Fresh Science; put your science in front of journos; Europe travel for PhD students; the sound of breaking glass

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

Do you know any exceptional early career researchers with peer reviewed papers and potential to be a media star?

If so, consider nominating them for Fresh Science – a competition where we train them and throw them to the media lions – generating hundreds of stories.

More info on that below, and also:

Nominations open today for Fresh Science.

Fresh Science is a communication boot camp for researchers no more than five years out from their PhD.

Fresh Science creates a cadre of media and public-friendly scientists and generates hundreds of media stories about Australian science.

We teach the ‘Freshies’ essential communication skills and get their stories out to local, national and international media.

We also get the Freshies to speak at local schools, entertain a crowd at a pub event and present their work in other less serious ways.

We’re after early-career scientists with a peer-reviewed discovery or invention for Fresh Science 2012.

Last year we heard about smart bandages, the sawfish saw, printable solar cells, wallaby immune tricks, ocean arteries, backward planets, designer roots to combat drought and what a little lupin in your diet can do…and more.

This year we are introducing state finals so that more young scientists across the country can have the Fresh Science experience.

We will invite short-listed entrants to the state finals for a day of media training in their home state. Then we’ll fly winners from these state finals to Melbourne for the Fresh Science national final.

We won’t hold finals in every state – but entries from every state and territory will be eligible for the national final. Nomination numbers and sponsorship will determine locations of the state finals. If you can help us bring Fresh Science to your State please get in touch.

In essence we’re looking for:

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

Nominations for Fresh Science are now open and close 5pm, Thursday 14 June 2012.

Please circulate this information to anyone who you think would fit the criteria.

You can

Now in its 15th year, Fresh Science is supported by New Scientist and Museum Victoria.

Get your science in front of thousands of journalists and decision-makers

We are gathering stories for our next magazine collection and online showcase of Australian science — Stories of Australian Science 2012.

We’ll publish online by 30 June, in print by 31 July, and present them to guests at the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science dinner in October.

A story in this collection is a great opportunity to highlight your research to journalists, policy-makers, science leaders, prospective research students, and collaborators—both in Australia and across the world.

We write the stories for you: all you need to do is pick the interesting work you want to highlight in your organisation and give us the scientist’s contact details.

We’re taking submissions until Friday 1 June.

We’ll print at least 8,000 copies and send them:

  • to Australian and international journalists including our contacts at Nature, Scientific American, Science News, Reuters, the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Asahi Shimbun and the Financial Times.
  • to all Federal MPs and Ministers, science agency leaders, Australian embassies and consulates, foreign embassies in Canberra, science educators; and the broader science community.

And you receive up to 100 copies for every story you submit.

The cost of participation is $900 plus GST per story.

Each story includes the scientist’s contact details to enable interested people to follow up on it.

All stories will be available on our website. You can search past storybooks by state, organisation or field of science here: We can also feed stories to your website.

You can read the print version on your desktop or tablet computer at:

We first published this magazine-style collection of Australian science stories for the 5th World Conference of Science Journalists in 2007. We’ve since published six collections, including special collections on Australian research collaborations with China and the US.

If you’re interested in participating in Stories of Australian Science 2012, drop me an email or give me a call.

Thirty travel grants for PhD students to train at EMBL in Italy, Germany or the UK

Mingle with other PhD students in Germany, or study at one of EMBL’s five facilities in Europe with a travel grant from EMBL Australia.

EMBL – the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – is a global powerhouse of life science research. They nurture leading young researchers and provide up to nine years of guaranteed funding for young program leaders. Support starts at PhD level with a comprehensive suite of training and career development programs for PhD students.

EMBL Australia was created to maximise the benefits of Australia’s associate membership to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

These grants are for Australia’s best young PhD students – those with the potential to become leaders of one of the 18 programs that EMBL Australia will set up across Australia.

There are two programs with a total of 30 grants for Australian PhD students in 2012.

EMBL PhD Symposium Travel Grant Program

There is $3000 available for each of 20 PhD students to attend the 14th International EMBL PhD Symposium, 25-27 October, 2012 at EMBL’s Heidelberg campus in Germany.

The Symposium is organised by EMBL’s PhD cohort to bring other students from across the world to Europe to meet their peers and hear from leaders in molecular biology and bioinformatics.

EMBL Australia Travel Grant Program

Train at one of EMBL’s five European facilities, go to a conference or take a short course. EMBL Australia is providing up to 10 places for Australian PhD students to visit EMBL’s labs in Heidelberg and Hamburg in Germany, Grenoble in France, Hinxton at Cambridge University, or Monterotondo in Rome, Italy.

You can apply for $3500 for a short visit (up to six weeks), or $7500 for a long-term visit (up to six months).

Both grants are open to students in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, informatics, engineering and molecular medicine who are currently enrolled in a PhD program at an Australian University, and have not yet submitted a thesis.

Information on how to apply is on the EMBL Australia website at:

Keep track of the science prizes you’re eligible for

We’ve just launched a calendar of Australian science prizes. You can filter to find prizes that you’re eligible for: perhaps just prizes for agriculture or health, for early-career scientists or students. Search for a prize you’ve already heard of, or simply browse the calendar to see what’s coming up soon.

Here’s an update on some major prizes, you can get more details from the calendar at

Just closed:

  • The L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships;
  • The Eureka Prizes and;
  • The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

If you know any outstanding women scientists, they can still apply for the UNESCO-L’Oréal International Fellowships. There’s more information, including eligibility criteria, online at:

A couple of other prizes closing this month are:

  • Western Australian Science Awards – up to $50,000 and;
  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute awards and medals – a range of prizes for chemists including PhD students, young researchers and chemistry teachers.

Forever Young – Prof Dame Linda Partridge to give the 4th Graeme Clark Oration in Melbourne on Wednesday 18 July

Professor Dame Linda Partridge imagines a future in which we all stay young by taking a pill that reduces the impact of ageing. She’s not promising immortality, rather she’s working toward a future in which we age gracefully – healthy, happy and active until the end.

She predicts that within a decade, there will be drugs which could keep us healthy in body and mind long into our old age. Starting in our 40s, we could take medicines to prevent diseases like Alzheimers and heart disease; to preserve our vital organs; and even to keep our hair full and shiny.

Dame Linda will visit Melbourne in July to deliver the 2012 Graeme Clark Oration, hosted by the ICT for Life Sciences Forum.  The event will be chaired by the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan.

The Graeme Clark Oration is a free public lecture established to honour Professor Graeme Clark, inventor of the bionic ear. The Oration celebrates the new possibilities emerging from the convergence of biology, computing and engineering.

More information on the Graeme Clark Oration website.

The Sound of Breaking Glass – women in Australian science

Women in science have been in the news recently following Prof Ingrid Scheffer’s recent 2012 L’Oréal Laureate ceremony in Paris.

Despite the growing number of women scientists being recognised here and overseas, is life all rosy for women in Australian science?

Bridie Smith, a science reporter for Melbourne’s The Age was at Prof Scheffer’s award ceremony and last week published a fantastic feature article about her work and the challenges facing women in science. You can read it at:

Next month Women in Science Parliamentary Friendship Group

Kelly O’Dwyer, Federal member for Higgins and Amanda Rishworth, Federal Member for Kingston, have set up a woman in science parliamentary friendship group.

The first event, a cocktail reception, will take place on Wednesday 20 June from 5pm-7pm in the Mural Hall at Parliament House. Nobel Prize winner and 2008 L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn will be the keynote speaker.

Penny Sackett, Cathy Foley and Suzanne Cory are supporting the group. Email me for more information.

Media training dates – Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra

Our media training course is designed for scientists or anyone else who needs to communicate complex and technical ideas via the media.

It will help you improve your chances of being accurately reported, and you will learn what to expect when the media covers a story.

Three working journalists will come in over the course of the day and you will undertake practice interviews for TV, radio and newspaper. The workshop structure is licensed from our friends at Econnect Communication.

The courses run from 9.30am to 5pm, and cost $740 + GST per person which includes coffee, morning and afternoon tea and lunch.

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 29 May (almost full), Wednesday 4 July, Tuesday 15 August
  • Sydney: Tuesday 5 June (confirmed), Thursday 9 August
  • Canberra: Wednesday 8 August, Friday 2 November

We’ve also had some interest in an Adelaide course – get in touch if you’d like to know more.

We welcome expressions of interest for possible future courses. If you’re interested in attending, or have any questions, please contact me on

More details at:

Feel free to share this bulletin with anyone who may be interested. And between bulletins, you can follow me on Twitter (@scienceinpublic) for science news, events and interesting visitors.