Stjepan Marcelja Visiting Fellowship

Stjepan Marcelja

The Stjepan Marcelja Fellowship, known as the Award, named in honour of Dr Stjepan Marcelja, an outstanding fundamental scientist.

Stjepan Marcelja (Zagreb, 1941) completed BS in Zagreb and PhD in Physics at the University of Rochester, NY (1970). Most of his active years were at ANU, between 1975 and 2000. He left in 2001 to accept the position of the Director of the Institute Ruđer Bošković, the premier multidisciplinary science institute in Croatia. From 2005 until the mandatory retirement age he was a Professor at the University of Split in Croatia, after which he returned to the ANU where he is an Honorary Professor.

Throughout his career, Prof Marcelja made seminal, insightful and succinct contributions to a number of fields. He is renowned for his significant contributions in biophysics and chemical physics. His best works are early contributions to the nature of ordering in membrane structures and liquid crystals, the discovery of the scheme of information recording in the visual cortex and the nature of surface interactions in multivalent ionic solutions (with R. Kjellander). He also made seminal contributions in the fields of superconductivity, molecular forces and water structure, microemulsions and neural nets and artificial intelligence.

The purpose of the Award is to support high-calibre scientists, promising researchers and students to undertake a collaborative visit to conduct fundamental science research at the Department of Materials Physics in the Research School of Physics.

It has long been recognised that international visitors greatly enrich the atmosphere of the School and add to the breadth of discovery. Reciprocal visits for staff and students also build stronger career opportunities. Equally, collaborations benefit from shared research infrastructure between institutions.

The recipients of funding assistance from the Applied Mathematics Endowment Fund will be known as Stjepan Marcelja Fellows. This fund was established using commercial returns from the sale of Lithicon and recognises that translational research is made possible with re-investment into foundational science (“get the basics right and the rest will follow” – Prof Barry Ninham).

Equity and diversity considerations are strongly considered for the granting of these fellowships. Members of groups typically underrepresented in science including women and first nations people are especially encouraged to apply.


Typically up to $5,000. Higher value may be considered for longer visits.


To be eligible for this award, nominees must be

  1. a full-time or a part-time staff member at an Australian or overseas education or research institution; or a student enrolled in a degree (undergraduate or postgraduate) at an Australian or overseas university; or a student transitioning between undergraduate and postgraduate study;
  2. collaborating, or proposing to collaborate, on a fundamental science topic with a research group in the Department of Materials Physics, Research School of Physics;
  3. intending to undertake a research visit of at least 2 weeks to the Research School of Physics. Shorter visits may be supported at the committee’s discretion.

Additional information


Reimbursement of living and travel expenses up to the value of the award.

How to apply

Nominations for the Stjepan Marcelja Visiting Fellowship will be called for twice a year. Nominations can be made by the staff members of the Department of Materials Physics.

Nominations must be submitted on a prescribed form.

Reference documents

Conditions of award


Head, Materials Physics

(02) 612 54916

Previous recipients

Previous awardees of the Marcelja Fellowships are:

Round 1 2019

Round 1 2018

Round 2 2018

Round 1 2017

Round 2 2016

Round 1 2016

Round 2 2015

Round 1 2015