Fresh Science coming to NSW and SA; Vic Prizes open; use Science Week…

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

More Fresh Science: We’re pleased to announce Fresh Science events in New South Wales and South Australia. They join Victoria, North Queensland, South Queensland and Western Australia.

So we have sixty places around the country. Please consider nominating any early career researchers you know who have a peer reviewed result and little or no media coverage.

We’re extending the deadline to Wednesday 1 July to give those in NSW and SA a bit more time.

Also aimed at early-career scientists are 12 Victorian Fellowships each worth $18,000. And the two $50,000 Victoria Prizes are also open for one more week.

Most science prize winners say they never would have considered nominating until pushed to do so by a colleague. So I encourage you to consider who deserves a push. Prizes can make a real difference to the careers of our best researchers.

Coming up: National Science Week – how will you celebrate science?

Also scholarships for health researchers, and a prize that recognises scientific courage: standing up for good, evidence-based science. It’s a UK prize open to Australians.

Kind regards,

Fresh Science in every mainland state

We’ve added South Australia and New South Wales to the list of states where we’re running Fresh Science this year. It’s now up and running in all the mainland states. Our thanks to University of New South Wales and the Australian Museum, University of South Australia, Flinders University, University of Adelaide and the SA Museum for their support.

We’re extending the deadline to Wednesday 1 July to give early-career researchers in those states have enough time to get their nominations in.

Fresh Science is a national competition that selects researchers with research results, an invention, or a discovery, trains them in how to tell their story, and helps them share their findings with the media and the public.

We’re looking for:

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

Nominate now at It’s relatively quick and pain-free.

Or, have a beer with this year’s Fresh Scientists.

Get a taste of what’s happening in labs across the nation with the Fresh Scientists talking at a pub near you. Look out for pub nights in: Melbourne, Townsville, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney.

National Science Week: you in?

Celebrate all things science and technological during National Science Week from 15-23 August.

Now is the time to take your science out into the community.

We’ve just been appointed as the national media and communication agency for the next four years. So, over the coming weeks we’ll tell you more about how you can use Science Week.

This year’s Science Week is shaping up to be out of this world, with

  • astrophysicist, author and presenter of Cosmos Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • astronaut Chris Hadfield
  • over a thousand science events
  • ‘Galaxy Explorer’ – the national experiment, inviting ordinary Australians to do real science – classifying galaxies to understand how they grow and evolve.

The secret of Science Week is strength in numbers: local events and stories together build the buzz that becomes a national shout.

Now is the time to register any events you’re planning, whether it be a simple science-themed ‘Brain Break’ morning tea in your workplace or a mega-celebrity science public event. Registering is important – both for building the buzz and getting bums on seats!

Register any events you’re holding on the National Science Week website.

We will be providing communication support for event organisers and briefing media outlets with tasty story leads. If you have an event or topic you think might have strong media potential, let us know and we’ll consider including it in media releases and briefings. Email us at

Our Science Week team is being led by Tanya Ha, the award-winning environmental writer and former Catalyst reporter.

Courageous science rewarded

Remember the false vaccine-autism link? Heard a number of myths about nuclear power, climate change and cancer? Last year, Emily Willingham and David Robert Grimes were recognised for their sound, evidence-based communication on these topics despite legal threats and direct abuse.

The John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science is a £2000 prize that recognises those who communicate on a matter of public interest, with an emphasis on those who have faced difficulty or hostility in doing so.

If you know someone who has gone above and beyond to stand up for good science, consider nominating them for the 2015 John Maddox Prize.

Judging criteria are:

  • Clear communication of good science, despite adversity
  • Nature of adversity faced
  • Placement of the evidence in the wider debate, engaging others
  • Level of influence on the public debate.

Deadline for nominations is 20 August and full details are here. The John Maddox Prize is run by Nature, the Kohn Foundation and Sense about Science.

The winner will be announced in Nature and the award presented at a reception in November. You can follow progress on #MaddoxPrize.

For any queries contact Victoria Murphy:

Crowdfunding for emerging scientists with a research idea

The Inspire Australia Research Competition asks scientists to post a written and videoed description of their project. Then, sponsors are asked to pledge funds for the ultimate prize allocation.

The forum showcases innovative Australian research and provides a possible route to alternative funding—important as government cuts bite into research and erode scientists’ job security.

The current prize pool stands at $9000 but this will increase with community and scientific organisational support. The more funding that is pledged, the better encouragement for early and mid-career researchers to pursue research projects and to stick with science as a career.

Anyone can vote to help decide the winners, along with Inspire Australia’s expert judges. The prize-money allocation will follow the proportion of votes received.

The competition is an initiative of the Australian Early to Mid-Career Researcher Forum of the Australian Academy of Science.

Applications close 10 July. Find out more here.

Victoria Prizes and Victoria Fellowships

  • Do you know a scientific leader in Victoria whose research aids the community?
  • Are you an early-career Victorian researcher?

The two Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation—one for physical sciences and another for life sciences—are worth $50,000 each. They recognise Victoria’s most outstanding leaders in science, and the contribution their research has made to the community. Nominate a colleague here.

There are 12 Victoria Fellowships—six in physical sciences and six in life sciences— each worth $18,000. The Fellowships support early-career scientists and researchers to study abroad. Apply here.

Nominations close 25 June 2015.

Menzies scholarship support for health researchers

If you know an outstanding Australian health researcher who has completed the first stage of their PhD, encourage them to apply for a $55,000 scholarship from the Menzies Foundation.

The two-year Menzies Foundation Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences is open to any researcher studying at an Australian university, and the successful applicant can also apply for a further $25,000 grant to develop their research project for the first four years post-study.

Previous scholars have used the funds to study macular degeneration, connective tissue disease and childhood brain-injury rehabilitation.

Applications close 30 June 2015. Apply here.

Media training courses

Improve the way you tell your science story at our one-day media training workshops.

What’s your story? Can you condense your work into a narrative that will work for your stakeholders and the public? How can you increase your chances of getting your story on Channel Seven, Nine, and Ten, and be proud of the result? Are you just terrified of cameras or of presenting your story in 140 characters?

Spend the day with two experienced science communicators and working journalists from TV, print, and radio to workshop your science and find out how to make it work for the media whilst staying true to the science.

Courses are $800 (ex. GST) and include morning and afternoon tea, and lunch at a local restaurant.

Courses coming up in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth. More information at

To book, or for more information, contact Ellie on or myself on

More about Science in Public

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.

Kind regards,

Niall Byrne

Creative Director
Science in Public

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood VIC 3015
PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015

03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977