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Mathematical Research Institute

University of Sydney Mathematical Research Institute

Transforming maths in Australia with research and public outreach
Our Sydney Mathematical Research Institute is the first of its kind in Australia, drawing leading mathematical scientists from all over the world to do research with Australian collaborators, and engaging with the public.

Based on prestigious overseas models, our Sydney Mathematical Research Institute is transforming mathematics as a discipline in Australia and enabling our country to reap the long-term benefits of that transformation.

The Institute invites applications from mathematical researchers from all over the world to visit, placing Australia in general, and the University of Sydney in particular, at the heart of international mathematics. The visiting mathematicians enrich the local research environment and enable conference organisers to host more international speakers.

Successful applicants selected by the Scientific Advisory Committee travel to Sydney for a residency in the Institute, which offers international mathematicians the chance to focus on research without the usual demands of teaching and administration.

The Institute’s visitor program funds more than 30 visiting researchers each year in all areas of the mathematical sciences. Other visiting researchers are located with them to create a vibrant and creative environment.

The University of Sydney is a leader in mathematics and statistics research, being the only Australian university to have received a rating of 5 out of 5 for research in Mathematical Sciences in all four of the federal government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rounds. The Institute’s visitors primarily work with the researchers in the School of Mathematics and Statistics

It is through undertaking collaborative mathematical sciences research that real creativity occurs – this is at the heart of the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute.

Generous donor support

The establishment of the Institute was made possible by the generous support of our donors:

  • Simon Marais Foundation
  • Hooper Shaw Foundation
  • Dr Philipp Hofflin and Associate Professor Rebekah Jenkin.

Pairing research with public outreach

Maths is becoming more and more important in all aspects of society, so it is exciting for the public to get an insight into the incredible beauty of mathematics.

In addition to supporting a broad range of mathematical research, the Institute will host conferences, workshops and talks for both academic and general audiences. The Institute's public outreach programs are crucial to our work.

International visitor program

Applications for the July 2019 round are now open - apply online.

Deadline for application: 11.59pm (Sydney time), Sunday 28 July 2019
For visits within the period: April – December 2020
(NB: The next application deadline will be in late January 2020 for visits in the period October 2020 – June 2021)

Applications must be submitted using the online form.

Applications for visits not meeting the following conditions may be accepted in special circumstances with prior arrangement. Please direct questions about the conditions to the Institute’s Executive Director, Professor Anthony Henderson,

  1. Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent degree at the time of application. Applicants must be employed, or know that they will be employed at the time of the proposed visit, by a university, institute, laboratory or other similar organisation located outside Australia, in a role which includes research in the mathematical sciences. The applicant’s employer will be expected to approve the proposed visit. Note that International Visitor Program funding does not include any salary. 
  2. Applicants should have an established program of research in the mathematical sciences (ANZSRC Division 01) and the potential to collaborate with Australia-based researchers in these areas. 
  3. Applicants should propose a research visit to Australia, within the period specified for the application round, of at least 1 month’s duration, of which at least 2 weeks are to be spent at the University of Sydney. Please note that International Visitor Program funding can provide living allowance for at most 4 months, so any visit longer than this will require additional funding from other sources.
  4. Applicants must identify, at each Australian university or research institute at which they propose to spend at least 2 weeks in total (including the University of Sydney), an academic staff member there who has agreed to be the host of that part of the visit. Hosts will be contacted to confirm their support for the visit, including any potential financial contribution, and their comments will be taken into account in assessing the benefit of the proposed visit. The location at which the applicant proposes to spend the most time will be deemed the primary location of the visit, and the comments of the primary host will be given particular weight. Some funding is reserved for visits whose primary location is the University of Sydney. If the visit includes at least 2 weeks spent at the mathematical research institute MATRIX, an Australian organiser of the MATRIX research program to which the applicant has been invited should be designated as the host of that part of the visit. 
  5. Applicants must nominate two academic referees who are familiar with the applicant's research, who are not among the hosts of the proposed visit, and who are willing to be contacted by the Executive Director for their confidential comments on the applicant’s research track record if required. Members of the Scientific Advisory Committee of SMRI are eligible to act as referees in accordance with the committee’s policy on conflicts of interest.
  6. Applicants proposing to spend more than 3 months at the University of Sydney should give the title and brief description of a lecture course they propose to give on a topic relating to their research. This course should be of at least 10 hours and should be accessible to PhD students in the same research area. Please note that it may not be feasible to run every proposed course.

Successful applications will be selected by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute, as named on the webpage, supplemented by researchers with different expertise as required. A sub-committee drawn from the School of Mathematics and Statistics will assist in ranking those applications whose primary location is the University of Sydney. The selection criteria are: 

  • Applicant's research track record, assessed relative to opportunity (taking into account time since PhD and any research career interruptions).
  • Benefits of the proposed visit for Australian research in the mathematical sciences.
  • Considerations of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Applications from female and gender-diverse researchers, from researchers employed in developing countries, and from researchers belonging to other groups which are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, are particularly encouraged.

Successful applicants may receive funding of up to A$4500 per month, for up to 4 months, to assist with accommodation and other local expenses during their visit. In addition, they may obtain reimbursement of one return economy airfare or equivalent amount, and one visa application fee if appropriate. They will be assisted by Institute staff in their Australian visa application, if required, and in locating suitable accommodation for their stay in Sydney. Note that funding and reimbursement will depend on a signed agreement with the University of Sydney, identity verification, and the presentation of receipts for airfare and visa application fee.

By submitting an application you consent that the uploaded files, and other information in the application form, may be shared with Scientific Advisory Committee members and associated administrative staff, as well as with the nominated host(s) and academic referees, if necessary. This information will not be used for any purpose other than the ranking and selection of applicants and the compiling of anonymised reports on the selection process. A list of successful applicants, with the dates and other details of their visits once confirmed, will be posted on the Institute’s webpage.

Please note that the application form requires the upload of two separate PDF files:

  • an up-to-date CV including a publication list and details of any research career interruptions, and
  • a 1–2 page outline of a proposed research visit to Australia meeting the above conditions, with some details of projects and collaborators at the various locations.

If you have your CV and publication list in separate files, please combine them into one PDF before upload. In case of repeat applications, the most recent will be used. 

Professor Geordie Williamson, Director of the Mathematical Research Institute


Our team


Professor Geordie Williamson

Executive Director

Professor Anthony Henderson

Executive Officer

Kate Ippaviz

Administration Officer

Hannah Bryant

Senior Science Communicator

Dr Stephen Morgan

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board for 2019 consists of:

Scientific Advisory Committee

The Scientific Advisory Committee for 2019 consists of:

Sydney Mathematical Research Institute

  • L4.42, Quadrangle A14