Fresh Science; new CRCs; training around the country; and more

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

Nominations for Fresh Science – our annual competition for early-career researchers – are open for one more week. So, have a think about which ECRs you could tap on the shoulder to nominate.

We run Fresh Science in every state where we can secure enough support – so far that’s Qld, SA, WA, Vic and NSW. Big thanks to our hosts and the 17 unis and research organisations who’ve come on board so far.

It’s highly likely we will run an event in the ACT, we just need a couple more supporters to confirm.

So, make sure you encourage any Canberra-based ECRs you know to nominate. More on that below.

Nominations close midnight 24 April 2018.

If you’d like to share our flyer calling for nominations, you can download it as a PDFor a JPEG or share the call on social media using #FreshSci

Even if you’re not an ECR, we can still help you find the story in your science.

We’ve just announced our media and communication training dates for the rest of 2018.

Join us in:

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 5 June, Tuesday 31 July, Tuesday 9 October
  • Adelaide: Tuesday 8 May, Wednesday 14 November
  • Sydney: Wednesday 4 July, Wednesday 29 August
  • Perth: Thursday 10 May, Friday 7 December

You can book via Eventbrite, or read on for more about this course and our bespoke training.

Also in this bulletin:

The future of fuel, food and health—$160 million for four new CRCs

The Assistant Minister Zed Seselja has been busy over the past week handing out over $165 million to four new Cooperative Research Centres.

They are:

The Digital Health CRC, which received $55m, bringing their total funding to over $200m. The Digital Health CRC is seeking to improve health outcomes for Australians through the use of digital technologies which can improve access to the right health care, lower costs and increase understanding and awareness. The CRC is also examining better ways to share information on adverse reactions and developing better decision support apps. More on their website, or read the media alert.

The MinEx CRC, which received $50m in federal funding, plus $165m in cash and kind from partners. They’ll work on new technologies to increase opportunities for mineral discovery. Creating more productive, economical, safer and environmentally friendly methods to discover and drill out deposits.

The Fight Food Waste CRC received $30m in government funding, plus over $100m from their partners. They will support industry-led collaborations between researchers, industry and the community to address the issue of food waste and help the Government to fulfil its National Food Waste Strategy commitment to halve food waste in Australia.

The Future Fuels CRC received $26.25m, with a further $64.6m of cash and in-kind funding from CRC participants. They will undertake research and development to provide more options to Australian consumers for low-carbon energy at competitive prices. The research will look at opportunities to adapt existing infrastructure for the production, transport and storage of sustainable future fuels such as hydrogen and biogas.

More at:

Fresh Science nominations—one week to go

Do you know any early-career researchers who have peer-reviewed results, a discovery, or an invention that has received little or no media attention?

Please nominate them for Fresh Science, our national competition that helps early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.

Scientists get a day of media training and the chance to share their work with the media, general public and school students.

Fresh Science is looking for:

  • early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years post-PhD)
  • a peer-reviewed discovery that has had little or no media coverage
  • some ability to present ideas in everyday English.

How to nominate

Check out the selection criteria, read ahead and see what questions will be asked,then go online and nominate via the short, easy, online application form.
Nominations close midnight on Tuesday 24 April. 

The training and events will be held in June and July– the dates are on the website.

What’s involved in Fresh Science?

In each state, we will select the top ten applicants. If selected, you will get:

  • A day of media training where you will: hear from working journalists about what makes science news for them; find the story in your research with guidance from two experienced science communicators; and practice being interviewed in front of camera and on radio.
  • A short profile about your work written in a media-friendly way, published online and via social media.
  • The chance to step on stage and present your science to a friendly audience down at the pub. In some states, you will also present to school students or a “Shark-Tank” style panel of leaders from industry and government.

One story per state will be written up as a press release and issued to the media.

Fresh Science is an initiative of Science in Public.

Fresh Science South Australia is supported by the South Australian Museum, Flinders University, the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide.

Fresh Science Western Australia is supported by the Western Australian Museum, Edith Cowan University, the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Murdoch University.

Fresh Science Victoria is supported by the Royal Society of Victoria, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University, RMIT University, CSIRO, and La Trobe University.

Fresh Science NSW is supported by the Australian Museum.

