Go to top of page

Primary tabs

Meryl Williams Fellowship 

Building women’s leadership for influential careers in the agri-food sector 
Galip nut PNG

The Gender Equity in Agricultural Research for Development (GEAReD) initiative invited applications for the first offering of the Meryl Williams Fellowship to participate in a women’s leadership program. 

Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the program will support women in agricultural research for development to enhance their leadership skills and increase their impact through a combination of immersive learning, mentoring, networking and professional development.  

The first cohort of the fellowship, run by University of New England and Coffey International Development, will see 20 women participate in a variety of activities that take place across a 15-month period from January 2020 to April 2021. 

Training will occur in Armidale, Sydney and Singapore (at the Curtin University Campus), with the program including three distinct elements: 

  1. Fellows Training over 15 months: includes two multi-day immersive camps in Australia (at the beginning and end of the program) with workshops and field trips; a four-day workshop with their mentors; online short-course modules; and an up-to three-month professional placement at a relevant Australian or international institution. 
  2. Institutional focus: executive leaders in the fellows’ workplaces will participate in a week-long engagement workshop in Singapore designed to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through gender-inclusive leadership principles and to address institutional gender biases.  Each institution will be offered ongoing coaching and mentoring. 
  3. A research project to be undertaken by the University of New England exploring factors affecting women’s leadership in agricultural research institutions in the Indo Pacific. 

Who is eligible 

Applicants for the 2020-21 Meryl Williams Fellowship must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be a woman who is a citizen or permanent resident of Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam.  
  • Be employed in the agricultural research for development sector, as a scientist, educator, research leader or policy maker. 
  • Have at least a Bachelors degree in a subject relevant to agricultural research and development plus at least two years professional experience after your most recent qualification. Applicants with Masters or PhD are particularly encouraged to apply. 
  • Be able to demonstrate that you have management and leadership potential, and that you will be able to apply the skills you develop to have impact in the agricultural research and development sector. 
  • Be committed to and available to participate in all activities in the Fellowship program. 
  • Provide proof that your employer supports your participation in the Fellowship program and that they will release you from employment duties to participate in all the program activities. 

How to apply

Applications for the 2020-21 Meryl Williams Fellowships closed on 15 September 2019.  

Fellowship applications were submitted via the GEAReD website. 

Dr Meryl Williams 

The fellowship is named in honour of the contribution of Dr Meryl Williams, in consultation with the Commission for International Agricultural Research.   

Dr Williams is an eminent Australian agricultural research leader and was Director-General of the WorldFish Centre, one of the CGIAR Centres, from 1994 – 2004.   

From 2007-10 she chaired the Commission for International Agricultural Research.  Dr Williams founded and is currently the Chair of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society.   Dr Meryl Williams (left) being awarded the Crawford Fund Medal in 2015 by with former Australian Senator, the Hon Margaret Elizabeth Reid AO (right).