Academic Carer Support Scheme
The purpose of the Academic Carer Support Scheme is to provide financial assistance to enable academics, particularly early- and mid-career, who have carer responsibilities (for dependent child/children or for a dependent relative/s) or who require a carer themselves, to participate in activities that significantly contribute to their career development.
To grow their networks, establish new collaborations, identify new ways to teach or research, and to communicate their research or teaching scholarship, academics need to engage with the wider world. This might mean attending and presenting at conferences, symposia, workshops etc, conducting fieldwork, attending meetings and industry or government visits, or gathering materials to develop a new course or unit. Arranging appropriate care during time spent away from home can be a financial and care burden. This often has a greater impact on women as they frequently have greater responsibility for the direct care of dependents, or for organising their care by others.
- Academic staff (including Postdoctoral Fellows, and academic staff undertaking a PhD or Research Masters)
- Full-time or part-time; continuing or fixed-term
- Carer of a dependent child/children or of a dependent relative or in need of a carer themselves, and require alternative care costs where existing care arrangements are not available and alternative care is required for the academic staff member to participate in the activity.
- Participation in a significant Learning and Teaching or Research activity aligned with your career development plan
- Have achieved satisfactory work performance as evidenced by their Performance and Career Plan (PCP)
N.B.: Applicants cannot reapply in the same calendar year if they have received the full allocation.
1. The Academic Carer Support may be used for alternative care costs (locally or at place of event/activity), where existing care arrangements are not available and alternative care is required in order for the academic staff member to participate in the event or activity.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- Additional days/hours of care provided to a dependent child/children or to a dependent relative by a professional care provider.
- Airfares for a carer to accompany the academic to care for a dependent or the academic during the event/activity.
- Airfares for a dependent to accompany the carer to the event/activity.
- Additional accommodation expenses for a dependent and/or for a carer.
Examples of what it does not include but are not limited to:
- Existing childcare or other related costs of caring (that is to say, the Academic Carer Support is not a substitute for existing childcare/related costs).
- Food and drink for a dependent child/children or carer.
- Entertainment-related expenses for a dependent child/children or carer.
2. The financial assistance is capped at $2000 per application, except in exceptional circumstances. The latter may be, for example, where the cost of taking a personal carer to the nominated event exceeds $2000 and therefore prohibits the academic’s participation.
3. The application can be made to cover several projected activities which will require carer support across a calendar year. Line manager approval is required for each of the activities in a submitted program of activities and events. Not all the activities and events need to be confirmed at the time of application (if, for example, you are waiting for an abstract to be accepted or for a call for paper (CFP) to submit an abstract). However, applicants who apply for the ACSS across a calendar year should provide a short report to Gender Equity and Inclusion at the year close detailing (with evidence) how the funds were expended. Discrepancies should be accounted for, and unused funds repaid from the nominated cost centre.
4. Applications must be submitted within a reasonable period and any submission after the event will not be considered. Reasonable time is at minimum 10 working days as, other than in extenuating circumstances, applicants must give the panel time to convene and to come to a decision.
5. Applications for the Academic Carer Support will be evaluated by an Assessment Panel. The Assessment Panel will comprise the following, with consideration to the gender balance:
- Director, Gender Equity and Inclusion (Chair)
- A Dean Research or Dean Learning and Teaching
- Nominee from Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (People and Culture)
6. If the application is successful, the approved funds will be paid into the Academic’s nominated cost centre to be used in conjunction with a TOP (Travel Operations Portal) request and/or claimed through Concur. If necessary, the applicant can request for funds to be paid into a bank account. However, this will be paid as a part of their salary and will, therefore, be subject to taxation (the payment will be made so that the applicant will receive the requested amount after tax). The processing of funds will follow the normal operating procedure and timeline of Curtin’s Payroll team.
7. We strongly recommend applications be made prior to or when a travel request is lodged. It is the responsibility of the successful applicant to ensure that all travel and related expenditure complies with Curtin’s procedures. Travel should be booked through the Curtin travel system and paid for through the ACSS indicated cost centre except where the Curtin Travel Procedures indicate otherwise.
8. In the event of a cancellation for any reason (including the instance where the Academic is unable to attend), or if the requested amount is not fully used, the applicant will refund the monies to the University (less justifiable cancellation charges, if applicable) within four weeks of the date of the event.
The Academic Carer Support Scheme form should be completed and sent with line manager approval and supporting documentation to GenderEquityandInclusion@curtin.edu.au for assessment.
Please click here for the Academic Carer Support Scheme form.
Examples of supporting documentation:
- Existing care arrangements
- Consideration of other possible care arrangements, and evidence of reasonable costs for alternative care
- Why proposed alternative care arrangements are necessary
- Details of the local, national, or international conference, workshop, symposia or fieldwork, and role at the event (invitation to present, confirmation of abstract acceptance etc). Confirmation is not necessary in the first instance if the application is to cover projected activity across a calendar year. However, they must be approved by your line manager and included in the report submitted at year close