Science stakeholder bulletins

Science in Public’s bulletins to science organisations with information about prizes and science events and other opportunities.


Science honours, early career training, prizes, grants

In this bulletin:
Our Australia Day Honours highlights: scientists and science communicators; Kylie Walker takes the helm at ATSE and Misha Schubert steps into STA. More here. 

Grants and awards including:

  • National ‘Maker’ community grants
  • Search for sharks, rays and sawfish
  • Women in Leadership award
  • Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science
  • ARC announces a suite of linkage grants

Events including:

  • Sonya Pemberton speaking at science communicators conference (see below for registration discount offer)
  • Catalysing Gender Equity
  • AFR Future briefings

More about the short forums we offer for early-career researchers, and our other training courses coming up in MelbourneSydney,  PerthCanberraTownsville, and Adelaide

And take a look at our recent stories:

Australia Day Honours

My personal highlights include:

Robyn Williams (an honourary AO, it’s also his birthday this week) and three science communicators: Dr Gael Jennings AM (scientist, reporter, author);  Anne Westmore AM  (whose latest book reveals how Nancy Millis started her science career when ‘it wasn’t what young women did’); and Shane Huntington OAM (Einstein A Go Go)

Bruce Robinson AC: using genomics to fight thyroid and other endocrine cancers; chairing the NHMRC and the review of Medicare rebates; and he still has time to see patients!

Rachael Webster AO: researching black holes and the first stars.

Genevieve Bell: the human experience of IT, AI – listen to her Boyer lectures.

Anthony Thomas AC: the subatomic universe.

Maria Parappilly OAM: theoretical physicist and pioneering physics educator. 

More in my Twitter stream:

Campus Morning Mail has pulled together lists of people presently working in/affiliated with higher education and research:
AC and AOAM – A to KAM – L to YOAM – A to LOAM – M to W

And my list of honours mentioning science, research and other key words is at

Change in guard at Academy and STA

Kylie Walker starts her new role as CEO of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) this month. The Academy “applies science, technology and engineering expertise to solve the big issues.” Kylie was previously CEO of Science & Technology Australia (STA).

And taking on the role of CEO at Science Technology Australia is Misha Schubert, former journalist and strategic communication advisor with Universities Australia. STA is “the peak body in science and technology – a respected and influential contributor to debate on public policy.”

Grants, awards, prizes and opportunities

Maker Project community grants

Community STEM Engagement grants 2020 offer $20,000 to $100,000 for up to two years to deliver STEM-related activities and events to Australians under 18.

The grants aim to foster creativity, inquiry-based learning, and to support the development of STEM skills in students and youth through hands-on learning in design, engineering, and programming.

Applications close 19 February 2020. More information.

Join a sharks, rays and sawfish expedition
Work with some of the most endangered species of sharks, rays and sawfish on the planet.

Sharks and Rays Australia (SARA) are looking for field assistants for research expeditions in remote regions of North Queensland, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York. 

SARA runs around eight expeditions per year. Most expeditions leave from Cairns and last for 11 to 14 days. 

More information.

BioMelbourne Network’s Women in Leadership Award 2020 
Nominations close 11 February. More information.

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science 
Nominations for 2020 will open 6 February and close 12 March. More information.

Science events

AFR Future Briefings: Harnessing AI
12 February in Sydney. More information.

Australian Science Communicators conference 

Plenaries include: 

  • Can we save our grandchildren? Inspiring change in an age of denial and despair. Speakers include David Karoly, Sonya Pemberton, Alvin Stone (Media & Comms Manager for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes), Lee Constable and Cameron Muir.
  • Broadcasting for Impact with Stephen Oliver from the ABC.
  • Effective engagement with Policy Makers with Subho Banerjee from the Australia & New Zealand School of Government

16 to 19 February in Melbourne.

15% off full conference if you use the code ‘ScienceInPublic‘ at checkout. Book here.  

Catalysing Gender Equity conference 
20/21 February 2020 in Adelaide. More information.

Universities Australia 2020 conference 
Topic is Education Changing Lives. 26/27 February in Canberra. More information

ARC funding announcements

The Minister for Education Dan Tehan recently announced several new ARC grants.
Job creation is a notable outcome of 18 new projects totalling $7.5 million, including: 

  • Developing a new method of producing, storing, and exporting green hydrogen using Australian resources – Curtin University
  • Producing more durable and powerful energy storage devices by developing high voltage cathode coated with nano-ionic thin layers – UNSW
  • Developing technology to accurately assess the performance of aluminium cladding, glass facades and skylights under severe hailstorm events – University of Melbourne
  • Read the media release.

