Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships

Overview

What are the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships?

The Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships aim to support breakthrough solutions to Australia’s most pressing social and environmental challenges and bring new talent to the social sector.

Fellows are offered the unique opportunity to take 12 months away from their current role to pursue big ideas that have the potential to achieve positive outcomes in the program themes of:

  • poverty and disadvantage
  • sustainability and environment
  • human, civil and legal rights.

The Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships provide recipients with time and support needed to develop their groundbreaking idea into a sustainable plan for action. Fellows will each receive $120,000 for their 12-month commitment to the program and an additional $30,000 will be available to each Fellow for approved expenses (incurred directly related to and upon commencement of the Fellowship) such as a separate work space, rent, travel and contracting of external expertise. 

We seek ideas that are:

  • high impact: likely to produce results in the areas of human, civil and legal rights, poverty and disadvantage, and/or sustainability and environment including climate change
  • unique: different from existing approaches
  • scalable and sustainable: the potential to scale up quickly and be sustainable over time.

And leaders who are:

  • experienced and entrepreneurial: a proven track record of achievement in their field and an appetite for risk-taking
  • passionate and connected: a genuine commitment and passion for their cause and the network to make it happen.

Selection Process

What is offered

Each year this program provides outstanding individuals with freedom from their day jobs to:

  • open productive new lines of inquiry
  • ask provocative questions
  • challenge conventional wisdom
  • develop new ideas, approaches and strategies.

Fellows will each receive $120,000 for their 12-month commitment to the program and an additional $30,000 will be available to each Fellow for approved expenses such as work space (if a new work space is required), travel and contracting of external expertise.

What are the eligibility criteria?

The applicant must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • reside in Australia for the majority of the Fellowship period
  • be prepared to take a sabbatical from their current role for 12 months
  • have a proven track record of out-of-the-box thinking and risk-taking
  • have an ability to turn ideas into action
  • have well-developed networks within an area of the proposed project.

The proposed project must:

  • be based in Australia
  • be aligned with one or more of the subject areas of poverty & disadvantage, sustainability & environment including climate change, or human, civil and legal rights
  • have been in development for not longer than three years.

What are the funding exclusions?

The Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships program will not support the following:

  • benefits or fundraising events
  • capital or endowment campaigns
  • ongoing or one-off academic research or work towards higher degrees (including by coursework or dissertations)
  • medical research
  • initiatives focused on specific diseases
  • international projects
  • scholarships
  • sponsorships
  • funding hubs or accelerators
  • creative arts projects
  • collaborations between a number of individuals
  • projects that are focused on program or service delivery
  • projects that have been in development for more than three years
  • organisations.


Application timeline

22 July 2022

Expressions of interest open

11.59pm AEST 4 September 2022

Expressions of interest close

Week beginning 14 November 2022

Shortlisted candidates invited to prepare a detailed application

By 11.59pm AEDT 8 January 2023

Closing date for detailed applications from shortlisted applicants

February 2023

Interviews for selected candidates

March 2023

Confirmation of 2023 Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellows


    Recent Awardees

    2022 Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellows


    Adam Davids

    Adam Davids was one of the pioneers behind CareerTrackers and CareerSeekers and has undertaken groundbreaking work to identify global racial equity standards for businesses to make impact with underrepresented minorities. Adam plans to implement a strategic advisory model with major companies, and guide businesses to build a robust First Nations equity strategy, measure progress over time, and activate the full spectrum of their people, purchasing, and philanthropic levers to influence business, government and civil society.

    Estelle Lucas

    Estelle is a Muslim sex worker and founder of Red Files, a health promotion and violence prevention charity for sex workers. In accordance with the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria, Estelle will develop Big Sister, a technological solution to make sex work safer. Using a strengths-based approach, Big Sister harnesses sex workers’ self-determination to dismantle systemic stigma and discrimination that threatens health and safety in the workplace.

    Jamal Elsheikh

    Jamal is a racial and social justice advocate, advisor, educator and executive leader. He co-founded One Love Australia and the Reflect Forward project to help fight racism in Australian schools, sports and corporations. Jamal's work in the space of diversity, equity and inclusion has been featured and recognised by local and global media networks including the ABC and BBC, and with a studentship from Cambridge University to study a Masters of Studies in Social Innovation.

    FAQs

    If you are invited to prepare a detailed application, you will have the opportunity to submit such materials.

    We would consider a part-time Fellowship application in circumstances where the applicant has caring responsibilities. Applicants who wish to undertake the program part time whilst maintaining full, part-time, or casual employment would not be eligible.

    The selection process is a multi-stage process taking place over a number of months. It is usually completed by the end of March each year, with new Fellows generally announced in May each year.

    Fellows will be expected to provide a mid-term report to the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships Committee via a personal presentation, and to provide a completion report to the Directors of The Myer Foundation, Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund and the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowship Committee via personal presentation.

    The Fellowship is a stipend that aims to cover the living expenses of the Fellow for the Fellowship year.

    An amount up to $30,000 will be available to each Fellow to cover expenditure associated with the Fellowship such as renting an office space (excluding existing spaces such as home office or if the Fellow is already renting an office or similar space), travel, convening, or purchasing of external expertise. We will not generally support professional development unless it will materially affect the development of the Fellow’s project. Applicants invited to prepare a detailed application will be asked to include an estimated project budget. 

    Expressions of Interest for the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships 2023 have closed.

    Applicants are asked to identify outputs and outcomes expected from their Fellowship as part of the detailed application process.

    Fellows will have access to a support panel of experts, an individually matched mentor and specialist pitch training. They will have access to The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund’s program staff and the use, by arrangement, of our board room.

    The main responsibility of each Fellow is to develop the various aspects of their project. We ask Fellows to commit to the Support Panel meetings and trainings offered and to provide collegiate support to each other where possible during their tenure. Upon completion we ask Fellows to participate in an alumni event and to respond to a short completion survey.

    The Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships will not support the following projects or activities:

    • benefits or fundraising events
    • capital or endowment campaigns
    • ongoing or one-off academic research, or work towards higher degrees (including by coursework or dissertations)
    • medical research
    • initiatives focused on specific diseases
    • international projects
    • scholarships
    • sponsorships
    • social enterprise funding hubs or accelerators
    • creative arts projects
    • collaborations between a number of individuals
    • projects that are focused on program or service delivery
    • projects that have been in development for more than three years
    • organisations.

      See also Funding Exclusions on the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships page here

        We will not generally support professional development as part of the Fellowship unless it will materially affect the development of the Fellow’s project.

        Yes, Fellowship proposals may align with more than one of these areas.