SAEF is an Antarctic research program, funded by the Australian Research Council as a Special Research Initiative. Established in 2021, our mission is to understand the changes taking place across the Antarctic region – to its climate and its biodiversity – and develop innovative ways to forecast, mitigate and manage these changes. We also seek to collaborate with policymakers to identify conservation priorities and help make the right decisions for Antarctica’s future. We’re funded for seven years, and no matter what happens we’ll be ambitiously pushing to protect the future of Antarctica, and the planet.
We take a social-ecological systems approach to our work. This means, we believe humans and nature are inextricably linked as part of a bigger system. Understanding this system is a bit like doing a puzzle. We piece together theories, observations, modelling and data from different fields of science to form a big picture understanding. As a result we deliver advanced science, alongside data-to-decision support tools that ensure new evidence can be deployed to strengthen Antarctic policy and governance in a time of rapid environmental and geopolitical change.
SAEF is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through the Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science. The program received a $36 million grant from the ARC, alongside $10 million from our Australian university partners. We are administered by Monash University and are part of the Australian Antarctic Program.
SAEF brings significant new collaboration to Australian Antarctic research. With backing from the Australian Research Council, the Australian Antarctic Division and our university, government and international partners, we are in an extraordinary position to change the future of Antarctica and Southern Ocean environments.
Our governance structure oversees the strategic direction and day-to-day management of the program to ensure our program’s success and impact.
SAEF’s annual reports describe our performance each year against the objectives of our Strategic Plan and funding agreement with the Australian Research Council. It highlights where we are having impact and where we need to work harder to connect our science with decision-makers.
Equity, diversity and inclusion are core to SAEF’s goals and values. We are developing the future Antarctic workforce, and believe creating an environment that brings together a community of diverse people with different perspectives will benefit our science, our culture and the broader community.
Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan guides our commitment and serves to measure our impact and achievements, and our Code of Conduct outlines the expected professional and personal conduct of SAEF participants.