New equipment and facilities are central to 47 projects comprising $30.7 million, including:

  • a “whopping” Volta graphical processing unit cluster that will transform computer-intensive artificial intelligence research in Australia – Sydney University
  • a facility to engineer quantum-grade diamond for precision sensing, secure communications and desktop quantum computing applications – University of Melbourne
  • an Antarctic-based set of seismic instruments and a mobile facility to measure and predict changes in ice sheets and load – University of Tasmania.
  • Read the media release.

And the national interest is a key component of 20 projects awarded a share of $9.5 million in Linkage Project funding, including:

  • an early warning system for bushfires, using a new model to reliably forecast the moisture content of live forest fuels – Western Sydney University
  • a means to establish a geographical indication of wine, as used in trade agreements and legal disputes – Monash University
  • an online tool to identify and share best practice for children in a digital society – Australian Catholic University

Training, forums, workshops on getting science into the media

Introduce your early-career researchers to the media, build the profile of your up and coming researchers or upskill your key experts on talking to the media.

Short forums

For early-career researchers, book a forum where we bring your audience to you and moderate a 90-minute Q&A with leaders in business, government, the media and key audiences from farmers to patients.

Or learn what makes a good pitch, write one, present it and get feedback in a dedicated session.

Topics include:

  • Meet the press
  • Meet your audience: Talking science with business/government
  • Make your pitch
  • Build your personal profile.

The forums suit 10 to 200 participants and cost $2,000 including travel to capital cities.

Full-day workshops

If you have lead researchers or up and coming stars who need more training, we run full-day media and communication training workshops around the country.

Your researchers will:

  • Meet journalists from television, radio and newspaper.
  • Build their confidence by doing practice interviews.
  • Work one-on-one with two science communication professionals on their key points, planning, how to build their profile and how to minimise the risk of it going wrong.

Workshops coming up in:

Cost is $800+GST per person including catering.

Research communication, media and science writing

We are passionate about helping scientists get their work into the public space. Whether it is reaching decision-makers, potential commercial partners, farmers, patients or mums and dads at home; we can help you explain your science in a way that is accurate and has impact.

If you’ve got a paper coming up, a collaboration to announce, a conference you’re bringing to town, we can help you tell your story to the world.

Contact us to find out more about our services to train, mentor, plan and deliver media and communication strategies for science, scientists and science organisations. 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.

Science prizes, awards, events and forums; plus media training around the country

Welcome to 2020 and our first bulletin of news and opportunities for the science world including our training courses kicking off in Sydney next week.

Forums and events

  • The Australian Financial Review is partnering with Science & Technology Australia to host a number of briefings. First one is on AI in Sydney.
  • The Universities Australia conference is coming up in Canberra. 
  • The Australian Science Communicators are meeting in Melbourne.
  • Our preposterous universe with Sean Carroll in February; and an evening with Peter Singer in June.
  • Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 is in Adelaide 20-21 February.

Awards, prizes and opportunities open

  • BridgeTech is offering personal development for medical technology commercialisation.
  • Science communicators are looking for this year’s unsung hero.
  • Women in STEM prize nominations are open in Queensland with three $5,000 bursaries.
  • Queensland also has three $5,000 TAFE Indigenous Pathways scholarships on offer.
  • The BioMelbourne Network is looking for 2020 women in leadership nominations.
  • Nominations for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will open on 6 February and close 12 March.

Sydney next week, then around the country: media and communication training
Find out how to get your science reported widely and accurately at our first media training workshop for the year in Sydney on January 22.

Then in: Melbourne (5 Feb, 29 April, 26 June), Perth (3 March, 2 June), Canberra (19 March), Adelaide (13 May) and Townsville (1 April).

Last year we ran more than 23 courses across the nation for hundreds of researchers. Our full-day workshops guide scientists on how to talk to the media and include practice interviews with working journalists. We also run forums on presenting, pitching, social media, and talking to business and government.

Boosting your research communication
Can we help you reach a wider audience? Last year we helped with more than 100 media releases, including several that put our client’s names in the New York Times, The Guardian, CNN and Seven News.

Highlights included: the warped and twisted Milky Way, grannies diving for venomous seasnakes, equity in astronomy, and announcements for the NHMRC on ‘mitochondrial donations’ and new alcohol guidelines that garnered comprehensive media coverage in Australia.

