No jargon, no lab coats at FameLab Australia. Plus prizes for scientists.

Bulletins, Science Communicators, Science stakeholder bulletins

Young scientists are performing around the country. No jargon, no lab coats… and they’ve only got 3 minutes. Come and support your researchers at FameLab Australia.

We need new ways to advocate for science and for science in policy – FameLab is one small step in that direction. While our science leaders talk big picture, I think we need to see more young scientists engaging locally: talking to journalists, politicians and the wider community about their discoveries.

Read on for more about FameLab, BioMedVic and prizes for research.

Prime Minister’s Prizes: nominations opened yesterday for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. You’ve got until 29 May to identify the national leaders, the fast risers, and the best teachers for national recognition, a big cheque and dinner with the PM.

Stem Cells: It’s the last chance for the new Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research. Two prizes are on offer, $50,000 each, to boost the careers of stem cell scientists who are five to ten years past their PhD or MD.

L’Oréal Laureates are awarded in Paris today and a Macquarie Uni student receives an international fellowship. Meanwhile nominations for the Australian Fellowships are open until 16 April.

BioMedVic opened for business this week – representing the heart of Australia’s biomedical research community in Victoria. It’s an evolution of the Bio21 Cluster.

Nature Publishing Index: who are the research leaders in the Asia-Pacific? Will China pass Japan? Who is top dog in Australia? Next Thursday we help release the Nature Publishing Index Asia-Pacific for 2013. We’ll be in touch with VCs and DVCs to give you a heads up early next week.

Lights! Camera! Science! Australia’s first FameLab

Support your early-career researchers as they vie for a trip to the UK

Passionate Aussie scientists are in the spotlight talking science. No jargon, no lab coats – props, music and poetry optional…. but they’ve only got 3 minutes.

Join us for a drink in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide for the State Heats of FameLab Australia – a competition that gives early-career researchers the chance to talk about their science in plain English.

The finalists will perfect their pitch with help from experts in communication and presentation, and we’ll help them tell the media and science community about their work, as we have done with Fresh Science for 16 years.

Come along for a drink and support the FameLab finalists from your organisation at the State Heats in the next few weeks.

The best from each state will jet over to Perth for the National Final in May, and the overall winner will head to the UK to represent Australia at the FameLab International Grand Final, at the Times Cheltenham Science Festival in June.

First up, in Brisbane on Tuesday 25 March, hosted by the University of Queensland:

Central Queensland University, James Cook University, the University of Queensland and QAAFI

At Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum on Thursday 27 March:

Macquarie University, The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Western Sydney, University of Wollongong, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

In Victoria, at Scienceworks on Wednesday 2 April:

The University of Melbourne, Monash University and MIMR, Deakin University, the Baker IDI, the East Gippsland Shire Council and CSIRO’s Materials Science and Engineering Division

In Western Australia on Tuesday 8 April at Freemantle’s Maritime Museum:

Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Telethon Institute, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Western Australia

And finally, in Adelaide on Thursday 10 April, we’ll welcome contestants from South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, including: The University of Adelaide, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, plus interlopers from ANU in Canberra, the Menzies Research Institute, the University of Tasmania and the Delft University of Technology.

All events are free to attend and all are welcome, but spots are limited. For catering, please RSVP at

FameLab is an initiative of The Times Cheltenham Science Festival. FameLab Australia is presented by the British Council, Cheltenham Festivals and Fresh Science; and supported by Inspiring Australia, the Western Australian Museum and the British High Commission, Canberra.

Launching Biomedical Research Victoria: a unified voice and a framework for advocacy

Millions of people around the world have had their health and their lives improved by Victorian researchers. Biomedical research is also an important driver of economic development in the state.

On Monday, Biomedical Research Victoria was launched by the Victorian Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC.

It represents the heart of Australia’s biomedical research: the hospitals, universities, research institutions, CSIRO, and other organisations that make up this remarkable research community.
Biomedical Research Victoria provides a unified voice and a framework for advocacy, collaboration and innovation for the benefit of its members and all Victorians.

It will also help Melbourne’s research community stay in front of the rising research clusters in the Asia Pacific.

Biomedical Research Victoria was formerly known as the Bio21 Cluster. It was established in 2001 as an initiative of the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Health, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and the State Government of Victoria.

Read more about the organisation and its members at:

Follow them on Twitter: @BioMedVic and  follow their CEO Jan Tennent at @BioMedVicCEO

Nominate Australia’s best for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Each year the Australian Government rewards and celebrates the nation’s best scientists and science teachers through the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

Help us to identify Australia’s best scientists and teachers – we’re looking for:

  • An exceptional Australian scientist whose contribution to the nation has not yet been recognised
  • Early to mid-career scientists whose outstanding research results are already making an impact
  • Science teachers – at primary and secondary level – who are dedicated to effective and creative science teaching

These five leaders in science and education will share in $500,000 worth of grants, which will be presented at a dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

The winners will receive national recognition, and meet leaders in science, industry, education and government.

