Ross Vining Memorial Student Scholarship


Professor Ross Vining was appointed Director of Forensic Science SA in January 2008.  He came to South Australia from NSW where he was the director of the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research in Sydney.
Professor Vining had an Honours Degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry (1972), a PhD in Nuclear Chemistry (1976) and an MBA (1990).  He previously held positions as Scientific Manager, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and General Manager, St Vincent’s Pathology.
Ross was a member of the NATA Council representing South Australia.  He was the authorised representative for Forensic Science SA and was also a former Technical Assessor in the field of chemical pathology (1986-1999).
Professor Vining was widely known as an advocate and crusader for forensic science and its role in modern criminology.  As the head of Forensic Science SA, he promoted the organisation’s work by becoming the public face of this branch of science.  He had been overseeing the successful “cold case” DNA program which re-examined DNA collected from crime scenes in the late-1980s and early-1990s that had been frozen pending future developments in analysis technology.
An adventurer at heart, Ross’s free spirit took him to many places on the globe.  He was an active and passionate member of the Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia and its South Australian coordinator.  Whilst flying his SeaRey seaplane in Far North Queensland to view a solar eclipse from the air in November 2012, his aircraft crashed and Ross did not survive.
Ross was internationally recognised in his field and driven by his personal philosophy of `Science Safeguarding Society’.  He was an exceptional leader, and respected and admired by everyone who worked with him.  He particularly endorsed and encouraged the role of education and further development amongst his staff, being a strong supporter of the ANZFSS Symposia.
In memory of Ross and his outstanding contribution to education in Forensic Science in South Australia, the South Australian Branch of ANZFSS will provide one full student scholarship for the immediately forthcoming ANZFSS Symposium to an application deemed worthy and meritorious in accordance with the qualifying criteria.

Award Assessment Sub-Committee

The SA Branch will appoint an Awards Assessment Sub-Committee (the “Sub-Committee”), to assess all applications received for that forthcoming symposium from local ANZFSS members.  This Sub-Committee will comprise of at least three (3) SA Branch committee or executive members, none of whom shall have, or be party to, an application for Travel Award for that symposium year.  In the event that all Committee and Executive members have an interest in applications for that year, a ballot will be conducted of the full Committee to select a Sub-Committee of no less than three (3) members.
The Sub-Committee will rate all applications against the assessment scale used for National ANZFSS Travel Awards.  This assessment scale is included as Appendix A to this document.
The Award Assessment Sub-Committee shall act honestly, ethically and without favour or prejudice in accordance with the Code of Ethics for ANZFSS.


Applications are to be submitted as per the requirements for national Travel Awards, on the official application form.  They are to be submitted to the local Branch by the due date.  Late applications will not be accepted.
From these applications received, the Awards Sub-committee has the discretion to award one of the student applicants for an award a full student scholarship as outlined in this document.  The applicant awarded the Ross Vining Memorial Student Scholarship shall not be considered for a National Travel Award.
The applicant awarded the Ross Vining Memorial Student Scholarship shall present their poster or oral presentation at a nominated meeting of the local ANZFSS Branch, either prior to, or subsequent to, the Symposium.
The granting of this scholarship is subject to the application being of sufficient merit and worthiness to pay the due respect to the philosophy, memory and dedication of Professor Ross Vining.
In the event that applications are of insufficient meritorious worth, the Awards Sub-Committee may decide to not award a Ross Vining Memorial Student Scholarship for that Symposium.  This does not preclude all qualifying applications from being eligible for a National ANZFSS Travel Award, or full/partial scholarship offered by the local Branch.
The recipient of the scholarship shall be notified by mail of their successful application and awarding of the scholarship.

Award Assessment Criteria

To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must be current financial members of the SA Branch of ANZFSS.
In utilising the National Travel Award Assessment Criteria, the Awards Sub-Committee shall take the following into particular consideration:

  • The merit and originality of the application, particularly in terms of its likely contribution to the advancement of forensic science;
  • The benefit of the application in relation to the applicant, their organisation, and the Symposium;
  • The commitment of the member to local Branch activities and attendance at meetings.

Award Type

The Ross Vining Memorial Student Scholarship shall be a full scholarship, comprising a financial amount as nominated by the SA Branch committee, to cover:

  • Student registration at the next ANZFSS Symposium
  • All or the majority of the reasonable cost of airfare and accommodation

The recipient will also receive a certificate presented at a local Branch meeting.

Previous recipients of the Ross Vining Award

2016: Dana Michalski from Defence Science and Technology Group & University of Adelaide

“Facial image comparisons of children: how does the age of children in images affect human and algorithm performance?”

2014: Jennifer Templeton from Flinders University

“Improving methods for the recovery of and analysis of touch DNA”

2018: Eliza Moule from Flinders University

“Rapid detection of nicotine from breath using direct sample analysis time of flight mass spectrometry