Talk to us about how to maximise the visibility of your research.

Fresh Science
Universities around the country are issuing releases on the 2019 Fresh Scientists. Highlights include international media and industry discussion of new lithium sulfur batteries that offer four times the storage; and stories on a shortage of homes for NT tree-rats, tracking bird flocks with weather radar, and the mechanism of peanut allergy.  

Thank you to the 19 universities who supported Fresh Science in 2019. We’ll be in touch soon about 2020.

Forums and events

AFR Future Briefings: Harnessing AI – 12 February in Sydney
2020 sees a new series of breakfast events from the Australian Financial Review – the AFR Future Briefings, supported by NBN Co and Science & Technology Australia (STA). These events will build on STA’s experience in bringing researchers and industry people together through its program, Science meets Business.

The first event – Harnessing AI, a breakfast in Sydney on Wednesday 12 February – is open for registration now. Future briefings will cover Health & Longevity (May; Melbourne), Connected Consumers (September; Sydney), and Security & Privacy (November; Melbourne).

More information here.

Australian Science Communicators conference –  16 – 19 Feb in Melbourne The trust crisis, bushfire safety, using animations for science communication, speed mentoring and a snapshot of creativity in science communication from 23 of the world’s leading science organisations.

Join science and technology communicators from around Australia at the annual conference in Melbourne. 15% off full conference if you use the code ScienceInPublic at checkout.

Book here: 
Universities Australia 2020 conference: Education Changing Lives – 26–27 February in Canberra
More than 65 speakers, 1,000 delegates and 40 partners and exhibitors are expected to attend this event to hear from visiting experts and discuss the challenges and future of the university sector.

This event is open for registration now. Discounted early bird rates are available until 27 January.

More information here.

An evening with Peter Singer
Have you ever wondered whether you’re actually a ‘good’ person? Join Peter Singer, once labelled “the most dangerous man in the world”, for an evening in Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland or Melbourne.
Book online:

Our preposterous universe with Sean Carroll
We shouldn’t be here. Not really. It was never likely that one day trillions upon trillions of atoms would all come together and make a sentient little sack of anxiety to wander around the Earth for a few decades.
Bending time and space to his will, Sean Carroll is a physicist crossed with a philosopher.

You can hear him in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Brought to you by Think Inc.

Gender equity conference 20–21 February 2020
Guided by the Women in STEM Decadal Plan and organised by the Academy of Science/SAGE.
Delegates will participate in a variety of workshops, seminars, gallery submissions and panels, each focused on progressing and implementing strategic recommendations and opportunities in the decadal plan.
More information here.

Awards, prizes and opportunities currently open

Queensland University of Technology’s BridgeTech Program 2020 applications open
The BridgeTech Program is a national professional development strategy that trains researchers and entrepreneurs on how to effectively navigate the med-tech commercialisation pathway.

Convened and administered by QUT, the program involves a consortium of partners, including companies, universities and industry associations.

The BridgeTech Program is a national professional development strategy that trains researchers and entrepreneurs on how to effectively navigate the med-tech commercialisation pathway.

Convened and administered by QUT, the program involves a consortium of partners, including companies, universities and industry associations.

Applications for the 2020 are now open and will close on 31 January
Find more here. 
ASC Unsung Hero Award of Australian Science Communication
Nominations are now open for the 2019 Unsung Hero Award of Australian Science Communication. They close at 5pm on Friday 31 January. The award will be announced at the ASC Conference in Melbourne in February.
More information here.
2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize – three $5,000 prizes
2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize is open for submissions until 4 February. This state-wide competition is open to early to mid-career women working in STEM.

Three professional development bursaries of $5,000 will be granted to the winners of the Jury Award, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Jury Award, and the People’s Choice Award.

The winners will be honoured at a special event at the World Science Festival Brisbane in March.
More information here.
BioMelbourne Network’s Women in Leadership Award 2020 Nominations 
These awards recognise and champion women who work in, or support, the health industry – including biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceuticals and digital healthcare – whether as executives, management, R&D practitioners, suppliers, service providers or in other roles engaged with the sector. Nominations close 11 February.
Advance Queensland – TAFE Queensland Indigenous Pathways Scholarships – $5,000 each
These are open for application now. This initiative focuses on supporting Indigenous students to gain qualifications to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths sectors.

More information here.  

On the horizon: 2020 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science – $750,000 total prize pool
Heads up: nominations for Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will open on 6 February and close on 12 March.
More information here.