The five prizes are:

  • $300,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
  • $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, shared between the teacher and their school
  • $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools shared between the teacher and their school

Nominations are encouraged from scientists working in a wide range of fields: from physics and astronomy to engineering and IT; from medical research to basic biology to agriculture. Past winners have come from both basic and applied research backgrounds.

Nominations are now open and close at 5.00pm AEST on Thursday 29 May 2014:,

Last chance: Two $50,000 prizes for up-and-coming leaders in stem cell research

Applications are now open for the inaugural Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research, from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

Two up-and-coming leaders in stem cell science will be awarded $50,000 each to boost their career to the next level, with the support of stem cell pioneer Professor Don Metcalf as a personal mentor.

The Metcalf Prizes are open to mid-career researchers, 5 to10 years past their PhD or MD, working in stem cell research in Australia.

The winners will be chosen for their scientific excellence, proven leadership ability and the potential to have a continuing influence on stem cell research in Australia.

The prizes are named in honour of pioneering Australian stem cell scientist Professor Don Metcalf, who first identified colony stimulating factors, the molecules that tell stem cells to multiply and mature to boost the immune system.

Over a 50-year career, Don’s work has helped transform cancer treatment and transplant medicine, and paved the way for stem cells to treat conditions from stroke to blood diseases.

In addition to the prize money, the two recipients – one male and one female – will have the support of Professor Metcalf as a mentor.

The Metcalf Prizes support the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s mission to promote the study and use of stem cells in the prevention or control of disease in human beings and to enhance stem cell public education.

How to apply

L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships

Applications are now open, and close at midnight on Wednesday 16 April

Three AU$25,000 Fellowships will be awarded to outstanding young female scientists through the highly competitive L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship program.

The Fellowships will be awarded to three Australian or New Zealand women who have shown scientific excellence in their career to date.

The Fellowships are intended to help early career female scientists to consolidate their careers and rise to leadership positions in science, by providing funding for travel, equipment or childcare.

This year’s Fellows will join a cohort of 23 past Fellows, who’ve gone on to contribute significantly to their fields of science.

To get a sense of the qualities expected of entrants into this highly competitive Fellowship, we encourage potential applicants to read the profiles of past recipients at

Fellowships are available to Australian and New Zealand women researchers who are no more than five years past their PhD and have shown excellence in their career to date.

The Fellowship can be used to help finance the Fellow’s scientific research, including the costs of equipment, consumables, travel and conferences. The funds can also be used to hire a research assistant, or cover the cost of childcare.

The online application form, full Fellowship conditions and eligibility criteria are available online at

If you have any questions, please read the FAQ, or email

Take your research to Europe with an EMBL student travel grant

Applications close Friday 4 April for the EMBL Australia PhD travel grants

PhD students have limited opportunities to travel overseas for training and networking.

EMBL Australia is offering travel grants and support for students to spend time at European Molecular Biology Laboratory campuses in Germany, France, Italy or the UK.

Students can join training courses, conferences or symposia across Europe, learning from experts in a wide range of life sciences.

The following travel grants are available in 2014:

  • The EMBL Australia PhD Travel Grants provide up to $3,500 for short trips of less than six weeks, or up to $7,500 for a longer visit of up to 6 months. Applications for travel between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2014 are now open, until 4 April 2014.
  • The EMBL PhD Symposium Grants offer travel to Europe to attend the annual EMBL PhD Symposium – a conference designed for PhD students, organised by PhD students. Applications will open in April/May 2014 for travel to the symposium in October 2014.
  • The EMBL Australia International PhD Program enables students to undertake their PhD at an EMBL facility in Europe. The PhD is jointly awarded and co-supervised by EMBL and the student’s Australian university, and students are provided with a stipend and travel support.

These grants are open to PhD students studying life sciences at any Australian university or research institute.

EMBL Australia is also offering training opportunities in Australia with their second annual PhD training course – a two week intensive program giving students a solid grounding in a range of life science disciplines.

This year’s course will be held at the Australian National University in July.

For more details on those courses, and all of EMBL Australia’s student programs, head to:

Media training for scientists – 2014 dates across Australia

Complex science can be hard to get across in the media. Journalists are looking for a 10-second grab while you’re trying explain years of research.

In our one-day media training course, we help participants distil the essence of their science into an interesting story that works for the media and is still true to the science.

It’s for anyone who needs to communicate complex and technical ideas via the media, and will help them improve their chances of getting media coverage and being accurately reported.

We’re now taking bookings for courses in the first half of 2014:

  • Melbourne: Wednesday 30 April, Wednesday 2 July
  • Sydney: Tuesday 6 May
  • Adelaide: Friday 23 May
  • Perth: Monday 14 July

More information about the course and bookings at

We can also hold media training courses in other places if there’s sufficient demand, and welcome expressions of interest for possible future courses.

Contact Helen on to chat about the options.