date.

We have also recently welcomed three new staff members – Ellen Field, Amelia Smit and Eason Liu, all highly talented and all with strong international interests.
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 CHINA    |  
Indigenous links strengthened

A University delegation led by Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Strategy and Services, visited China this month for meetings with South Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan and Minzu University in Beijing. Delegates included academics from the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Education and Social Work, Medicine, and Sydney College of the Arts.

Professor Houston said the links being formed between the University and China had the potential to make exciting contributions to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Indigenous issues.
 INDIA    |  
ALAF visitors from Delhi

Nine guest speakers from Miranda House, a college for women at the University of Delhi, took part in a recent seminar at the University to discuss undergraduate science teaching.

Nine guest speakers from Miranda House, a college for women at the University of Delhi, took part in a recent seminar at the University to discuss undergraduate science teaching.

Their visit was funded by AusAID under the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships scheme. The aim of the program is to build leadership capacity in undergraduate science teaching in India.

The group participated in workshops run as part of the Australian initiative, Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory, and observed  University science classes.  

Speakers at the seminar included Miranda House Principal Dr Pratibah Jolly, who talked about research and innovation in science education.

Opened in 1948, Miranda House is one of the leading science and arts colleges in India, with more than 3000 students.

Amanda Sayan, international development manager for South Asia, said: “This was a valuable exchange of ideas with the University of Delhi, a leading research institution with a strong international reputation.”
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 EUROPE    |  
Corporates looking for research partners

Austrade is looking for Australian researchers with experience in food safety, quality improvement, nutraceuticals and functional foods to link up with European corporate partners.

Austrade is organising a series of events to bring together Australian researchers with experience in food safety, quality improvement, nutraceuticals and functional foods with European corporate partners who are looking for solutions to R&D challenges.

The Investing in AgriFood Innovation R&D - 2013 Program is an opportunity for researchers to gain an understanding of the European AgriFood market and to pitch tailored solutions to research needs identified by the European corporates.

Leading market players in Europe will be involved, including Evonik Health and Nutrition (Germany) and Barilla (Italy).

The format involves:

  • A series of webinar sessions to allow companies to outline their areas of interest and research needs, and to engage in a discussion around challenges, needs and opportunities.
  • An opportunity for researchers to give brief proposals to the companies.
  • Follow-up discussions between selected researchers and the corresponding European counterparts, via video/phone conferences or face-to-face.

The deadline for registration is Monday 20 May.

For further information and to register interest contact: Sandra Margon on 9351 8994 or via email.
Gulf Forum

Read about our involvement in a Gulf Forum in Dubai, when discussions covered food and water security, robotics, renewable energy and women in leadership.
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 31 MAY    |  
IPDF deadline

The closing date for applications to this year's International Program Development Fund is 31 May. For further details, visit the IPDF website.
 14 JUNE    |  
Australia Awards Fellowships

The International Portfolio is holding an information session for staff about the latest round of the Australia Awards Fellowships scheme on Monday 27 May.

Round 14 of the Australia Awards Fellowships scheme – formerly the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships - is now open. Applications for this round close on Wednesday 19 June; the University’s internal deadline for all applications is 5pm on Friday 14 June.

  • Funding is available for leadership and capacity building programs for mid-career professionals to travel to Australia.
  • Between 1 and 25 fellows may be nominated per application.
  • Maximum funding is $35,000 per fellow, and can be used towards the fellows’ travel and accommodation, living allowance, conference attendance, and course costs.
  • Projects must run for a minimum of two weeks, up to 12 months.
The International Portfolio will hold an information session for University staff on Monday 27 May. We would encourage anyone interested in lodging an application for an Australia Awards Fellowship in Round 14 – or future rounds – to attend:

Australia Awards Fellowships Information Session for Staff
Monday 27 May, 12.30 – 1.30pm
International Portfolio Seminar Room
John Woolley Building A20 (enter from Science Road, near the Wallace Theatre)
 24 AUGUST    |  
The Sarcophagus of Yu Hong

The Confucius Institute is co-presenting an international symposium with the Art Gallery of NSW on Saturday 24 August.

The Confucius Institute is co-presenting an international symposium with the Art Gallery of NSW on Saturday 24 August in conjunction with the exhibition A Silk Road Saga: the Sarcophagus of Yu Hong.

The engraved marble tomb for a Silk Road diplomat will be on view in the Asian Gallery of the Art Gallery of NSW from 22 August to 10 November. The sarcophagus is on loan from Shanxi Provincial Museum and has only been exhibited overseas twice since its discovery in 1999. The aim of the symposium is to provide a broad background to the exhibition, both historically and geographically.

Guest speakers include Professor Lin Meicun, Peking University; Zhang Qingjie, General Secretary of Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology; Professor Qi Dongfang, Peking University; Edmund Capon, former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales; and Yin Cao, Curator of Chinee art, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Date: Saturday 24 August.

Venue: Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

For more information visit

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Diary dates
Treating cancer in Nepal
$13 million in grants and awards
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Training provided by the University will soon help to make modern radiotherapy treatments available to cancer patients in Nepal.
Australian expertise will soon help to make modern radiotherapy treatments available to cancer patients in Nepal.

Two radiotherapists from the Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital 10kms from Kathmandu have received training in Sydney under an Australia Awards fellowship scheme provided by the Australian government.

Prabhu Archarya, a medical physicist, left Nepal just ten days after his wife gave birth to their first child, a boy. He is in Sydney for three months with his colleague Rajeev Karn, a radiation therapy technologist.

Their hospital unit in Nepal provides treatment for cancer of the cervix, one of the most common cancers in the developing world.

Both are receiving training in the operation of Linear accelerators, which have been used to administer radiation treatments in Australia for 20 years and are soon to be introduced in Nepal to replace Cobalt equipment. They provide cancer patients with better, more precise treatment – but there are no established training programs in Nepal to guide radiotherapists in their use.

Professor Graeme Morgan, a cancer specialist who has worked in Nepal, is supervising the two Australia Award fellows at Royal North Shore Hospital.

Prabhu has also been attending lectures twice a week at the University of Sydney’s School of Physics, while Rajeev has been attending the University’s School of Health Sciences at Lidcombe.
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Thomas Soem, International Development Manager (Resources), reports on the University's performance in attracting competitive funding for international projects.

In a market place that has become increasingly competitive amid funding cuts and deferrals, the University enjoyed a successful year in attracting competitive grants.

In 2012 we supported the submission of 104 grant applications to national and international funding schemes. To date, 54 projects have been secured to a value of more than $13 million – a figure that matches the previous year’s total. This success is the result of a strong team effort by the faculties and the International Portfolio, and was achieved via a targeted process of connecting funding opportunities to faculty priorities and regional initiatives.   

The result also shows the importance of building strong partnerships with multilateral agencies, development banks and bilateral government departments, both in Canberra and abroad. Our engagement does not only raise revenue, it also raises the University’s international profile, builds lasting strategic collaborations and ensures our academics can make a real difference where it matters most.   

The majority of the projects are funded by the Australian Agency for International Development, the UN system and the Asian Development Bank. They enable the University to be an engaged contributor in local and global communities, and to find lasting solutions to current societal, environmental and economic challenges.   

If we look at the 54 projects, the issues they tackle are wide-ranging: they cover good governance, economic development and integration, environmental degradation, rural development and food security, public health and health systems, disability and human rights.

What is also exciting is that these projects involve a wide diversity of academics and disciplines from across the University, as well as collaborators in more than 20 counties on five continents. The University of Sydney is truly an international institution; the spread of projects and partnerships is a clear testament to that.
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