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Marlies Eichler Postdoctoral Fellowship

photo: Marlies & Hansjorg Eichler
Marlies and Hansjörg Eichler, 22 August 1981,
International Botanical Congress, Sydney, Australia
Photographer: unknown (image supplied by A.S.George)

The ASBS Council is pleased to be able to offer a postdoctoral funding scheme, the Marlies Eichler Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship is named in honour of Marie-Luise (Marlies) Eichler, a life member of the Society, whose extraordinary generosity over many years made this funding possible. Fellowships were first offered under the scheme in 2017.

Details of the fellowship is given below, with a link to the application form. Applications are due each year on 31 July.


These grants aim to support research in systematic botany and the career development of recent PhD graduates, by providing top-up funds to researchers already successful in attracting other postdoctoral support. Such top-ups are considered useful because many postdoctoral schemes are not fully funded, in terms of either salary or research costs, and this can limit the research and career opportunities of early career systematists. Providing strategic support to already successful early career systematists aims to facilitate quality research in systematics and also help recent graduates to capitalise on postdoctoral opportunities and improve their competitiveness for more permanent positions.


These grants are for research projects focused on the systematics of land plants, algae or fungi. This can include studies of taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography.

Grants are open to applicants who meet the following criteria.

  1. Are financial members of the Australasian Systematic Botany Society.
  2. Hold a PhD relevant to systematics of plants, algae or fungi that was completed within the last 10 years. At a minimum, a PhD must be completed (letter of acceptance by university) by the commencement of grant funding. Exceptions on the 10 year limit will be considered for applicants with career interruptions associated with family commitments or other extenuating circumstances.
  3. Hold a short-term postdoctoral position at an Australasian research institution. Generally this includes postdoctoral fellowships obtained on a competitive basis from funding agencies (e.g. Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Research Council, Marsden Fund), or through internal institutional schemes (e.g. university postdoctoral fellowship grants). Other postdoctoral positions will also be considered, but Applicants with ongoing salaried positions are not eligible for these grants.

For the purpose of this Fund, Australasia is defined as the area including Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya), and the islands of Melanesia (including Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia).

Size and duration of grants

The grant scheme will provide two years of funding. Up to $10,000 (AUD) per year is available, and a maximum of $20,000 over the two years. Funds can be spent on salary for the applicant or project costs (including consumables, essential minor equipment <$5,000, travel associated with fieldwork, contracted services such as DNA sequencing, technical assistance).

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed by the Society's Research Committee, based on: research track record of the applicant, relative to opportunity (40%); merit of the research project (40%); and value for money (20%), which includes the value of the grant in supporting the activities of recipient, and the nature of additional research the grant will facilitate.


Grant applications will close on 31 July. Funding for successful applicants will commence from 1 November after the completion of necessary agreements, including the Society's standard grant conditions (available for download in Microsoft Word .docx format).

Application form

The application form is available in Microsoft Word .doc format here.


Completed applications can be submitted either as .pdf files by email (preferred) or in hard copy. They should be sent to the Vice President of the Society in time to meet the deadline.

Past Award Recipients

July 2021 Award Recipient

  • Dr Tim Hammer (University of Adelaide) Delineating the diversity of Dilleniaceae: a revisionary synthesis of Hibbertia for the Flora of Australia and investigations into its taxonomy, systematics, evolution and biogeography

July 2020 Award Recipient

  • Dr Rachael Fowler (University of Melbourne, Australia) Exploration of the Eremophila glabra complex

July 2019 Award Recipient

  • Dr Trevor Wilson (National Herbarium of New South Wales, Sydney) A new key for Australia's Bugle Subfamily (Ajugoideae: Lamiaceae): a phylogenetically informed taxonomy assisted by next generation sequencing methods
    First year report: ASBS Newsletter 185: 42–45 (December 2020)

July 2018 Award Recipient

July 2017 Award Recipient

  • Dr Bee Gunn (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and The University of Melbourne) Evolution of polyploidy in Australian Asparagales
    Final year report: ASBS Newsletter 185: 8–12 (December 2020)