Editor's welcome

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A key aim for the forum is to find out the sorts of issues affecting early- and mid- career researchers (EMCRs), and to represent these concerns to government agencies at the local and national level. In order to do this, we need to hear from you. To this end, the forum held three engagement events in Sydney, Hobart and Perth in September to meet with local EMCRs and let them know about the ways in which we can advocate to improve their careers and opportunities. Each event also featured an informal talk by a leading scientist from that state about their views and advice on key issues facing EMCRs.

In Sydney, Professor Rob Robinson, Director of the Bragg Institute, took EMCRs on a tour of his own early career, offering advice and thoughts along the way. In Hobart, we heard from Professor Michael Breadmore, ARC Future Fellow at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science. He gave an entertaining talk about the benefits and pitfalls of conducting interdisciplinary research. And in Perth, Professor Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist of Western Australia, highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of current Australian research. He laid out well-defined areas that EMCRs should target to maximise the benefits of science and research to Australia and the world.

Each event concluded with a robust discussion—over drinks and canapés, of course. If you are interested in hosting an EMCR engagement event in your city, please contact us at emcr@science.org.au

People at group tables in room, with presenter at front
Professor Michael Breadmore addressing Tasmanian EMCRs at the engagement event in Hobart. Photo: Adrian Carter

We all spend a lot of time preparing applications for grants and fellowships for the major granting agencies, such as the ARC and NHMRC. Have you ever wondered how the process for reviewing, ranking and awarding these grants actually works? Australian Academy of Science EMCR executive committee member Michael Crichton, takes a behind-the-scenes look at how it all unfolds. This is a must-read for anyone looking for ways to improve the chances of writing a successful grant application.

This edition of the newsletter also includes several exciting reports by EMCRs in the field. Tristan Clemons gives his insights into the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany. It’s a fascinating read, and will make you want to attend next year’s meeting. Heather Main, Senior Scientist at Genea Biocells, gives a persuasive description of her experience as part of the Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank on stem cell research in Australia. The think tank is an annual event held by the Australian Academy of Science that brings together leading Australian EMCRs from a broad range of backgrounds to examine a fundamental issue for our nation’s future. The think tank’s aim is to find solutions to meet the challenges of the field and maximise the benefits of the outcomes of research, as well as to develop networks that will enrich the careers of EMCRs. If you are interested in attending the next Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, the Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank or other similar events, sign up to the EMCR Forum mailing list, stay tuned to the Pathways newsletter, or follow us on Twitter @EMCRForum and keep an eye out for the call for applications.

Adrian Carter, EMCR Pathways Editor
Adrian Carter, EMCR Pathways Editor

We also hear from Judy Hart from the University of New South Wales, who was one of 10 lucky Australian EMCRs to attend the fifth symposium in a series organised by the US-based Kavli Foundation. The Indonesian–American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium, which was held in Makassar in south Sulawesi, Indonesia, is an interdisciplinary conference that covers a wide range of scientific challenges facing society. Judy’s account reminds us of the unique opportunities open to scientists and some of the reasons that drive many of us to seek a career in research.

And finally, Dr Maggie Hardy provides a brief summary of our recent Australian Postdoctoral Survey, which aims to capture a snapshot of views and experiences of Australian EMCRs.

I hope that you enjoy the October issue. If there is something you’d like to hear about in Pathways, please contact the editor.

Adrian Carter
EMCR Pathways Editor

EMCR Pathways Issue 5

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