Our Golden Jubilee Travel Grant provides overseas travel funds to student members of the Society, who can prove consecutive SSA membership for a minimum of two years.
On the occasion of Statistical Society of Australia’s 50th anniversary in 2012, we introduced a travel grant that offers limited travel funds to assist student members of the Society to attend overseas conferences at which they present a paper or poster.
A maximum of $1000 is available per application, limited to a single trip during the course of the student’s studies. Students will not be supported in their first year of study and will have had to be members of the Society for at least 2 years prior to the application deadline. Applications are required to be lodged in advance of travelling. In exceptional circumstances an application can be for post-conference support, but the application will then have to be made within 1 month of returning and the 2 year mandatory membership period prior to departure must still be met. Exceptional circumstances are limited to unforeseeable student out of pocket expenses arising from other funding sources not fulfilling their obligation or changes to the trip that could not have been avoided.
A complete application will consist of
- Information on the conference and its importance to student’s work (2-3 lines)
- Details of the paper/s/poster student wants to present at the conference
- A list of other funds sought or promised, including student’s home institution
- Student’s out of pocket expenses expected
- Any other supporting material student feels is necessary
- A letter of support SIGNED by one of student’s supervisors AND student’s Departmental Head
- Student’s CV
The application deadline is 31 March each year. Applications can be submitted electronically to the Executive Officer at SSAI, [email protected] from 1 February.
If successful the student member is required to produce original receipts for amounts of equal or greater value than the grant. These receipts will be returned to the student marked with how much has been reimbursed. The student will therefore still be able to use the receipts for proof of attendance or to claim any funding shortfall from other organisations. The student member will also need to supply a report of his or her involvement in the conference to be published in the Society’s newsletter. This report should confirm the actual travel details and papers presented.
Recipients of the grant are asked to acknowledge the SSA’s support in the presentations and in any published version of the paper.
One travel grant is available per year. Assuming that more than one application will be received per year, either the Executive Committee or a special committee would help with the selection process.
With this travel grant program the SSA seeks to underline its objective to further the study, application and good practice of statistical theory and methods in all branches of learning and enterprise. It has been implemented to confirm to members that the SSA is willing to support student statisticians and their budding careers.
In 2016 the Executive Committee could not decide between the two top submissions and it was decided to grant $500 each to two recipients: Mahrita Harahap and Jarod Lee. Here are their reports.
The winner of the Travel Grant 2015 was Cathy Lee. This is her report:
I was very grateful to be the recipient of the 2015 Golden Jubilee Travel Grant, organised by the Statistical Society of Australia. The award allowed me to attend the largest international conference for statisticians in North America.
The 6 day Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) was held in Seattle, United States, from August 8th-13th, 2015. This conference was held jointly by over ten well-established international associations, such as the American Statistical Association, the International Biometric Society and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. It covered a wide range of state-of-the-art statistical topics including Bayesian statistics, computational statistics, biostatistics, probability and mathematical statistics, plus spatial-temporal modelling.
Presenting and attending at JSM 2015 is definitely one of my highlights for this year. There was a great turnout of over 6,000 professionals from all over the world. The Invited, Topic Contributed and Contributed Technical Sessions were all of a high standard. I particularly enjoyed the session on Statistical Learning and Data Mining (where my current research interests lie!). The four invited speakers (David Blei, Carlos Guestrin, Tamara Broderick and Christopher Re) are well-known experts in the fields of variational Bayesian analysis and scalable computing. I was inspired a lot by their fascinating and well-structure presentations that applied such sophisticated statistical methods to challenging real-world problems. I have learnt a lot by simply having a chat with them about my thesis work after the session!
On the first day of the conference, I presented my research work on “50-year trends and state variation in socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequalities in U.S. infant death rates”. Overall, the presentation was very well received by the conference delegates and generated some interesting and insightful discussions amongst the audience. I also appreciated the positive feedback provided by the Session Chair on my performance.
Despite how tired I was at the end of each day, I thoroughly enjoyed attending the Student Mixer, Meet-Up Groups and Dance Party events. I met and connected with a lot of professionals who have similar interests and professional ambitions. Having conversations and travelling around Seattle with them was great fun!
Overall, I had a fantastic time at the conference and would highly recommend anyone attend this event. I would like to thank the conference organising committee for their time and effort to make sure everything ran smoothly. More importantly, I would like to thank the Statistical Society of Australia for sponsoring me to attend this event. I also appreciate my supervisor providing funds to support the rest of my trip. I highly encourage all eligible students to submit an application for the 2016 Travel Grant, as presenting your research work at an international conference is an amazing experience!
Cathy Yuen Yi Lee, PhD Candidate
University of Technology Sydney
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Laura Rodwell won the award in 2014. To read Laura’s travel report, please click here.
Garth Tarr won the award in 2013. To read about Garth’s trip, please click here. These are some of the pictures Garth sent us after his trip: