Boosting women in STEM

Elevate program design

28 July 2022

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The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) appointed 16 STEM champions from across the breadth of industry and academia to lead an Advisory Group for the $41.2 million Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program.

See the members of the Elevate Advisory Group.

Read the media release.


What is Elevate? 

ATSE has been named the sole implementing partner for the Australian Government’s 7-year $41.2 million “Boosting the Next Generation of Women in STEM” fund. 

The Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program will: 

  • Encourage women to pursue education and careers in STEM  
  • Foster industry-academia collaborations in applied research and business 
  • Extend qualifications and professional skills in STEM and business 
  • Propel women into leadership  
  • Award up to 500 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships to women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) over seven (7) years. 

Elevate is funded by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR). 

The program aims to address gender inequities in STEM through fostering more women-led industry-academia collaborations in applied research and business, growing professional skills of women in STEM and by propelling women into leadership. 

How will Elevate achieve its aims?

Elevate will be co-designed by the STEM ecosystem around three pillars – Education and Impact, Skills building, and Leadership: 

Elevate pillars

Pillar 1: Education & Impact   

Through cross-sector postgraduate research and education, with real-world exposure and experience in industry, 450 Elevate scholars (80 undergraduate and 370 HDR) will become Australia’s future leaders in STEM research, product development, commercialisation and manufacturing. Pillar 1 provides opportunities to connect and/or study with our Consortium partners, as well as receive an understanding of the broader STEM ecosystem. Elevate scholars will also be introduced to the industry sector and have access to expert commercialisation and IP guidance when relevant to their studies. A combined event for the Consortium and scholars will facilitate connections, exchange of knowledge and ideas, and expert advice on impactful, transformational collaborations and proven collaboration models.   

Partners: Indigitek, Australian Technology Network of Universities, Cooperative Research Australia, Cicada Innovations, Women in STEMM Australia, DMTC Ltd, Science & Technology Australia


Pillar 2: Skills Building   

Elevate undergraduate scholars will be supported with regular mentoring by IMNIS alumni (PhD graduates and early-career STEM professionals) and have access to online professional development. Elevate HDR scholars will be supported with tiered professional development, business training, mentoring and networking throughout each year of their degree. These opportunities will be provided in collaboration with our partners. Pillar 2 will provide industry-relevant skills, business acumen and capabilities to engage, collaborate, transition and network throughout the STEM ecosystem. This will include sessions that provide an understanding of the different aspects of innovation pipeline, as well as the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship. They will also have opportunities to attend national conferences and symposia that aim to bring leaders from industry and academia alongside rising stars within the STEM sector to innovate and collaborate.   

Partners: IMNIS Engage, IMNIS Ignite, IMNIS Catalyst, Indigitek, FB Rice, gemaker, ATN Frontiers, Cooperative Research Australia, Cicada Innovations, Women in STEMM Australia, Science & Technology Australia


Pillar 3: Leadership   

Elevate will also increase the influence and profile of women in STEM, accelerating their career trajectory into leadership. Pillar 3 will enable 50 Elevate scholars to pursue a qualification in business administration (e.g. Master of Business Administration) or a STEM field of high job growth potential (e.g. Master of Data Science) and that addresses an industry skills gap and develop board and executive leadership skills including governance and strategy. They will establish influential networks by connecting with ATSE’s Fellows, Awardees and Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) mentors, as well as leaders from our Consortium partners at networking events and conferences. The Women in Leadership Development (WILD) program will equip these women with board governance training, as well as an executive leadership retreat and board mentorship. Women in STEMM Australia will actively support public profiling and promotion of these women leaders. The goal is for these scholars to lead and excel in the STEM ecosystem and to stimulate an increased number of women in leadership and decision-making positions in industry, research organisations, government and business.   

Partners: IMNIS Catalyst, IMNIS Masterclass, Indigitek, Cooperative Research Australia, Women in STEMM Australia, Science & Technology Australia, WILD Program (WILD Women)


What kind of scholarships are available?

 Elevate Scholarships will be awarded for undergraduate and postgraduate study at an Australian university located in Australia.  


Who can apply for Elevate?

  Any person who identifies as a woman will be eligible for Elevate. 

 Eligible women will include: 

  • Graduates ready to enter undergraduate STEM studies 
  • Postgraduate research and education opportunities 
  • Women already working within the STEM sector who wish to extend their qualifications or retrain 
  • Women who may be unemployed or on leave and want to return to STEM studies. 

ATSE strongly supports flexible study and work practices (e.g. part-time work, part-time study), and the inclusion of diverse women in STEM, as well as women located in regional and rural Australia, and will ensure such opportunities be included during the co-design process.   


Elevate Timeline

March-May 2022 – Consultation and co-design (Now closed)

July 2022 – Applications open 

Late 2022 – Applicants notified 

Early 2023 – Scholarships begin for successful applicants  


Co-design and consultation

ATSE and its partners conducted a thorough co-design and consultation phase to ensure a high-quality program spanning industry, academia and government to upskill women with STEM qualifications, research, and business expertise. There was a substantial response from across the STEM sector and the Advisory Group will now consider and implement feedback to enable Elevate to lead and shape a dynamic and impactful Australian STEM sector. If you were not able to provide feedback during the co-design and consultation phase, please get in touch with us at

The Elevate consultation briefing was released on 30 June 2022.

Read the Elevate consultation briefing.

The Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program will complement ATSE’s existing three high-profile STEM career pathway initiatives:
— IMNIS: Industry Mentoring Network in STEM, an award-winning industry engagement, mentoring and internships initiative which will be integrated with the Elevate program
— STELR: a long-standing schools-based, hands-on STEM education program for students and teachers
— CS in Schools: a world-class digital technology education program linking classrooms with industry. 


Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM will be administered and delivered by ATSE as the lead organisation working with a diverse consortium of partners from industry and academia including ATSE’s Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN)Cooperative Research AustraliaCicada InnovationsFB RiceDMTC LimitedGemakerWomen in Leadership Development Program (WILD)Women in STEMM Australia (WiSA), Science & Technology Australia and Indigitek. 

Elevate scholarships