Media and communication training workshops

Find out how to get your science reported widely and accurately: book now for Sydney 22 January. More dates and locations here

Meet journalists from television, radio and newspapers. Talk to them about how they report science and what they look for in a story.

Build your confidence by doing some practice interviews on camera and on tape.

Work with two science communication professionals to finesse the key points for telling your science story.

Understand how the media works and how you can minimise the risk of it going wrong.

Book into one of our full-day media and communication training workshops.

  • Sydney
    • Wednesday, 22 January
    • Tuesday, 21 April
  • Melbourne
    • Wednesday, 5 February 
    • Thursday, 29 April 
    • Friday, 26 June 
  • Perth
    • Tuesday, 3 March 
    • Tuesday, 2 June 
  • Canberra
    • Thursday 19 March 
  • Townsville
    • Wednesday 1 April
  • Adelaide
    • Wednesday 13 May

Cost is $800+GST per person, which includes full catering for the day.

Alternatively, book an in-house or custom session. Introduce 20 to 200 researchers to the media with our “Meet the Media” 90-minute panel discussion, featuring three journalists.

Learn what makes a good pitch, write one, present it and get feedback in a dedicated session.

One-on-one support for special pitches or presentations is also available.

Fresh Science

This year’s Fresh Science stories are rolling out from research institutes around the country.

Monash University’s story about engineer Mahdokht Shaibani has run around the world. She has created a lithium battery that only needs recharging every five days.

Her work has clocked up well over 100 stories in Australia, the US, England, China, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Italy, France and elsewhere. Highlights include the Sydney Morning Herald, New Scientist, PC Mag, and La Repubblica, among many others.  She’s also received calls from industry.

Macquarie University’s release about the work of electric vehicle researcher Foad Taghizadeh has led to a couple of phone calls from potential commercial interests and coverage in specialist publications including PV Magazine Australia and The Driven.

Read the latest stories at

Thank you to:

  • University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, the University of Notre Dame Australia, and the Western Australian Museum
  • The University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University, RMIT and the Royal Society of Victoria
  • The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and Econnect Communication
  • The University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, and the Australian National Maritime Museum

Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, and the South Australian Museum

Fresh Science now open; $3.8M for young researchers and students; ARC Linkage grants announced; Science Week and science prizes

Encourage your early-career researchers to talk about their results and discoveries by getting them to nominate for Fresh Science – a national competition that helps emerging scientists who have results that deserve attention.

Fresh Science, now in its 22nd year, provides a day of media training, followed by a traditional pub test. More below.

Westpac has endowed a new perpetual suite of fellowships and scholarships. Nominate your top early-career researchers, social innovators and students now. Read on for details.

Other prizes and opportunities:

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$360K+ worth of science prizes; what have you got planned for Science Week?; media training dates

Now is the time to register your National Science Week events to be a part of this nationwide festival, coming up in August.

There are many big names involved, including Sylvia Earle, Paul Davies, three Aussie Nobel Laureates, and bunch of NASA scientists. The earlier you register your event, the better your chance of reaching a broader audience. More below.

Nominate your top researchers and rising stars for the science prizes that are now open, including:

  • the $50K CSL Florey Medal for medical research
  • two $50K Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research—for mid-career researchers
  • the $60K NSW Premier’s Prize for Scientist of the Year, plus nine $5,000 prizes for NSW-based scientists in various categories
  • two $50K Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation (VIC only)
  • £3000 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science in the face of hostility
  • the Australian of the Year Awards
  • and our own Fresh Science program will open in the next couple of weeks.

Key dates, links and information are detailed below.

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Prizes; election wish lists; event grants and a NASA astrobiologist for Science Week

CORRECTION: In our science news bulletin sent out on 3 April 2019 we stated that ARC, CSIRO, and NCRIS received funding cuts in the 2019 Federal Budget. This is incorrect and neither CSIRO, nor the ARC received funding cuts. We based our statement on an analysis by the Australian Academy of Science. This has since been clarified. Here is the updated media release and here is a statement about the CSIRO funding.

Over $350,000 in science prizes are open for nomination right now including 18 Eureka Prizes, WA and SA scientists of the year, and the APEC Science Prize. The ABC is inviting 10 postdocs to media bootcamps. The Science Academy’s awards are open, as are the Tall Poppies for early career researchers. Details on these, and more below. If you need help with your awards strategy, and with finessing nominations, give us a call. 

