About SAEF

Get acquainted with our program and partners.

About SAEF

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.

SAEF is an Australian-led, international research endeavour.
We will exemplify the leadership in science and environmental stewardship that lies at the heart of securing the environmental future of Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands.
SAEF is developing the Antarctic research workforce of the future.
We promote a safe and inclusive environment and recognise that it's our community’s diversity that will drive our success and impact.
SAEF is founded on the simple, yet crucial idea.
The future of the Antarctic and the planet depend on understanding the environmental change that is occurring and deploying stewardship strategies that recognises their inseparability.

Our approach

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.

Our partners

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.

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Our governance structure oversees the strategic direction and day-to-day management of the program to ensure our program’s success and impact.  



Program Executive Group

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Governance Advisory Board

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International Science Advisory Panel

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Annual reports

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.  

“Now is the time – we have more knowledge, technology, and expertise than ever before, so it’s our responsibility to use that to help” - Kate Helmstedt

Equity and diversity

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. 

Join us

A job at SAEF is an opportunity to deliver science to help secure the health of the planet for future generations.

Research Officer

Monash University
Job description

PhD Scholarship in Population Genomics of Heard and McDonald Island Benthic Taxa

James Cook University
Job description