The prestigious Meryl Williams Fellowship supports female agricultural researchers across the Indo-Pacific to improve their leadership and management skills. The Fellowship contributes to more secure food systems by providing women in agricultural science with greater access to resources and decision making, building collaborative networks, supporting career advancement and driving institutional progress towards gender equity.
Launched in 2020, the Meryl Williams Fellowship is fully funded by ACIAR and delivered by Gender Equity in Agriculture Research and Development (GEAReD) in partnership with the University of New England, Australia and Coffey International.
Over 2020 and 2021 a total of forty-two women working in agricultural research across the Indo-Pacific have been accepted into the fellowship. Fellows join the program from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Nepal, Myanmar, Mongolia, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and the Solomon Islands.
A critical component of the Meryl Williams Fellowships is the mentoring support program, through which every Fellow is paired with an experienced mentor in her home country to provide support and guidance as they build management, leadership and professional skills.
In addition to providing executive leadership training and professional development opportunities to the individual women, the Meryl Williams Fellowship program supports the institutions that they work within to identify and address systemic barriers to women’s advancement.
Dr Meryl Williams
The fellowship is named in honour of the contribution of Dr Meryl Williams, in consultation with the Commission for International Agricultural Research.
Dr Williams is an eminent Australian agricultural research leader and was Director-General of the WorldFish Centre, one of the CGIAR Centres, from 1994-2004.
From 2007-10 she chaired the Commission for International Agricultural Research. Dr Williams founded and is currently the Chair of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society.