ABC, UNSW Sydney and University of Sydney search for the Top 5

The ABC in partnership with UNSW Sydney and the University of Sydney is seeking dynamic early-career researchers with a passion for communicating their work and expertise to a wide audience.
Applications opened today for the 2019 Top 5 media residencies for emerging scholars across science and the humanities with recipients to receive an intensive two-week residency at ABC RN in Sydney, working alongside some of Australia’s best journalists and broadcasters in learning the craft of communicating and developing content across radio, television and online.
The program, now in its fifth year, will enable Australia’s next generation of scholars to share their knowledge and expertise with audiences hungry for credible and informed debate.
ABC Head of Specialist content, Richard Buckham, says: Over the past five years the ABC has been proud to offer opportunities to some of the nation’s best emerging talent in science and the humanities through the Top 5 program. This year, we’re again looking forward to welcoming more of Australia’s brightest minds and newest voices to work with our content teams on sharing their knowledge and discoveries with the ABC’s audience.”
UNSW Sydney Dean of Science and Top 5 ambassador, Professor Emma Johnston, says, Scientists are increasingly stepping up and speaking out and it is to the benefit of all that we do so. We are pleased to partner with the ABC in giving a voice to Australia’s talented early-career researchers.”
University of Sydney Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Top 5 Ambassador, Professor Duncan Ivison, says, “The response to our partnership with the ABC for last year’s Top 5 in Humanities was amazing, resulting in high-quality content being developed across multiple ABC programs. We are delighted to be working with the ABC again to support terrific researchers.”
The Top 5 program was launched for Australian science scholars in 2015 and expanded to the humanities, arts and social sciences in 2018.
Many Top 5 recipients have since featured in the media and on ABC programs across television, radio and podcasts, including:

  • Photonics researcher Dr Niraj Lal has presented episodes of ABC short-form iview & YouTube series Sciencey and was ‘guest physicist’ on Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line. 
  • Inaugural Humanities researcher Heidi Norman has appeared on ABC TV’s The Drum discussing changes to Australian place names and memorials, and how we should talk about Australia’s Indigenous history.
  • Inaugural Humanities researcher Dr Ben Moffitt has discussed populism with Waleed Aly on RN’s The Minefield.
  • Mathematician Dr Sophie Calabretto has appeared on Catalyst and The Science Show.
  • Two recipients in 2015 have co-presented ABC podcasts: Dr Alice Williamson (Dear Science) and Dr Amanda Bauer (Cosmic Vertigo). 
  • Inaugural Humanities researcher Dr Liz Allen has been sought out and provided guidance on government population policies.

Applications open today and close on Wednesday 1 May
There will be two Top 5 categories in 2019:

  •  Science: Five PhD-qualified early-career researchers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and media research (STEMM). The two-week media residency will be hosted by the ABC in Sydney from 15 to 26 July 2019.
  • Humanities: Five PhD-qualified early-career researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS). The two-week media residency will be hosted by the ABC in Sydney from 23 September to 4 October 2019. 

 Top 5 is open to early-career researchers with a PhD working in Australian universities and research organisations across STEMM and HASS disciplines. See the Top 5 website for full entry criteria and details on the judging panel and ambassadors.



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