Last chance to push your colleagues for the PM’s Prizes and others; Nature promoting Melbourne…

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

The deadline for this year’s Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science is next Wednesday. The first stage is relatively painless so please push your unsung heroes of science and innovation forward.

We know that most nominations happen because a peer or supervisor nudges the nominee forward. So nudge away. We’re especially keen to see a strong field for the early-career prizes. The Prize for New Innovators is great for young researchers who have science/engineering credibility and have made a commercial outcome possible.

And for the up-and-coming researchers with the gift of the gab, consider the Top 5 under 40 competition organised by the ABC and UNSW.

Here’s a list of dates for you:

More on all of these below. 

Be part of Nature’s promotion of Melbourne’s research leadership, and explore Melbourne’s rich research networks online.

Nature is organising an international promotion of Melbourne’s research leadership.

It will include:

  • an open source interactive map building on last year’s Nature Index
  • a careers supplement published globally in Nature on 18 May
  • promotion and distribution at BIO in San Diego.

The project is supported by Biomedical Research Victoria. There are opportunities for adverts and job adverts. If you’d like to participate please let me know on or 0417 131 977.

More below.

We’ve been at the World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne all week, with over 2,500 delegates from around Australia and the world.

We’ve heard about everything from chemical weapons to using apps to get kids to eat their veggies; how our climate and obesity crises are linked; what we’re doing to fight TB, HIV, AIDS and hepatitis in the developing world; whether globalisation is good for our health; and how Australia is winning the war on tobacco.

All our media releases are available online and you’re welcome to use the content to promote the work of your researchers. You can also catch up on the action on Twitter via @WCPH2017 and #WCPH2017.

Also in this bulletin:

Kind regards,



Who are you nominating for this year’s Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science?

Each year, the Australian Government honours Australia’s best scientists, innovators, and science teachers through the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

But we need your help to find the humble science heroes, promising early-career researchers, media-shy innovators, and modest teachers who deserve to have their work recognised on a national stage.

The prizes really do change the careers of the recipients. Here’s what Angela Moles from UNSW had to say about winning the 2013 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year:

“Winning this award is the single best thing that has happened in my career, and it clinched the success of my application for promotion to Professor. There’s also a certain peace-of-mind associated with knowing that your head of school, dean, and even people in the Australian Research Council and Australian Academy of Science know who you are, what you do, and are pleased with what you are doing.”

Prize recipients will receive national recognition and meet leaders in science, industry, education and government at an awards dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

Nominations close 5 pm Canberra time on Wednesday 12 April.

Don’t miss your chance—nominate now.

The prizes are:

  • The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science ($250 000)
  • The Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation ($250 000)
  • The Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year ($50 000)
  • The Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year ($50 000)
  • Prize for New Innovators ($50 000)
  • The Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools ($50 000 shared between the recipient and their school)
  • The Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools ($50 000 shared between the recipient and their school).

It’s simple to nominate in the first (shortlisting) stage, with an online form. If a nomination is shortlisted, further material will be required in the final stage.

For eligibility, selection criteria, nomination guidelines and forms, visit: or call 13 28 46.

To read more about past recipients and the awards dinner visit:


Be part of Nature’s promotion of Melbourne’s research leadership, and explore Melbourne’s rich research networks online

Nature is organising a major promotion of Melbourne’s research leadership.

It will include:

  • an open source interactive map building on last year’s Nature Index
  • a careers supplement published globally in Nature on 18 May
  • promotion and distribution at BIO in San Diego.

The project is supported by Biomedical Research Victoria. There are opportunities for adverts and job adverts. If you’d like to participate please let me know on or 0417 131 977.

The interactive map will reveal:

  • Where is the top research happening in and around Melbourne?
  • Where are the major papers coming from?
  • Who is collaborating?

You’ll be surprised by some of links.

This updateable map will be based on publications in the top natural science journals tracked by the Nature Index website (, the open access platform owned by Springer Nature, publisher of Nature, with data published under a creative commons license.

The online map will be launched together with the NatureJobs Career Guide on Melbourne, to be published in the 18 May issue of Nature and distributed at the 2017 BIO International Convention in San Diego (19-22 June). The map will also carry a feed of jobs and events in Melbourne from NatureJobs.

The map will later be expanded to include articles from the more than 60 clinical medical titles expected to be added to the Index towards the end of 2017.

You can get a flavour of the map from the 2016 Nature Index.


What is international best practice for engaging youth, and girls, in STEM?

“Industry engagement, better mentoring, and giving STEM a more human face,” according to PM’s Prize winning teacher Sarah Chapman.

Sarah Chapman, who is a science teacher in Townsville, and Dr Rebecca Vivian from the University of Adelaide spent the past year traveling to Finland, Germany, Singapore, England, the US, and New Zealand to find out what they are doing right in STEM education.

In the USA, they found two schools sending students on industry mentorships where they were able to contribute to real research. One boy even co-authored two academic papers, which contributed to his school grades. The benefits to the students, the school, and the industry partners were obvious to Sarah.

