Nominations open for the CSL Florey medal; travel grants for young scientists; and a little wager…

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

Prizes, grants and other opportunities for Australian scientists:

In Sydney this month, scientists and science communicators considered the future of Inspiring Australia, the federal government’s strategy for engagement with science.

The clear message from the crowd was that Australia’s scientists are enthusiastic but need direction and encouragement to tell the world about their work. They’re calling for more active institutional support for outreach and communication.

Inspiring Australia is responding by sharing more resources and better information about the benefits of promoting science. We’re building their new website – – which includes details of science prizes, events and other opportunities for scientists, whether they’re just starting out as PhD students or have already established their career.

And of course, there are always opportunities to nominate researchers for prizes, from the CSL Florey medal and the Victoria Prize for scientists at the top of their game to Fresh Science, which gives PhD students and postdocs free media training and introduces them to key stakeholders in government and business.

Receiving prizes or media coverage can open up new career or commercial opportunities. We’ve seen the impact with past Fresh Scientists, L’Oreal Fellows and others. Many young researchers have a great story that deserves to be told. And it doesn’t take a lot of training for that story to emerge.

Join me for a beer on Monday 22 July for Fresh Science in the pub, where we’ll introduce this year’s Fresh Science national finalists. If you’re not convinced by the end of the night that science communication is important and easy to support, then the beer’s on me.

Kind regards,


Seeking top researchers who are following in Florey’s footsteps

CSL Florey Medal

Nominations are open for the $50,000 biennial CSL Florey Medal

Sir Howard Florey took penicillin from an idea to a drug that has saved literally hundreds of millions of lives.

Nominate Australia’s best health and medical researchers for the $50,000 CSL Florey Medal, established by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) in 1998 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Howard Florey.

The CSL Florey Medal honours Australian researchers who have had significant achievements in biomedical science and/or in advancing human health.

  • Nominees should have completed a significant portion of their nominated research achievements in Australia.
  • Nominations will be accepted for an individual, and for up to three named persons for joint nominations. Full research teams are not eligible.
  • Self-nominations are not eligible.
  • Nominees must be either permanent residents or citizens of Australia.

While the selection criteria focus on research achievements, nominations from those working in industry or government sectors and demonstrating an equally high level of achievement are encouraged.

The winner will receive a silver medal and a $50,000 cheque at the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes’ annual dinner in Parliament House, Canberra, on Monday 28 October 2013.

Since 1998, the prize has been awarded seven times: Graeme Clark (2011), John Hopwood (2009), Ian Frazer (2006), Peter Colman (2004), Colin Masters (2002), Jacques Miller (2000), Robin Warren and Barry Marshall (1998).

For more details and to nominate online, head to:

Innovation and discovery: nominate for the 2013 Victoria Prize

Time’s running out: nominations close next Thursday 27 June

The Victoria Prize celebrates leadership, determination and creativity. It also highlights the many ways in which research and development of international significance are conducted in Victoria.

Two prizes, both worth $50,000, will recognise an outstanding leader in life sciences and in physical sciences.

Both prizes will reward a scientific discovery or technological innovation, or a series of such achievements that significantly advances knowledge. The clear potential to produce a commercial outcome or other substantial benefit to the community will be highly regarded.

Last year’s Victoria Prize winners were:

  • Professor Ana Deletic, a world leader in storm-water management and the only female professor of civil engineering in the Group of Eight universities
  • Professor Terence (Terry) Speed, a bioinformatician from WEHI who is one of the world’s most-cited mathematicians.

More details at:

$18,000 Victoria Fellowships for international travel and study

The Victoria Fellowships also close on Thursday 27 June. Up to 12 recipients will be awarded up to $18,000 each for international study missions.

A Victoria Fellowship could support you to:

  • progress start-up initiatives or a commercial idea
  • undertake a short-term investigative activity of business or public benefit
  • undertake specialised and advanced technological courses or training
  • attend particular laboratory or industrial site(s) to learn
  • attend an international meeting, in conjunction with other planned activities
  • use test facilities not available locally

More details at:

veski is managing the prizes on behalf of the Victorian Government.

“New knowledge, ideas and a feeling of inspiration”: the EMBL PhD Symposium

20 travel grants to join the world’s best PhD students in Germany

EMBL Australia will support 20 Australian PhD students to join their peers from around the world at the EMBL PhD Symposium at EMBL’s main campus in Heidelberg, Germany.

It’s an opportunity to make connections with students from around the world and get new insight into your own research direction. The Symposium brings together fellow students from around the world for a three-day series of talks by leading experts – and by students themselves.

It’s organised each year by first-year PhD students at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and includes networking opportunities, poster sessions and workshops with experts.

This year’s theme is Competition in Biology – The Race for Survival from Molecules to Systems:

From enzyme catalysis to ecosystems dynamics, biology is riddled with competition. DNA sequences compete for transcription factor binding to be expressed, cells in communities often compete for resources, pathogens compete against host immune systems, and on a larger scale, organisms compete against each other for limited resources in their environment.