Fresh Science Queensland is delivered in partnership with Econnect Communication and is supported by the Queensland Government, QUT, Griffith University, and the University of Queensland.

Now in its 21st year, Fresh Science has trained over 500 scientists to share their science, and generated hundreds of news stories via TV, print, radio and online. You can read past Fresh Scientists’ stories online at

We’re looking for partners around the country for Fresh Science 2018 to help us celebrate our 21st birthday in style. If you’d like to support Fresh Science, please get in touch.

Read more online at or contact either myself or Toni Stevens ( on (03) 9398 1416.

Other prizes and opportunities

Eureka Prizes

The ‘Oscars of Australian science,’ the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes celebrate research, science communication and journalism, leadership, and students. In 2018 there are 16 prizes and a prize pool of $160,000 on offer.

Finalists will be announced online in July, and winners at a gala dinner on August 29. Applications close Friday 4 May 2018.

More information at:

$1 million in AMP Tomorrow Fund grants

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund is offering amazing Australians doing great things the chance to share in $1 million in grants – and they love rewarding those working in science, health, tech and education.

They’ve helped frog lover Jodie Rowley to resource her lab, radiation oncologist Bronwyn King take on big-tobacco, neuropsychologist Andrew Gardner reduce the risk of sport-induced concussions and more.

Individuals of all ages, abilities and interests who need help to reach a goal with community impact can apply before 4pm on 17 May.

More at:

Top 5 Under 40

Applications are now open for Top 5 Under 40, an initiative to discover Australia’s next generation of science communicators.

The winners will undertake a two-week media residency at the ABC in Sydney, supported by UNSW.

This year a second intake has also been announced for the Top 5 in Humanities, supported by The University of Sydney.

The Science program is for early career university researchers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medical research (STEMM). Five winners will undertake a two-week media residency at the ABC in July, ahead of National Science Week.

Applications close 9 May – more at:

The Humanities program is for early career university researchers in humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS). Offered for the first time this year, five winners will undertake a two-week media residency at the ABC in September.

Applications close 9 May – more at:

Royal Society of Victoria—recognising Victoria’s top scientists, and those on their way

What do Trevor Lithgow (2017), Lloyd Hollenberg (2016), David Karoly (2015) and Jane Visvader (2014) all have in common? They’ve all won the RSV Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research.

The RSV Medal has been presented over 59 years to the highest achieving Victorian scientists in research fields across four award categories. Now it’s your chance to add your name to this list of prominent Victorian researchers. This year they’ll be recognising excellence in Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Nominations close 5pm on 31 July.

Eligibility, criteria and guidelines are available from

And for the early-career researchers… 

Your chance to present your work to Victoria’s oldest learned society, and win $1,250.

The Young Scientist Research Prizes are offered to PhD candidates in their final year across four categories: Biomedical & Health Sciences; Biological Sciences (Non-human); Earth Sciences; and Physical Sciences.

Finalists will present to the Society during National Science Week, on the evening of Thursday, 16 August 2018.

Applications close at 5pm on 31 May.

Eligibility, guidelines and application procedures are all available from

Veski Inspiring Women

Networking and career development for university students, learning how to lead the way, and supporting women back to work.

The new STEM sidebyside program for Women in Science in Victoria will feature workshops and networking events to empower women to achieve their career goals within STEM industries.

Applications for the Stamina stream are now open, closing 2pm AEST 26 April 2018.

More at:


Diversify your thinking at Science Pathways in Brisbane – 23 & 24 April

Early and mid-career researchers are invited to join the 5th Annual Conference of the Australian Academy of Science’s Early and Mid-Career Researchers Forum.

During the two-day conference, delegates will explore a range of topics including: how to achieve equity in STEM; how to access funding from non-traditional sources; and the key considerations for interdisciplinary research.

This is Australia’s premier conference for career development of EMCRs from academia, industry and government and offers unique opportunities to network with leading scientific professionals from some of Australia’s top organisations in public and private enterprise.

Check out the speakers list online.

Registrations are closed, but there are a bunch of ways you can participate remotely.

Ockham’s Razor Live at the Royal Society of Victoria

The ABC podcast Ockham’s Razor is a soapbox for all things scientific. Different speakers from diverse backgrounds share their stories, insights, arguments or tributes—anything that can grip an audience by the ears for 10 straight minutes.

