1. SMI Connect Postdoc Opportunity. This bullet point is to seek interest from anyone about benefiting from a potential postdoc with SMI. I provide the details in an attached file but it would be great if anyone interested in getting such a postdoc to support their work, could let me know by this Monday as this matter is time-sensitive (since it is connected to an application to a QUEX scheme).

  1. Financial update and China announcement. The signs are that this will remain a financially prudent year for the University as a whole, as it aims to fully recover its financial position. Greater clarity will come in the weeks ahead.

The recent Chinese announcement preventing Chinese students from getting their online studies abroad recognized has been followed by reassurances regarding a transition period, but nonetheless has added an extra element of financial uncertainty. I enclose an email which explains the University response, which is a sensible combination of communication and flexibility.

  1. Staffing updates. We all welcome Cassandra (Cassie) Hughes, who has joined the School in the role of Acting Project and Operations Manager up to 31 May 2023. Cassie has a thirteen-year track record at UQ in the Institute for Social Science Research as a high-level operational and administrative professional. The email address she will be using is econ.opsmanager@uq.edu.au. She will help with projects such as the School Review and (following an action point from the Pulse Survey) the revisiting of the current process for academic visitors.

Congratulations to Terence, whose contract has been extended until the end of December 2025 as a first outcome of the TF Lecturer process. I hope I will be able to provide further good news on the TF Lecturer process in my next update or two.

I regret to inform you however that Justin Wiltshire has accepted a position at an overseas institution and as a result will not joining us this May. On the plus side, as a result of this, the Executive Dean has agreed for us to make one more offer in the current T&R Lecturer process. This is progressing – and thanks to everyone who provided seminar feedback, which was taken into account as we deliberated.

Thanks to Lionel and Vera for taking part in the selection panel for the Research Fellow in Neuroeconomics with QBI, the deadline for which has just passed.

  1. Welcome and orientation of our new students. A reminder of the call for volunteers to help welcome and orientate an expected 2,000+ new students in the BEL Faculty for 2023.  To be involved please complete this short form, further details are contained in the attached email.

If you are unable to volunteer, there is an opportunity for staff to mingle with new Economics students at BELfest between 2.00pm and 3.00pm on Thursday 16 February at the ModWest Building. If you are around, I encourage you to attend to help welcome our new students to campus.

  1. Events Ahead. The 2023 Australian Conference of Economists (ACE) is being run by the Economic Society of Australia (Qld), with UQ’s support, in Brisbane this year (9-12 July). Details can be found here.  The deadline for submissions is 30 March and keynote speakers include: Ganna Pogrebna (Sydney), Brad DeLong (UC Berkeley) Ross Garnaut (Melbourne) and Jan Eeckhout (Pompeu Fabra). As UQ is a major stakeholder in the ESA(Qld), I can confirm special blanket approval from ACA/SRF funds for anyone who wants to register to attend this conference, as long as you have enough budget and you inform Alison of the amount for record-keeping.

Valentin, whom I thank, has identified the next Colin Clark Lecture speaker: Diane Coyle from the University of Cambridge will be giving the lecture on 26 October.

  1. Reminders. As this is my first HoS update of the year, I thought it would be useful to have a few reminders:

  • You are invited to make a submission to the School Review being conducted by the Academic Board.  Submissions should be sent to the Review Coordinator at uqreviews@uq.edu.au by 17 April 2023. Read the terms of reference for the School of Economics review.  We plan to have a complete draft of the document, which of course has already been discussed in a previous School meeting, at the School meeting at the end of this month.
  • I’ve attached a copy of the travel policy document for academics. If your planned travel does not have automatic implicit approval as per the document, please ensure to talk about it (can be an email exchange) with your supervisor (Rodney or myself).
  • APDs: ratings are to be given based on the provided guidelines. If you are the academic supervisor, you may want to ask yourself, and clarify in your comments: if a colleague ‘exceeds expectations’ on one domain, on what grounds do they do so; if a colleague ‘has some gaps’ on one domain, on what grounds do they do so.
  • When you put in annual leave requests, it helps if you specify that you have no service or teaching commitments during that time (if applicable).
  • The current general blanket approval policy. This may be revisited this year in terms of extension to some conferences, as part of the simplification action point from the Pulse Survey. A gentle reminder that you need to advise Alison expense type and amount.
  • CEDA membership has been renewed by the University giving access to research reports and digital content, as well as member rates for their face-to-face and virtual events (see the attached).

  1. Open Access publishing via Read and Publish agreements in the UQ Update of 30 January details of UQ’s 2023 Read and Publish agreements are now available. UQ authors can publish research articles as open access in these journals more easily because of negotiations made with publishers by the UQ Library in collaboration with the Council of Australian University Librarians. Learn more about UQ’s Read and Publish agreements ›
  2. UQ Education & Training Research Ethics & Integrity. See the enclosed details of training opportunities for both staff and HDR students.

  1. Other Thanks and Congratulations. Thanks to Suzanne, Terence and Nhan for agreeing to help out with an event with Indigenous students at the Brisbane Boys College on 9 March. Thanks to Rodney for his stewardship of these HoS updates while I was away. Congratulations are due to:

As a reminder, if there are achievements that you want me to highlight in future HoS updates, please drop me a line. These could for example include the likes of recent awards, prizes and fellowships, significant engagement or impact activity, A* journal publications, successful grants, or keynote/plenary slots at conferences.

We remain close to Ukraine as it continues to endure very dark times.