The ARC Discovery and DECRA Awards were announced yesterday, and contained some good news for combinatorics in Perth.
John, Cheryl and Alice minor were awarded a 3-year Discovery Grant for about $115k per year, which is enough to get a Research Associate and also fund the associated travel and visitors that are needed when you live in an isolated city.
Even better, Gabriel Verret, already scheduled to spend two years here on a previously-won grant got a DECRA fellowship, which means he’ll be with us for longer. And Simon Smith (who I don’t personally know) was also awarded a DECRA, meaning that we’ll be hosting two incredibly promising young researchers for the next few years, in addition to those already starting in the next few months.
Also, my old friend, Graham Farr from Monash, scored a good 3-year individual ARC Discovery grant to work on graph colourings. Well done, Graham!
Neither Michael or I was eligible to apply in this round, as we already have the maximum permitted number (two) of simultaneously held grants but, at least in my case, they both expire at the end of next year, so the coming “writing season” will be critical.
Apart from getting more people, and building a bigger and more vibrant group, research grants are critical to us in our constant battle with the Faculty, which spends a large proportion of its time devising criteria for various things that, either through incompetence or malice, are so wildly inapplicable to Mathematics teaching and research that we seem to face permanent existential threats. Constant, high levels of external research funding is our primary defence!