They also loved STEMettes program in the UK, which is showing girls a more human face of science, and providing them with mentoring from outstanding role models. Co-founder Anne-Marie Imafidon is one of the Forbes Top 30 under 30 and left a career in tech to help make STEM cool for girls.

So how can we apply what they learned in Australia?

The results of their work have been published in the Engaging the Future of STEM report, launched last week.

Here’s what they think we need:

  1. A coordinated national strategy for building teacher capacity in STEM education and within specific STEM disciplines.
  2. Develop an industry-funded national project to build capacity of practicing STEM teacher professionals.
  3. Map Australia’s STEM ecosystem: identifying key stakeholders, programs and exemplars in best practice.
  4. Develop a STEM framework, to provide guidance for STEM stakeholders, incorporating the benchmarks for quality STEM programs.
  5. Maximise opportunities for engagement, inspiration and building aspirations of girls by establishing a Celebration of STEM Women program.
  6. Conduct industry-led research into targeted STEM Education topics in need of urgent attention.
  7. Develop, in collaboration with industry, a national student STEM mentorship program.
  8. Develop a suite of STEM engagement resources, drawing on existing resources, tailored to the Australian STEM context and different STEM disciplines.

Engaging the Future of STEM : study of international best practice for promoting the participation of young people, particularly girls, in science, technology engineering and Maths (STEM), conducted by Barbara Cail STEM Fellows (Ms Sarah Chapman and Dr Rebecca Vivian) was funded and supported by the Australian Government in partnership with Chief Executive Women Ltd.

You can read the full report at:


Stories of Australian Science 2017: put your science in front of those who matter most

Stories of Australian Science is used by journalists, scientists, politicians and science policy-makers, as a useful reference for keeping up-to-date with new and exciting developments in Australian research.

It’s an online collection and annual print publication bringing together discoveries, prize-winners and top achievers.

The 2017 print edition will be promoted to delegates at the World Conference of Science Journalists in October and the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (TV producers) in late November, both in San Francisco.

If you’d like to have your research or the work of your scientists/institution featured, contact Niall on or call the office on (03) 9398 1416.

All we need from you are a couple of dot points and some contact details. We’ll interview the key scientist/s then write and edit the stories, running them by both the commissioner and scientist so you’re happy we’ve got the facts right.

We’ll print 15,000 copies and distribute them to journalists, scientific researchers, politicians and science policymakers as a useful reference for keeping up-to-date with new and exciting developments in Australian research.

We’ll share them on social media, and put them online where users can search by field of science, state, institution or key word to see the science stories that have been included in the current year and previous years. And everything we write is available for you to use in other publications.

Prices start at $1,200 + GST for a single story, and are discounted for multiple stories.

More details at You can read the 2016 edition here.


Communication training—book now for 2017

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.

“The biggest prize I received as a Fresh Science finalist was intensive media training by Science in Public,” says astrophysicist Alan Duffy. “I gained experience in different media formats such as radio and TV with practice interviewing, and invaluable coaching in how to tailor my message that I use to this day.”

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

We also hold regular media and communication training workshops around Australia, for scientists and those who communicate science.

In 2017, our media and communication training course for scientists will be in:

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 2 May, Thursday 22 June
  • Canberra: Wednesday 17 May
  • Sydney: Thursday 25 May
  • Adelaide: Wednesday 31 May
  • Perth: Wednesday 5 July

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite.

In these courses, we’ll help you shape the story of your research into a form that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders. The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.


Other prizes, funding, and opportunities

Calling Tall Poppies

The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise excellent up-and-coming researchers, alongside a proven ability and passion to engage the wider community with science.

Run by the Australian Institute for Policy & Science, these awards are often a stepping stone to other science awards.

Nominations close Monday 10 April 2017.

More at:


BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards

The 2017 BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards are open. Launched in 2015, these awards celebrate, honour and profile outstanding women in the biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceutical and health innovation sector.

The awards are open to candidates from member organisations of the BioMelbourne Network.

Applications close Friday 14 April 2017.

Full details regarding the nomination process, eligibility, criteria and nomination forms are online at

Nominate and apply for the 2018 Australian Academy of Science Awards

Help recognise the science leaders in your organisation by nominating them for the Australian Academy of Science’s honorific awards.

The Academy’s honorific awards are open to senior scientists as well as early and mid-career researchers who are making amazing contributions to Australian science across a range of disciplines in the physical and biological sciences.

The Australian Academy of Science is also calling for applications for research, conference and travel grants. The closing date for award nominations is 20 April 2017 and the closing date to apply for travel, conference and research support is 1 June 2017.

For further information and distribution you can download the awards poster. You can also read more about the awards and the Academy’s opportunities at

For enquiries please email the Awards Team at or call 02 6201 9407.

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 in Sydney at ABC Radio National, supported by UNSW.

Early-career researchers under 40 who are working in Australian universities and research organisations across science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical research are encouraged to apply.

Applications close Friday 21 April.

More information at

Eureka Prizes

Known as the ‘Oscars of Australian science,’ the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes celebrate research, science communication and journalism, leadership, and students. Finalists will be announced online on July 28, and winners at a gala dinner on August 30.

Applications close Friday 5 May 2017.

More information at