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Credit: Alexander Kubicki and Roger Curtain, Electron Microscopist - Advanced Microscopy Facility (Bio21 Institute Node and the University of Melbourne)
GradSci NEWS

Hi there,

This week is Mental Health Week, and the University is running a range of events to support good mental health on campus. There’s also a free yoga class happening on South Lawn tomorrow - tickets are nearly sold out so register now! And make sure you take the time to look after yourself and stay well, particularly as we come into one of the busiest periods of the year.

In exciting world science news - the 2016 Nobel Prize winners were announced last week!

  • Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Fearing won the Chemistry Prize "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines".
  •  Yoshinori Ohusumi won the Physiology or Medicine Prize "for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy".
  • J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz won the Physics Prize "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter"

To read all about the prize winning scientists and research, head along to the Nobel Prize website

Congratulations to Master of Environment student Emily Newton on being nominated for the ACTS Green Gown Awards for 2016. Emily has been involved in setting up a number of sustainability initiatives around campus including the new food waste bins in the Student Union Food Court. We wish you all the best for your nomination, Emily!

You may have heard that the Subject Experience Survey is now open for all Semester 2 subjects. You can win $500 just by completing one survey! Productive procrastination anyone? Access the surveys here.

Read on for all the opportunities, events and jobs specifically picked out for grad students like you!


  • Opportunities
  • Become an In2Science Mentor
  • Job of the Month 
  • Science in the Media
  • SciComm Tip
  • My experience at the Bio21 Discovery Tour
  • Events
  • Scholarships and Awards
  • Featured Scientist
  • Services


GSA Study Support Programs

GSA is running a number of heavily subsidised study support programs and workshops for graduate students, including SPSS, NVivo, Word and Excel, thesis bootcamps and more. Students can sign up by visiting the website.

Careers appointments for off-campus students

Melbourne Careers is piloting the use of Zoom (video chat) for students who are not located on the Parkville campus and seeking careers advice and support. Students can request a Zoom appointment for a career query or job application review by emailing Careers Services.

Thesis boot camp

This is a 3-day weekend of intensive writing with other graduates, designed to help you break your writer’s block and beat procrastination. Applications for the December bootcamp close on Sun 23 Oct. Apply here.  


Become an In2Science Mentor

Are you passionate about science and maths?

Postgraduate students studying science, technology, engineering and/or maths are invited to apply as an In2science Mentor for semester 1 2017. Mentors will be confirmed this year.

In2science is a science peer mentoring program that works to engage high school students from low socio-economic areas with science and maths. University students volunteer their time to work as a mentor in a year 8 or 9 science or maths classrooms or as an online eMentor for 10 week placements. Over the 10 weeks you will get to know the students and encourage them to relate the science/maths they are studying in class to their lives and interests outside of school. You will show that scientists are diverse people not restricted to lab coats and that science is important in many aspects of our lives!

Volunteering with In2science is a great way to give back to the community in the science sphere. With training and support from The University you will develop your communication skills, enhancing your resume, getting a taste for the classroom and informing our society about the importance and wonders of science.

Please apply at the our website.  
Any questions? Email Maddy Yewers


Job of the Month

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowships, CSIRO

What: CSIRO offers PhD graduates an opportunity to launch their scientific careers through our Postdoctoral Fellowships. Successful applicants will work with leaders in various fields of science and receive personal development and learning opportunities. CSIRO is currently offering postdoctoral positions for a period of up to three years.

Who: A range of disciplines including:

  • Flow Electrochemistry
  • Climate and Weather Extremes 
  • Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology 
  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry
  • Evolving Intelligent Materials to Control Cells
  • Biointegration of 3D Printed Titanium Implants
  • C-H Activation for Fine Chemicals 
  • Genome Engineering 
  • Novel Approaches for the Early Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases
  • and many more…

Where: various locations across Australia

Remuneration: $78k - $88k + up to 15.4% superannuation

Applications close: 1 November 2016

International students welcome to apply. 

See Careers Online for this job and many others!


Science in the Media

Science PhD students shine in thesis competition

The Grand Final of the University's ‘Three Minute Thesis’ (3MT) competition was held last month. Congratulations to Ann Aulsebrook, from BioSciences, for coming second! Ella Kelly and Jarmon Lees, also from BioSciences, took part in the final. Watch all the talks here

Classroom Antarctica

In this article, read about the two PhD students who had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly over Antarctica and recreate classic physics experiments.

Research supporting Mildura’s ‘hidden farmers’

In this article, read about the Sunraysia Burundian Garden which evolved out of work by academics in the School of Geography who identified ‘hidden farmers’ in Australia; many newer migrants and refugees who were farmers in their countries of origin but do not have the capital to purchase land.


Sci-Comm 101

Each newsletter we feature tips from our very own science communication extraordinaire in the School of Biosciences, Dr Jen Martin. Follow Jen on Twitter @scidocmartin or check out her blog, Espresso Science.

SciComm Tip #8 Be confident

Giving a talk? Feeling nervous, or anxious? There are many things you can do to ensure you are well prepared: make sure you know who you are talking to, what the purpose of your talk is and how long you’ve got to speak. Prepare your visuals carefully and practice talking without notes as much as you can (don’t memorise your talk, it’s too risky). Thinking carefully about your body language and how it affects your confidence is also important. Watch Amy Cuddy’s famous TED talk about power posing here.


My experience at the Bio21 Discovery Tour

Photo credit: Li Ren Lim, Master of Biotechnology, University of Melbourne

Last week, the School of Chemistry hosted an exclusive tour through the Bio21 Institute. Master of Biotechnology student Michelle Mendonca was lucky enough to score a ticket, and here is what she thought: 

"The tour was conducted by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable Prof Spencer Williams. We were first shown the 5-million-dollar NMR machine, which was the highlight of my tour. It was so interesting to visualize and understand how these technologies are used for large-scale research at the institute. We also had a look at the Metabolomics department, as well as the chemistry labs, where we got to hear about the amazing research conducted by Prof Spencer William and his team. Overall, it was a fascinating experience to see people from different academic backgrounds working towards common goals. - Michelle Mendonca, Master of Biotechnology student.



MAP Demo Day

Demo Day marks the official conclusion of the MAP16 Startup Accelerator. Head along to the Melbourne Town Hall on Thurs 27 Oct, 6pm, to see the MAP16 start ups pitch their ideas, as well as mingle with entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and the extended Melbourne startup community. Register here

Energy Hack 2016

The University is partnering with Powershop to bring together a community of hackers, hustlers and hipsters – determined to harness the consumer and technology revolution in energy. For two dynamic days, discover and engineer opportunities in the brave new world of connected energy. Fri 21 Oct - Sun 23 Oct. More info and registrations here

Indigenous Tertiary Education Conference

Trinity College is pleased to announce its inaugural Indigenous Tertiary Education Conference. The conference will be chaired by Professor Ian Anderson, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) and Foundation Chair in Indigenous Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, and will focus on the theme of transitions. Fri 18 Nov - Sat 19 Nov. More info and registrations here

Dean's Lecture: The Power of a Warm Welcome

As part of the Faculty of Science Dean's Lecture Series, Professor Uma Kothari from the University of Manchester will discuss public representations of refugees and the forging of everyday humanitarianism. Tues 29 Nov, 6:00pm - 8:00pm in The Spot. Register here.

Wade Institute Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition

Come watch the next generation of Australian startups pitch for $10k! From agtech to platform technology to manufacturing, join us for drinks and networking to see the Master of Entrepreneurship students pitch their ideas. Wed 26 Oct, 6-9pm at the Wade Institute, Ormond College. Register here.

The Economics of Wind and Solar Variability

Is wind power to be blamed for last week's South Australian blackout?
As generation costs of wind and solar decrease, and become competitive with fossil fuelled power, the system impacts of variability (intermittency) become crucial. Dr Falko Ueckerdt will discuss the most important drivers of these system costs, their implications and the role of flexibility options such as transmission grids, short- and long-term storage and demand response, mainly from an economic perspective. Mon 17 Oct, 11am - 12pm. RSVP via Eventbrite


Scholarships and Awards

Faculty of Science Postgraduate Writing-Up Award

Any students planning to submit their PhD thesis soon should consider applying for this Writing-Up Award. This award supports RHD candidates during the preparation of journal articles or books based on the thesis submitted for examination. RHD students are eligible to apply at any time after submission of their thesis for examination, provided they have not yet been advised of the result of the examination. The awardee will receive a maximum of $3000 provided the preparation of texts or articles requires support for the period. Read more and apply online. Applications close Thurs 22 Dec.  

Victoria University Research Impact Award

This award recognises and honours the next generation of researchers whose intelligent and visionary achievements and discoveries have and will shape our future world. Eligible nominees must be up to and including 29 years of age as of 31 Dec, and have lived in Victoria for a minimum of 2 years. This award is open to an individual or a team. For team applications all members of the team must satisfy the age requirements for the award. Winners will receive a $1,000 Bartercard Account plus $1,000 into an account in their name from Bank of Melbourne. If you would like to be considered for a nomination please visit the website, and get in touch with us. Entries close Thurs 1 Dec


Featured Scientist

Jess Stott, Master of Science (Genetics) 

"I study how cells transition from migratory to stationary (epithelial) forms, which occurs during the development of many organs and diseases, including cancer. In my research I am investigating the development of the fruit fly’s digestive system as a model for this transitional process, to identify the key genes and their equivalents in human disease. Outside of study, I also like reading (mostly fantasy), computer games, and singing.”  



Safer Community Program

All students are encouraged to download the Safer Community Program’s free UniSafe app. UniSafe provides connection with the University’s support services and a direct link to Campus Security for emergency situations. The app also provides access to a range of 24/7 emergency services, security escorts on campus, and personal safety advice. It can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play, from links on the Safer Community Program website.

Introducing myUniApps  

myUniApps is a new service for students that provides online access to software packages – including general productivity applications and applications that may be relevant to your courses. myUniApps is accessed via any web browser and from any web-enabled device. You can access and save files as normal and print to your own printer or a University print queue. myUniApps will go live Mon Oct 17. For more info see the myUniApps FAQ page here

Health Service

The University of Melbourne Health Service provides health care for both local and international students. Visit the website for more information on how to book appointments, receive advice on travel health and immunisations, and learn about the other services offered here. They’re located at 138 Cardigan Street.


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We also welcome your feedback about our GradSci Newsletters. Let us know what you think by email.

Until next time we are truly yours,

Science News

Faculty of Science webpage