Information for Supervisors

Your Role

Welcome! We are sure that you will find the AMSI VRS supervisor experience a highly rewarding opportunity. You will guide an undergraduate student through their first research project and conference presentation, giving them a taste of the possibilities of a future research or industry career.

As a supervisor, you will be responsible for:

  • Working with your student to identify a six-week research project in the mathematical sciences
  • Arranging regular face-to-face or videoconference meetings to assist your student and ensure that the project stays on track
  • Helping your student prepare for and practice their presentation at the VRS student conference AMSIConnect in February
  • Proofreading your student’s final research report and blog post before they are submitted to AMSI

Your student’s research report, blog post and AMSIConnect presentation must adhere to the AMSI Style Guide and be prepared using the AMSI templates. All of these documents are available for download on the Guidelines and Templates page.

We understand that sometimes projects will need to be refocused or slightly amended. If this is the case, please notify us via email at events@amsi.org.au. If the changes vary dramatically from the project originally submitted, permission to proceed must be granted by the AMSI Research and Higher Education Program Manager and your Head of Department.

Note: supervisors must be available in Australia for at least five weeks of the agreed period for the research project.

Information for Supervisors

What Did You Most Enjoy About VRS?

“Working intimately with supervisors, seeing their day-to-day, how they collaborate… and tackle mathematics problems, and understanding what a career in academia might resemble. And also the opportunity to be guided by experienced lecturers about how to give a good 15-minute talk.”

Yee Chin, VRS 2019/20 (The University of Sydney)

Application Process

Complete the VRS application together with your student. The application requires a research proposal (maximum one page), the student’s statement of results (including the previous semester’s results) and a letter of support from you.

  • You must nominate a second supervisor if you wish to supervise more than one student
  • You must notify university’s relevant AMSI Member department (e.g. the School of Mathematics and Statistics) of the application
  • Please guide your student as they write their research proposal. The proposal should be no longer than one page and must include references. The research components and timeline of the project must be made clear.
  • Your letter of support should state how suitable the applicant is for the program, what they will gain from AMSI VRS, and the level of support that 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 be forwarded to you for your information. This will serve as a formal agreement, binding you to the project and parameters established by the VRS program.

If you cannot meet the application deadline, please contact AMSI as soon as possible at events@amsi.org.au.

Withdrawal

If the student you are supervising is unable to complete the AMSI Vacation Research Scholarship, you are responsible for ensuring that your Head of Department, VRS contact & AMSI Member Representative (both available on the AMSI Members page), and the AMSI Research and Higher Education Manager are notified in writing with the reasons for withdrawal as soon as possible once the decision has been made. The withdrawal will be reviewed and the student payment adjusted accordingly.

AMSIConnect

AMSIConnect is an exclusive national conference for AMSI Vacation Research Scholars, held in early February. Students present their research projects, hear from invited guest speakers, participate in a careers panel Q&A and network with their peers.

We warmly invite you to participate by attending at least some of the conference and providing support to your student. Supervisors attending AMSIConnect are requested to chair one session of presentations.

You should prepare for AMSIConnect by:

  • Helping your student to prepare a 15-minute presentation on their project, suitable for an audience of their peers. Presentations must be prepared using the supplied AMSI templates
  • Arranging a test presentation within your department prior to AMSIConnect
  • Providing feedback so that your student feels comfortable presenting their work

Completion and Deadlines

Research Report

Following AMSIConnect, your student must submit a report on their research project. You should ensure that the research is written up formally in the style of a journal paper. Your student must adhere to the AMSI report template and adhere to the AMSI Style Guide. These documents are available for download from the Information for Students page.

You must proof your student’s final research report and blog post and allow them time to finalise their work before the submission deadline of 28 February 2022.

Blog Post

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

Students may 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.

Payment

Students receive a stipend payment of A$2000 administered by their home university, or the university at which they are enrolled to undertake a Vacation Research Scholarship.

Students’ home or host universities should invoice AMSI in two instalments:

  • First instalment of A$1000 ex. GST on award of the scholarship.
  • Second instalment of A$1000 ex. GST upon:
    1. Completion of their six-week research project under the guidance of a supervisor
    2. Full attendance and presentation at AMSIConnect
    3. Submission of their research report and blog post by 28 February 2022

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

Please speak to your mathematical sciences department to discuss payment arrangements (most AMSI member universities have had Vacation Research Scholars in previous years, and should be aware of the processes).

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