Superstars of STEM – FAQs

Q: Why do previous Superstars of STEM all have PhDs?

In the first program, a PhD was an entry requirement.  We have relaxed this criteria for some disciplines for the reasons outlined below.

Q: Why is a PhD or industry experience a requirement for some applicants but not others? 

A: Through the Superstars of STEM program we strive to elevate the profiles of women working in as many STEM fields as possible, with a particular focus on those in which women are under-represented. We recognise, however, that PhDs are much less common in certain disciplines. We have therefore relaxed the PhD requirement in fields where it is less common to hold a PhD – technology, engineering, mathematics, agricultural science, environmental science and geological sciences.  This decision is based on the data in the Chief Scientist’s Report: Australia’s STEM Workforce, table 2.1 on page 11 –https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/Chapter-2-Demographics.pdf

Q: Can I apply if I haven’t quite finished my PhD/have experience instead of a PhD/have nearly submitted my PhD?

A: No, you must have obtained your PhD before the closing date for applications unless you;

  • Hold a higher role than a PhD (Professor or Associate Professor);
  • Are an Indigenous Australian with an undergraduate STEM degree and at least 7 years experience working in a STEM role; or
  • Have an undergraduate STEM degree and at least 7 years experience working in technology, engineering, mathematics, agricultural science, environmental science or geological sciences.

Q: Do you offer childcare support?

A: STA will not have on-site childcare during Superstars of STEM workshops. However, if you are unable to participate in Superstars of STEM workshops without childcare, you are welcome to arrange your own nanny/sitting service at your hotel or elsewhere, and STA will reimburse you up to $150 per day on application & receipt of a tax invoice.

Q: Are the networking opportunities compulsory?

A: No. But we encourage you to go to as many as you can.

Q: I live offshore (or am soon to move overseas). Can I still apply?

A: No. Participants need to be living in Australia for the duration of the program.

Q: Can trans women apply?

A: Yes. Anybody who identifies as a woman is welcome to apply.

Q: Can I apply if I’m between jobs?

A: Yes. We would prefer participants to be employed but won’t exclude you if you’re not. If/when an unemployed participant gains employment we will ask her to obtain written evidence from her new employer that they support her participation in the program.

Q: Can I apply if I have some experience in the media?

A: Yes. While we’re looking for participants who have a limited public profile we won’t preclude you if you’ve done a bit of this kind of thing.

Q: Can I apply if I have no experience in the media?

A: Yes. We’re looking for aptitude and a desire to build a public profile, not experience.

Q: Can I apply if I’m in the private sector/not working in research?

A: Yes. We encourage a diversity of women working in a diversity of STEM roles to apply.

Q: Can I apply if I’m a Professor/senior manager?

A: Yes. We encourage women at all career stages to apply.

Q: I have applied for residency but it won’t come through until later in the year, can I apply?

A: No. Applicants must have Australian Citizenship, Permanent Residency or be a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder at the close of applications.

Q: I am on a 457 Visa or a temporary partner Visa 820, can I apply?

A: Unfortunately not, applications are open to Australian Citizens,  Permanent Residents and a New Zealand Special Category Visa holders this year, as assessed at the close of applications.

Q: Can previous applicants apply again?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I receive feedback on my application?

A: Feedback will be provided to applicants who are shortlisted but do not make the final 60.  Regrettably, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants who do not progress to the second round.

Q: Does it matter who pays my fee?

A: No, as long as it is paid by the due date we don’t mind who pays it – either you or your employer.  You will be asked who the account should be addressed to if you are accepted into the program and an invoice will be raised.  If you are paying the fee yourself you will still need your employers support to participate due to the time commitment of participation in the program.

Q: Is the participant fee or application fee refundable?

A: No.

Q: Will this program run again?

A: The next program will run in 2021, sign up to our newsletter for updates.