J G Russell Award

The call for nominations is currently closed

Applications are not sought for this award. Awardees are chosen from the recipients of the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards.


The J G Russell Award is aimed at financially helping talented younger researchers in the basic sciences as a token of the community’s regard for them. It recognises the costs involved in experimental research, and can be used towards the costs of equipment, maintenance, and travel.

Applications are not sought for this award. Highly ranked recipients of the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards will be contacted by the Academy and invited to apply.

These top-up funding awards are valued at $7,000 each and are supported by the generosity of the late Miss J Russell.

Funded activities are normally expected to have been undertaken within two years from the date of award. Awardees may apply for extensions due to extenuating circumstances or to apply for variations to remove or adapt to barriers encountered to their planned research or travel.

Supporting institutes and awardees are required to ensure that any research they undertake that is funded by the Australian Academy of Science adheres to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of research, severe breach of these codes may result in the withdrawal of current and refusal of future funding support. Research involving Indigenous Australians must  comply with the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies.

For more information contact awards@science.org.au.



  • Dr Blanca del Rosal Rabes - Dr del Rosal's research aims to develop a contactless method based on near-infrared (NIR) light to get real-time maps of the temperature of the nervous system in living animals, to reveal the links between local heating and neural function. She will use the award to improve and expand her spectroscopy system to use laser sources, allowing her to study different fluorescent nanomaterials for use in research.
  • ​Dr Annie Colebatch -Dr Colebatch's research focuses on using liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs), which can release energy on demand and be “refuelled”, to meet the challenge of clean energy. She will use the award to purchase a second pressure reactor to facilitate multiple students conducting experiments concurrently, allowing flexibility in project design and improving productivity.
  • ​Dr Laura Grogan - Dr Grogan's research aims to model the relationship between tolerance, and resistance of, chytridiomycosis (an infectious disease that affects amphibians worldwide) in Fleay’s, Great and Giant Barred frogs. She will use the award to genetically sequence the tissues that are involved in immune response, allowing her to examine a greater range of genes related to immunity.
  • Dr James Baker - Dr Baker studies soil erosion driven by flowing fluids with the aim of predicting, and ultimately preventing, intense soil loss or problematic build-up of sediment. He will use the award to fund a two-day collaboration of Australian researchers, as well as for new X-ray equipment for meas


  • Dr Giulia Ghedini: towards their DECRA aimed at resolving how entire ecological communities respond to global warming and identify the mechanisms that drive these responses.
  • Dr Yu Heng Lau: towards their DECRA investigating bio-compartmentalised chemistry to control selectivity with bacterial encapsulins.
  • Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa: towards their DECRA identifying novel and smarter herbicide development strategies for effective weed management to sustain our fauna, flora and agricultural industry
  • Dr Qi Wu: towards their DECRA to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) agent that communicates with humans on the basis of visual input, and can complete a sequence of actions in environments by combining computer vision (CV), natural language processing (NLP) and reinforcement learning (RL).


  • Dr Lara Malins: to develop a new synthetic approach to valuable amino acid derivatives and their rapid incorporation into peptide analogues, including promising new antibiotic candidates
  • Dr Tara Clark: to determine the timing and associated drivers behind dramatic changes in coral communities on reef flat environments since European settlement.
  • Dr Jussi Lehtonen: to reconcile and unify alternative methods in social evolution theory.
  • Dr Nengkun Yu: to develop fundamental technology for analysing the big data that arises from quantum physics.


  • Dr Nicole Rijs: to develop ion-mobility mass spectrometry methods to observe the molecular evolution of model self-assembly reactions with high temporal and structural resolution, and interrogate the intrinsic gas phase functionality of the assemblies themselves, including aggregation, inclusion and disassembly behaviours. 
  • Dr Pengyi Yang: to map and model ‘trans-omic’ networks that cut through omic layers using machine learning and multi-omic data integration.
  • Dr Tong Wang: to understand the molecular mechanisms of neuronal communication and how neurons modify their synaptic strength.
  • Dr Brett Hallam: to understand hydrogen passivation mechanisms in silicon solar cells.


  • Dr Kristine Crous: to investigate how, and how much, rainforest tree species will adjust to warmer temperatures.
  • Dr Guohua Jia: to develop innovative colloidal nanocrystal heterostructures to provide the basis for eco-friendly optoelectronic devices and photocatalysis as well as other advanced applications.
  • Dr Jean-Baptiste Raina: to unravel microbiological processes in the ocean to help quantify the ecosystem services carried out by microbes that support our economy and environment.


  • Dr Andrea Giuliani: to study melt inclusions to provide new understanding of the constraints on melting processes and recycling of crustal material in the deep mantle.
  • Dr Sean Hodgman: to develop a quantum simulator using ultracold helium atoms in an optical lattice.
  • Dr Sasha Tetu: to design and validate novel, rapid environmental stress assays, based on gene expression profiling.

© 2021 Australian Academy of Science