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Profiling successful Laureates

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Australian Laureate Fellowships (FL23s) are almost upon us. One of the things we are often asked is “What are the essential elements of a good successful Laureate proposal?”. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula.

However, after years of experience working with successful (and some unsuccessful!) Laureate applicants, we can offer a few tips to help craft a winning proposal.

Firstly, this is a scheme that is all about leaving a lasting legacy – the scheme not only has an objective of providing training and mentoring to nurture early career researchers, it also preferences “researchers who will play a significant, sustained leadership and mentoring role in increasing Australia’s internationally competitive research capacity’. It is also a grant that aims to support a ground-breaking, internationally competitive program of research. Hence, we suggest you conceptualise your project around a team of E-MCRs and students who can carry on your research legacy after the funding has ended.

Secondly, this is a scheme for ‘outstanding researchers and research leaders of international reputation’. What characteristics does this person have? To answer this, we collected publication metrics of successful Laureates at the time past results are announced over the past 2 years. We now know that the average h-index of successful Laureates over the last 2 years is 65, the average number of publications is 397 and the average number of citations is 23,295. But as the publication rates and citation conventions vary significantly across disciplines, those figures hide a lot of diversity, as best seen in the following plots.

Perhaps a better way to consider what is expected of a Laureate Fellow is to compare their average and range of citation metrics with those who have won one of the ARC’s two other fellowship schemes – the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and the Future Fellowship (FT) (Table 1). We can see that while there is a lot of variation within a scheme there is a clear increasing trend, with the minimum and maximums for each scheme going up with career stage.

Want to know more? Contact us at Planning to submit this year? We offer strategic reviews of your applications and guides to writing a Laureate proposal and ARC ROPE sections. Planning to submit a Laureate in subsequent years? Check out our On Track Coaching.


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