Apply online at

Junior investigators wanted to join a national stem cell conference

Up to 50 travel grants from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Students – join the community of stem cell researchers in Australia and New Zealand at the 6th annual meeting of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research in Brisbane.

Flights and registration for 50 students and early-career researchers will be funded by the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, as part of its commitment to promote the study and use of stem cells.

This conference is a great chance to boost your profile, with plenty of speaking spots for junior investigators, awards for posters and presentations, and a special networking event.

The grants are only available to members of the Australian Society for Stem Cell Research – but you can join any time, and there are discounts for students.

Submit an abstract and apply for a grant at before Friday 26 July.

Media training for scientists in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth

Complex science is hard to get across when news needs a 30-second grab

The solution is to distil the essence of your science into a story. Our media training courses for scientists and communication staff will help you develop and target your news stories.

In this one-day course, you’ll meet three working journalists from print, TV and radio who will give you practice in being interviewed and teach you about life in the newsroom.

We’ve now selected dates for media training courses to the end of 2013:
Melbourne: Tuesday 6 August; Tuesday 3 September; Tuesday 15 October
Adelaide: Tuesday 17 September
Perth: Tuesday 1 October
Sydney: Monday 11 November

We also hold courses in other locations if there’s sufficient demand, and we welcome expressions of interest for possible future courses. If you can deliver four people we can probably find others in your area to make a course viable.

More details about the course online at

Freshly-trained Fresh Scientists ready to talk to media and the public

After five state finals involving 60 young scientists and 15 journalists, we’re looking forward to introducing the twelve national finalists to the world.

They’ve each had to: write their own press release; practice radio and TV interviews; polish up their ‘elevator pitch’; come up with answers to tricky questions; and entertain a crowd over a glass of wine at the end of the day.

In July, you’ll be able to meet them at events in Melbourne:

  • On Monday 22 July at the pub – the Duke of Kent, 293 La Trobe St
  • On Wednesday 24 July at the annual Fresh Science dinner
  • On Thursday 25 July at forums for high school students

The 2013 Fresh Science national finalists are:

  • Julie Lovisa, James Cook University
  • Wai Woo, Monash University
  • Alexe Bojovschi, RMIT University
  • Hossein Mokhtarzadeh, University of Melbourne
  • Robin Beck, University of New South Wales
  • Angela Crean, University of New South Wales
  • Christian Reynolds, University of South Australia
  • Yee Lian Chew, University of Sydney
  • Aliaa Shallan, University of Tasmania
  • Lee Hickey, University of Queensland
  • Evan Stephens, University of Queensland
  • Ruth Thornton, University of Western Australia

More details at

Online science event calendar

See more upcoming science events across the country at the new Inspiring Australia website:

Science City: Has Melbourne got what it takes?
Can we declare Melbourne a City of Science? A slice of our best brains dissect and analyse Melbourne’s scientific achievements and gaze over the horizon at our scientific future:

  • Sir Gus Nossal
  • Dr Andrew Nash – CSL Senior Vice President of Research
  • Dr Krystal Evans – 3RRR broadcaster and WEHI researcher
  • Dr Jee Hyun Kim – Florey Institute
  • Prof Peter Taylor – Director, Life Science Computation, VLSCI
  • Moderated by Peter Mares

Tuesday 25 June, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Deakin Edge, Federation Square (formerly BMW Edge)

More details at:

Worms for brains, electric fish and artificial lighting: Fresh Science national finals

Join us for a beer and hear leading early-career scientists reveal their discoveries in a pub using rhyme, reason and the odd firework.

Hear how a worm gene can regulate brain health and ageing; how studying electric fish can help prevent power outages; how nanotechnology and artificial lightning are improving personalised medicine; and much more.

Monday 22 July, 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start
Upstairs at the Duke of Kent, 293 La Trobe Street, Melbourne

More details at:

Victorian Government Programs and Grants for Life Sciences

Hear about the range of Victorian Government programs and grants available for life sciences organisations.

And then stay for a drink and chat with program managers for each of the initiatives to get a better sense of how your organisation can benefit.

Tuesday 23 July 2013, 3:00 – 6:00pm (includes hour of networking)
The Victorian Investment Centre, 55 Collins St, Melbourne

More details at:

Promoting opportunities for science through Inspiring Australia

Online resources for scientists and communicators

Over the coming months we’ll be developing a new website at and creating newsletters and other tools to support the sharing of ideas and celebrating achievement among the Inspiring Australia network.

We’ve also built a calendar of science events and prizes, drawing from the ABC, Science in Public’s own calendars and other resources.

In coming months we’ll be focusing on opportunities for early-career researchers and science leaders, plus community features to connect everyone engaged in science in Australia.

But in the meantime, please drop by and give us some feedback on the kind of information you need and how you want the community to grow.

And if you have exciting news, or an event you’d like to promote, let us know at: