Creating future TV stars of science; $1.25 million CSL Fellowships for medical researchers; $50,000 stem cell prizes; training

Science stakeholder bulletins

Could your research stories engage billions of viewers through science and factual TV?

The people who create, fund and broadcast science TV will be meeting in Brisbane in November at the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

They deliver big audiences. Discovery Channel alone has over 440 million viewers. Animal Planet has over 350 million. China Central Television has 50 channels and a billion viewers.

We helped bring Congress to Melbourne in 2009. After nearly 10 years it’s back, this time in Brisbane thanks to the support of the Queensland Government, the ABC and SBS.

Last year’s Congress included commissioners and producers from the BBC, Netflix, NHK, PBS, Discovery, Canada’s CBC and dozens of other networks from national broadcasters to cult YouTube channels.

How can you reach this community? The options include:

  • presenting your researchers via exhibition booths
  • holding your own presentations or group meetings at breakfast and lunch events
  • hosting post-Congress tours
  • supporting Australian researchers who are potential TV stars of the future
    supporting producers from emerging countries
  • and the usual range of sponsorships.

Read more about the Congress at:

$50,000 prizes for stem cell research open until 6 August

Do you know a rising star in stem cell research? Nominate them today.

The 2018 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research are open to mid-career researchers who are five to 10 years past their PhD or MD (research-based) and working in stem cell research in Australia.

Two winners–one male and one female–will each receive a $50,000 prize from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

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

Past Metcalf Prize winners include:

  • Melbourne haematologist Mark Dawson
  • Brisbane computational biologist Jessica Mar
  • Sydney heart clinician and researcher James Chong (pictured)
  • Melbourne immunologist Tracy Heng
  • bioinformatician Christine Wells, who has moved from Brisbane to the University of Melbourne to establish the Centre for Stem Cell Systems
  • Perth geneticist Ryan Lister
  • Tasmanian neural stem cell researcher Kaylene Young
  • Monash University reprogramming legend Jose Polo.

From past experience running prize programs, we find many entrants only apply when encouraged to do so by their peers or mentors. If you know someone, you should encourage them to apply. 

To apply online, and for a full list of criteria and conditions, head to the Foundation’s website:

CSL $1.25m fellowships for medical research open until 31 July

Applications are now open for the 2019 CSL Centenary Fellowship, awarded to two early to mid-career Australian biomedical researchers.

Since their centenary in 2016, CSL has funded two individual, five-year fellowships worth $AUD 1.25 million to early to mid-career medical researchers.

The fellowships are awarded for discovery and translational research to late stage clinical research.

Previous Fellow’s research includes improving survival rates for patients with acute leukaemia, whether memories are stored in our DNA, blood test biopsies for cancer testing, and the reason arteries clog. And they’re working at the QIMR Berghofer Institute, the Queensland Brain Institute, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute.

The assessment is based on four main things:

  • Relevant skills and professional record
  • Benefits the fellowship will provide to the individual
  • Benefits the fellowship will provide to Australian biomedical research
  • Alignment to the fellowship’s stated research priorities (these may change from year to year and are advised prior to the opening of applications)

Find out more information on the CSL Centenary Fellowship website for details on eligibility.

Applications close 31 July 2018 and successful applicants will be notified by 30 September 2018.

More media training opportunities, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide

Melbourne: Tuesday 31 July, Tuesday 9 October
Adelaide: Wednesday 14 November
Sydney: Wednesday 29 August
Perth: Friday 7 December
Other cities & dates on demand.

Conveying the complexity of your research, your life’s work, into a 30-second grab for the media, or one-minute elevator pitch can be hard. The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story.

Join our one-day media and communication training workshop and get some help.

We will help you find the right words to explain your research in a way that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders.

Two experienced science communicators will work with you to find the story in your research. Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the Higgs boson, and revealed the link between CSIRO’s Wi-Fi patent and Aussie astronomy.

Working journalists from television, print and radio will join us over the course of the day to explain what makes news for them. And you’ll get the chance to practice being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite.

Or design your own bespoke communication training course

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.

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

Science in Public—planning, mentoring, communicating

Contact us 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 that captures the essence of your story and purpose.