New ANU endowment for developing-world scientists

7 December 2015

Distinguished physics Professor Chennupati Jagadish and his wife Vidya have kickstarted a new endowment fund to bring science students and academics from the developing world to study and do research at The Australian National University (ANU).

The Chennupati and Vidya Jagadish Endowment Fund will pay for up to four scholarships or fellowships a year for students and researchers from the developing world to study or conduct collaborative research for up to three months at the Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE).

"Both my wife Vidya and I studied in India. So we really wanted to give something back to the developing world," said Distinguished Professor Jagadish, who is Head of Semiconductor Optoelectronics and Nanotechnology Group at RSPE.

"I am grateful for the opportunities I had in my life and would like to provide opportunities for others."

The couple's donation has been supported by the RSPE, the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the ANU, taking the endowment to $500,000.

Professor Jagadish said exposing a person to the research culture in the early stages of their career could help shape the career they choose.

"ANU has the biggest physics school in the country and it is one of the top research schools in the world. This is an opportunity to share the state of the art facilities and expertise with those living in the developing world," Professor Jagadish said.

"Participants will be able to form international links with colleagues in the field of physics and take their experiences back to their country. Collectively we can achieve bigger and better things."

RSPE Director Professor Tim Senden praised Jagadish and Vidya for their generous and remarkable gift.

"Professor Jagadish has always been one of our most outstanding researchers. In him we can all see a passionate and hugely encouraging spirit. His commitment to staff and students alike is a wonderful exemplar of how enabling a global research community can be," Professor Senden said.

"We're overjoyed to assist Jagadish and Vidya build their scholarship. In every way this invites access to the same opportunities they enjoyed, and embodies their fond desire to grow that access for generations to come. Implicit in their gift is the message that sustainability comes from community spirit."

This fund joins the other 17 endowment funds established at the RSPE in the recent years.