Application Process

It is the responsibility of prospective VRS students to first seek a suitable supervisor before applying for a VRS scholarship.

Therefore, both student and supervisor should complete the AMSI VRS application together. Supervisors should ensure that the research aspects of the project are clear and that the AMSI Member department is aware of the application. (Unsure if you belong to an AMSI Member institution? Click here to browse our list of members).

The supervisor will also need to include a letter of support with the application. Your letter should state clearly how suitable the scholar is for the program, what they will gain from attending VRS and the level of support you will provide during the process. Your letter should be on official letter headed paper.

Should your student be successful in their application, a copy of the letter agreement signed by your head of department/school will also be forwarded to you for your information. This will serve as a formal agreement, binding you to the project and parameters established by the AMSI VRS program.

If you cannot meet the application deadline please contact the head of AMSI Research and Higher Education as soon as possible at vrs@amsi.org.au

Please note that you can not supervise more than one student, without nominating a second supervisor.

Please consult our sample VRS letter of support.

The Research Project

Supervisors work with a student to identify a six-week research project. Please ensure that the scope of the project is feasible in a six week period and that the project will allow students to present their project and findings at AMSIConnect (formerly Big Day In).

Supervisors mentor the student for the duration of the project and should arrange regular face-to-face meetings with the student to ensure that the project stays on track and assist with any problems. Supervisors are also responsible for proof reading the final Research Report and blog post before they are submitted to AMSI, in addition to helping their student prepare for AMSIConnect (formerly Big Day In). This entails assisting with preparation of presentations, arranging a trial run of presentation and providing feedback on final reports.

We understand that sometimes projects will need to be refocused or slightly amended. If this is the case please notify us via email (vrs@amsi.org.au). If the changes vary dramatically from the project originally submitted, permission to proceed has to be granted by the AMSI Director and your Head of Department.

If the student you are supervising is unable to complete the AMSI Vacation Research Scholarship you are responsible for ensuring AMSI and the Head of Department are notified of the withdrawal.

Please note: supervisors should be available in Australia for at least five weeks of the agreed period for the research project.

AMSICONNECT (formerly Big Day In)

Supervisors should prepare students for their presentation at AMSIConnect by:

  • Helping their student(s) prepare a 20-minute presentation on the project, suitable for an audience of their peers,
  • Arrange a presentation within the department prior to AMSIConnect, and,
  • Provide feedback so that students feel comfortable with presenting their work.

AMSI strongly encourages supervisors to attend their student’s presentation at AMSIConnect (formerly Big Day In), both to provide support and to assist with questions if required.

Should you require travel assistance to attend this event,  you have access to the AMSI member travel account. If you attend, we require you to also chair at least one session.

Completion and Deadlines

Following AMSIConnect, students must submit a report on their research. Supervisors should ensure that the research is written up formally in the style of a journal paper. Reports should be submitted on the AMSI report template and adhere to the AMSI style guide, which can be found here. You can view past research reports via the projects page.

It is important for researchers to explain their work to an audience outside of academia. For this reason we also ask students to prepare an accessible blog post. Supervisors should also ensure this post is presented in a suitable manner for a casual audience.

Students can blog about:

  • their research project
  • another area of mathematics that interests them
  • how or why they became interested in mathematics

The blog post should be 300-500 words and accessible to a non-specialist audience. Examples of blogs can be found here.

Research papers and blog posts must be submitted by: 28 February 2018 

Payment

The AMSI Vacation Research Scholars home university should invoice AMSI in two instalments.

First instalment of $1,800 ex GST on award of the scholarship
Second instalment of $900 ex GST on the students completion of:
1. six-week research project under the guidance of a supervisor
2. attendence and presentation at the AMSIConnect conference for 2 full days in February 2018
3. By the end of February 2018 submit:
• A blog post (300-500 words); equation free and accessible to year 9 students with an image relevant to article
• A research paper format report on the project

It is expected that Departments pay the awardees out of their own funds and treat the AMSI payment as a reimbursement.

If circumstances change and a scholar needs to withdraw from the program, you should notify your Head of Department and AMSI Research and Higher Education Manager must then be notified by writing with the reasons for withdrawal. Depending on when the scholar leaves, this will be reflected in the payment.

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