Nurturing National Talent: The Australian Research Council’s Fellowship Scheme

This paper examines the functioning of a Research Fellowship Scheme in Australia and its place in the higher education system. It indicates the educational paths and early career tracks which have led the gifted researchers studied to their elite positions. It indicates how the research strategies of supervisors (Heads of Department and School) affect the placing of Fellows and how the sociological and institutional contexts of the broader education system influence outcomes. It suggests some of the dilemmas faced by policymakers attempting to strengthen the research and higher education systems of small countries with limited resources which want to maintain a national and international science capability.

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