Editor’s welcome

Adrian Carter
EMCR Pathways Editor

Welcome to the first issue of EMCR Pathways for 2016. If you are anything like us, you’re probably furiously writing, editing and re-writing a number of grants and fellowships for the coming rounds of NHMRC, ARC and other funding schemes. From all of us here at the Forum, we wish you the best of luck!

The Forum has been busy in the final months of 2015. In December Sharath Sriram and Nikola Bowden met with advisors from Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s Office to raise the profile of the EMCR Forum, and the importance of EMCRs to Australia’s scientific and economic future. We also met with Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council to discuss ways of improving the success rates of EMCRs receiving Discovery Projects, which were low in the past round. We will be holding a number of meetings in the next few months with key ministers, parliamentarians and CEOs to discuss ways of improving the success of EMCRs in subsequent grant rounds and strengthening the careers of EMCRs.

Our previous advocacy activities for EMCRs have been pleasingly effective, as outgoing Chair, Sharath Sriram outlines in a letter to Forum members. In February, the Forum Executive will meet at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra to plan our activities for the next 2-3 years. This is an important phase as it will form our priorities for the near future. We were keen to know what was of primary concern to you, and you told us . We share these concerns and they will be at the top of our discussions in Canberra.

We welcome five new members to the Forum Executive this year. While we are excited that this will bring some new faces and energy to the Executive, it sadly means that five colleagues will be stepping off the Executive: Kate Hoy, Andrew Siebel, Maggie Hardy, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff and Andreas Fouras. I hope you will join us in thanking them for their significant and long-standing contributions to the Forum, and as powerful and effective advocates for EMCRs in Australia.

Issue 6 brings you the first in our series, ‘Career Pathways’, where we interview scientists and researchers who have gone on to forge successful careers outside of academia. First up is Sarah Keenihan , a freelance science writer, who provides a vivid account of what it is like to work as a science communicator, and provides sage advice for anyone wishing to enter this important field. We also have interviews with winners of the EMCR Forum Inspire Australia competition hosted with Thinkable.org. Get some tips on how to prepare a winning video entry about your research. Keep an eye on Pathways and follow us on Twitter for more details about upcoming competitions.

On the back of the last year’s Forum meeting, Science Pathways 2015: Effective Science Communication for EMCRs, Pallave Dasari from the University of Adelaide was so inspired that she and her and colleagues organised their own engagement event, Science Meets Parliament South Australia . And finally we have a report from Adam Micolich from UNSW about his experience at the 2015 Theo Murphy Australian Frontiers of Science Symposium: Materials for the 21st Century.

I hope that you enjoy Issue 6 of Pathways. As always, a very heartfelt thankyou to Sandra Gardam for her assistance in putting this newsletter together. If there is something that you would like to hear about in Pathways, please contact the Pathways Editor.

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