Science Prizes: $25,000 Centenary Prize for creative biomedical research, $50,000 CSL Florey medal and more…


This is my occasional update on science prizes, this time highlighting a new $25,000 prize for early career biomedical researchers.

The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize is a $25,000 award for outstanding creativity in biomedical research by young scientists. The winner gets to spend half on themselves and half on their research. Applications close Monday 19 September.

Nominations for the $50,000 CSL Florey Medal are open until 16 September.

The L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellows have been announced as have the finalists for the Eureka Prizes – we’re pleased to see some familiar names amongst them from past prizes.

The Australian Academy of Science has several awards for research in Australia, and for collaborative programs with other countries.

And we have several media training courses coming up for scientists – in Sydney next Wednesday (7 September); Melbourne on Tuesday 4 October, and Canberra on Friday 14 October just after the PM’s Prizes.

We’re happy to mention other science prizes in future bulletins—just drop us a line with the details. We’d be particularly keen to hear about more prizes for the physical sciences.

More details at the links below.


Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize

The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize is a $25,000 award for outstanding creativity in biomedical research by young scientists. The winner gets to spend half on themselves and half on their research. Applications close Monday 19 September.

It’s a national award open to anyone working in basic medical research in Australia up to eight years after their PhD or equivalent.

The award is named in honour of Neil Lawrence who was inaugural chair of the Centenary Institute Medical Research Foundation.

The Prize will be awarded in Sydney on Wednesday 19 October, 2011.

Applications close at 5pm AEST, Monday 19 September, 2011.

More information and instructions for applicants at

L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellows announced

The 2011 L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowships were in Melbourne on Tuesday 23 August. More at

The three inspiring women scientists are….

Deepening our understanding of coral reefs: Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University, Townsville is changing our understanding of the life of the tiny coral animals that built Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef—now threatened by a warming ocean and by bleaching. Full details at

Building smart pills with nanotech: Georgina Such, University of Melbourne is inventing a smarter way to deliver drugs—a miniscule capsule designed like a set of Russian babushka dolls that sneaks through the blood stream to target cancer cells and nothing else. Full details at

Using maths to save species and dollars: Eve McDonald-Madden, University of Queensland/CSIRO, is using mathematics and artificial intelligence to develop systems that allow us to make tough conservation decisions with limited information. Full details at

CSL Florey Medal—nominations close 16 September

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

Now the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) is searching for a worthy recipient of the $50,000 CSL Florey Medal in 2011.

“We are looking for people who have made significant achievements in biomedical science and human health advancement, people following in Florey’s footsteps.” says Ms Elektra Spathopoulos, Executive Director of AIPS.

CSL Florey Medal nominations close on Friday 16 September and the Medal will be presented in Parliament House, Canberra, on Monday 21 November at the annual dinner of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes.

For further information visit or contact Elektra Spathopoulos, Executive Director, Australian Institute of Policy and Science & the Tall Poppy Campaign
Tel: (02) 9351 0819, Mob: 0425 433 954, email:

Australian Academy of Science awards and international programs

The Moran Award for History of Science Research is open for nominations until 31 October 2011.

The Academy has a program of international scientific and technical collaboration with Europe, North America, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Applications are now open for the following:

  • Australian professional researchers who are official members of a COST Action (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research) can apply for a grant to undertake Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) of COST and/or attend a workshop/meeting of COST (applications processed in order of receipt);
  • Scientific visits to Japan for a collaborative research project, or a specific activity, which has been developed in consultation with host scientists in Japan (closing date Friday 2 September); and
  • Junior scientists (no more than 30 years of age) to visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA (closing date Friday 2 September).

Eureka Prizes

The Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney on 6 September 2011.

We were pleased to see a number of friends, and past prize winners appearing in the finalists including:

  • Dr Angela Moles, a 2008 L’Oréal Australia For Women In Science is a finalist in the Outstanding Young Research category for her research into global patterns in plant form and function and the environmental factors that shape plant ecological strategy
  • Dr Andrea Morello & Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak are finalists in the Scientific Research category for successfully reading an electron spin bound to a single atom – an important step towards quantum computing in silicon.
  • Dr Kate Trinajstic, winner of the 2010 Prime Minister’s Science Prize’s ‘Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year and her team are also finalists in the Scientific Research category for their discovery of 380 million year old fish fossils with embryos and intact umbilical cords, pushing the origins of live birth back another 200 million years and revealing the origins of complex copulatory sex in our own distant lineage.
  • Professor Tanya Monro, winner of the 2008 Prime Minister’s Science Prize’s ‘Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year’ is a finalist in the Leadership in Science category for pioneering a transdisciplinary approach to science and new ways of controlling light on the nanoscale, and for interacting light and matter to create new sensing tools
  • 2011 Fresh Scientist, Frank Will, is a finalist in the Innovative Solutions to Climate Change category for his research into making engines more efficient.
  • Professor Philip Batterham is a finalist in the category Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research for his involvement and organisation of international scientific conferences as a stage to creatively engage the Australian public with science
  • And Sonya Pemberton of December Films and Pemberton Films is a finalist in the Science Journalism category for her science documentary ‘Immortal’ which aired on SBS TV in December 2010.

Find out more about the awards at

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will be announced at a dinner at Parliament House on 12 October. More at

Upcoming media training courses in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra

We are holding media training courses in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne over the next two months: Wednesday 7 September in Sydney, Tuesday 4 October in Melbourne, and Friday 14 October in Canberra. If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending please forward this onto them.

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.

More details at

Upcoming courses, subject to demand:

Melbourne (at The Clare Café, Carlton)

  • Tuesday 4 October – course is confirmed
  • Wednesday 2 November
  • Wednesday 7 December

Sydney (at The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, The Rocks)

  • Wednesday 7 September – course is confirmed
  • Tuesday 18 October

Canberra (at the Australian Academy of Science)

  • Friday 14 October