Are you using National Science Week? Last year, 1.2 million Australians got involved in more than 2,100 events. Now is the time to register your event, apply for state funding and be part of the action. More below. We’ll be providing national publicity support so, if you’ve got anything special planned, let us know.

My colleague Tanya Ha has prepared a summary of the science world’s response to the budget and the coming election. In one line: there’s nothing much to see yet.

Send your journos and science communication geeks to Switzerland in July for the World Conference of Science Journalists, which we hosted in Melbourne in 2007. Join us for a briefing at the Swiss Consulate in Sydney on Wednesday 17 April. Register on Eventbrite.

We’ve got communication training courses coming up in Melbourne (9 April and 29 May), Perth (early May), Sydney (21 May), Adelaide (4 June), Canberra (6 June) and Darwin (early August). And we have cost-effective 90-minute courses for ECR training.

  • Make Your Pitch forum: learn what makes a good pitch, write one, present and get feedback. Suitable for 10 to 200 participants and runs for 90 minutes. $2,000
  • Meet the Media: panel discussion with TV, radio and print journalists. Suitable for 10 to 100 participants and runs for 90 minutes. $2,000
  • Meet Business and Government: panel discussion with business and government advisors. Suitable for 10 to 100 participants and runs for 90 minutes. $2,000

More below and if you want to find out more call me on 0417 131 977.

In this bulletin:

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Lisa’s call to action; science and science writing prizes; Jane Goodall tour; and promoting women in science

Lisa Harvey-Smith has issued a call to action for International Women’s Day for a last minute push for nominations for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. Entries close on Tuesday and the initial entry process has been simplified. Lisa is an astrophysicist and Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador. More on this, the Eurekas, France and EU grants below.

Primatologist Dr Jane Goodall is coming to Australia in May. See her around the country, and support her tour.

Our own team (pictured) is packed with talented female scientists-turned-communicators. Meet them at our media training courses around the country.

Our Director of Engagement Tanya Ha has shared her insights from media training scientists on LinkedIn. Read on for more information about our courses and upcoming workshop dates. We also offer cost effective training packages for larger HDR groups.

In this bulletin:

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Impact with funders and the public; science prizes; French-Australian stories; training for HDRs and senior scientists 

Many researchers continue to struggle to get their research heard and to have impact.

But the pressure is on: government and funders are pushing, and there are warnings that the public is disengaging.

We can you help you and your organisation reach the right audience: with specialist support for your in-house communication team, and training for everyone from HDRs to senior researchers.

Every few weeks I’ll write to you with a heads-up on opportunities to promote your research: through our services, and other projects that we think are making a difference.

In this bulletin:

  • Celebrating French-Australian innovation: The French Ambassador launches our latest story collection this Thursday evening in Canberra; please join us if you’re in town.
  • Science prizes: The Eurekas, Prime Minister’s Prizes, L’Oréal and others open nominations; plus 60 Superstars announced.
  • Media training coming up in Cairns, Townsville, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, or design your own course.
  • Have you seen a sawfish, our warped Milky Way, and other stories: take a look at our work.

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The breathing Earth, light beams, frogs, crystals, and guidewires—Prime Minister’s Prizes 2018 announced; media training in Hobart and more

The recipients of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes are:

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Tell us your of your EU collaborations; World Congress of Science and Factual Producers coming to Brisbane; Science Friction live events; and training

Tell us your stories of research collaboration with EU countries.

Have you had successful collaborations between Aussies and EU? We’re writing stories for the EU Delegation and the French Embassy in Canberra, so tell us about your success.

Put your rising stars in front of the people who create factual content for billions of viewers around the world. They’re looking for new faces and new ideas and they’ll be in Brisbane in November. More below.

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The future of scholarly books; expensive pee; National Science Week; pitch training

Explore the future of scholarly monographs with Springer Nature’s Chief Book Strategist at a forum hosted by ANU this Tuesday 31 July. More on that below.

Make sure your National Science Week events are registered so we can promote them. It kicks off 11 August. Read on for some of the highlights amongst the 2000+ events.

How can researchers and policy makers work better together – we want your views for an ANU research project.

Meet the people who put science in front of billions of people, this November in Brisbane.

Vitamania – health revolution of expensive pee – on SBS and around the country.

Pitch and communication training courses in Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.


  • Are you, or do you know someone in stem cell research? If so, nominate them today for a Metcalf Prize worth $50,000.
  • CSL Centenary Fellowships are also open, worth $1.25m for two early to mid-career Australian biomedical researchers.

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