Researchers developing radio telescope chips, a galaxy catalogue, and nanotechnology that could produce invisibility cloaks were among 100 slated to receive a part of the Government's $27.2m Super Science Fellowship scheme.
Twenty Australian institutions were awarded fellowships this week, in accordance with the $1.1bn Super Science Initiative that was introduced in the 2009-10 Federal Budget.
Super Science Fellowships were administered Australian Research Council (ARC), which also managed Future Fellowships for mid-career researchers and Australian Laureate Fellowships for those in the late stages of their careers.
An ARC spokesperson told iTnews that the new scheme rounded off its offerings by providing funding opportunities for early-career researchers.
Each fellowship would be held by an early-career researcher from Australia or overseas, who would be recruited by the participating institution and receive $72,500 per year plus 28 percent on-costs for a three-year tenure.
Announcing the fellowships this week, Innovation Minister Kim Carr said: "Providing opportunities for our most promising early-career researchers to work in areas of importance to all Australians is critical, especially as we move through the global recession.
"These Super Science Fellowships will not only enable vital research in the areas of space and astronomy; marine and climate; and future industries, they will foster our brightest young minds to start or further their research careers in Australia."
Fifty Super Science Fellowships would begin this year, with the remaining 50 fellowships beginning in 2011.
CSIRO was awarded three fellowships for a radio chip it was developing for the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope. The 5mm x 5mm chip also was expected to improve communications devices such as mobile phones.
The Anglo-Australian Observatory was awarded four fellowships for its Galaxy Genome Project, which aimed to compile data about the light emitted by 1.6 million galaxies to produce a single resource for astronomers.
The institutions were expected to begin "a process of competitive national and international recruitment" to fill the fellowship positions, Carr said.
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