This Thursday 19 April they’ll be live from the Royal Society of Victoria from 7pm.

Join in live or via the wireless as MC Natasha Mitchell takes on a range of topics from social media to medical marketing to meteorology, featuring:

  • People’s quest for ‘perfect’ private parts—Gemma Sharp, clinical psychologist and researcher, Monash University
  • Talking about the weather ain’t boring—Nate Byrne, ABC News Breakfast weather guru
  • Stem cell therapies: sorting the science from the snake oil—Megan Munsie, stem cell scientist, University of Melbourne
  • Innovation: turning the talk into action—Krystal Evans, CEO, Biomelbourne Network
  • Share if you care: facts, fear and Facebook—Tanya Ha, science journalist and communicator, Science in Public
  • Concussion: not just a knock on the head—Roger Rees, neuroscientist and author, Flinders University
  • Searching for life below the waves: from the Australian Abyss to Larsen C—Melanie Mackenzie, zoologist and marine invertebrate collection manager, Museums Victoria

You can listen to Ockham’s Razor now via RNiTunes or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.

Planning a conference? Share your science outside the venue

A major conference is a unique opportunity to put your field of science in the media spotlight. You’re bringing the thought leaders of your field together in one place—why not run a media and engagement program to share the science with other stakeholders and the broader public?

We can help you build the buzz for your conference through social media, help organise public events, write and issue media releases, run a conference media desk, line up photo opportunities, and gain Australian and international media coverage.

Our team has experience in conferences including managing the media programs for:

  • last year’s World Congress on Public Health—a 2,700+ delegate conference that generated over three hours of national radio cover, plus TV, radio and online from the BBC to Buzzfeed
  • the 2012 High Energy Physics Conference—a small conference, but one that co-announced the discovery of the Higgs boson with CERN. As well as supporting CERN’s own media conferences held jointly between Melbourne and Geneva, we serviced more than 130 media interview requests in 48 hours
  • the 19th International Congress of Genetics, held in Melbourne in 2003. We managed a media room with 120 journalists and generated an hour of national TV coverage, 16 hours of national radio coverage and over 20 pages of major metro print coverage.

If you’d like to talk about communication options for your conference get in touch.

You can see examples of our work at:

Need to talk about your research but unsure how? Join our media training courses

Conveying the complexity of your research, your life’s work, into a 30-second grab for the media can be hard. The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story.

Join Science in Public for their one-day media and communication training workshop and get some help.

We will help you find the right words to explain your research in a way that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders.

Two experienced science communicators will work with you to find the story in your research. Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the Higgs boson, and revealed the link between CSIRO’s Wi-Fi patent and Aussie astronomy.

Working journalists from television, print and radio will join us over the course of the day to explain what makes news for them. And you’ll get the chance to practice being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

In 2018, our media and communication training course for scientists will be in:

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 5 June, Tuesday 31 July, Tuesday 9 October
  • Adelaide: Tuesday 8 May, Wednesday 14 November
  • Sydney: Wednesday 4 July, Wednesday 29 August
  • Perth: Thursday 10 May, Friday 7 December
  • Other cities & dates on demand.

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite.

Or design your own bespoke communication training course

We offer a flexible range of training programs to help your researchers understand their audiences, the essence of their story, and how to build their profile with the audiences and stakeholders that matter for their projects and for their long-term career development.

Our offerings include:

  • Meet your audience: from government, business, and/or the media
  • Make your pitch: what’s the essence of your story
  • Build your profile: websites, media, social media
  • Make your story work for mainstream media
  • Presentation training: make your story come to life
  • Photography and videography for scientists.

For more information on a bespoke course, visit or call us on (03) 9398 1416

Science in Public—planning, mentoring, communicating

Contact me to find out more about our services to train, mentor, plan and deliver media and communication strategies for science.

We offer:

Communication plans, mentoring and training
We can review your stakeholders, messages and tools and help you and your communication team refine your plans. We offer this service for individual announcements or for a whole program or institute.

Media releases, launches, and campaigns
We can help you develop an outreach program, from a simple media release through to a launch, a summit, a conference, or a film.

Publications and copy-writing
From a tweet to a newsletter; from a brochure to a Nature supplement, we can write compelling and accurate science-driven copy which captures the essence of your story and purpose.