NECTAR logo 2018




Early Career Academics are hardworking individuals striving to position themselves in a highly competitive niche.

NECTAR is the ANU Network of Early Career Academics. It includes a collective of these individuals who come together in a forum to advocate the needs of Early Career Academics.

NECTAR aims to:

  • empower Early Career Academics to better achieve their vision / realise their niche.
  • facilitate ECA to better shape the future of ANU
  • foster open communication, connectivity and collaboration across and beyond the campus.

If you have comments to make on this logo please contact us.

Ask Brian – empowered through NECTAR!

Wednesday, 25 July 2018!

Do we – the Early Career Academics – have burning questions for VC Brian Schmidt? You bet!

untitled-385 (2)

Every year the Early Career Academic network of ANU – NECTAR – meet with the ANU Executive, including Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor and Nobel Laureate, to ask questions about issues faced by Early Career Academics.

By working together we can ask our questions with a collective, constructive voice!

We will host this event close by in a program of discussions and workshops to prepare our questions. We aim to deliver a thought provoking and skill developing program like the ‘NECTAR Retreat 2016 and the NECTAR Retreat 2017′.

Save the date!

FINAL DAY TO REGISTER! — Research Impact & Your Academic Career — NECTAR Seminar THIS THURSDAY 10 November

FINAL DAY TO REGISTER! Please circulate to your networks




THIS THURSDAY 10 November, 10.30am-12.00pm


An ANU ECA focused seminar supported by NECTAR ANU Early Career Academic Network, with ANU Research Training & Skills, and ANU Research Services Division

We constantly hear that academics must ‘publish or perish’ – but what does it mean in practice? After all, academic research and its impact can be measured in a variety of ways.

This seminar explores “the increasing focus on showcasing or measuring the societal benefits from research, and a need for better coordination in reporting and promoting the impact of these research outcomes”. In this, research impact is generally understood as “the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia.” (ARC 2015)

This seminar will comprise a presentation from Dr Douglas Robertson, Director of Research Services, ANU, and talks by a panel of leading ANU academics who will speak about their research and its impact, and how successfully attending to both has benefited their academic career:

  • Associate Professor Antonio Tricoli, Research Fellow & Lecturer, Engineering and Computer Science, CECS;
  • Dr Deborah Apthorp, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, Research School of Psychology, CMBE; and
  • Dr Catherine J. Frieman, Lecturer in European Archaeology, School of Archaeology & Anthropology, CASS.
  • Dr Nicholas Farrelly, Deputy Director (Impact and Engagement) for the Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, CAP.

Dr Douglas Robertson will help us learn about how academic impact, productivity and quality can be measured, how to publish in formats and locations that can benefit your career, and help clarify how the publishing system works:

1) Understand how research outputs are measured and how this might differ between universities.
2) Have an appreciation for the complexities of the contemporary publishing landscape and the importance of being strategic about how and where you publish.
3) Understand how publishing does – and doesn’t – play a role in promotion and career advancement.

A light lunch will be served after the presentation. This will be an opportunity to network with the presenters and other attendees.

All current ANU Early Career Academics and PhD candidates are invited to attend.

 Date & Time: Thursday 10 November, 10.30am-12.00pm, followed by light networking lunch 12.00-1.00pm
Location: Finkel Theatre, JCSMR Building, Bldg 131, ANU
Register now at Eventbrite

This event is proudly bought to you by NECTAR with the ANU Research Skills and Training team and Research Services Division. For further information, you can contact the NECTAR Coordinator via email:

Speaker Biographies

Associate Professor Antonio Tricoli is head of the nanotechnology Research Laboratory at the Australian National University. His group focuses on the engineering of advanced materials for enhanced fluid-light interaction. He received his master in Mechanical and Process Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 2004 with his thesis “Numerical calculation of the blood flow through a cerebral aneurism featuring MR-reconstructed real geometry and an elastic artery wall” under the supervision of Prof. D. Poulikakos. Immediately after, he joined the Renewable Energy Laboratory of Prof A. Steinfeld at ETH where he worked on the production of hydrogen from solar energy. He continued his PhD studies in 2005 at the Particle Technology Laboratory of ETH Zurich working with Prof. S.E. Pratsinis on advanced nanomaterial synthesis by scalable flame reactors. In 2010, he received his PhD in the field of Nanotechnology with his thesis “Gas sensitive nanostructured films by direct flame synthesis and deposition”. His thesis received numerous awards including the prestigious HILTI Prize for the most innovative PhD thesis of ETH Zurich in 2010. He continued his work as research fellow and lecturer at ETH Zurich working on the nanofabrication of nanoparticle and nanowire layers for renewable energy production and medical devices. In 2012, he joined the Australian National University under the Future Engineering Research Leadership Fellowship, and founded the Nanotechnology Research Laboratory at the Research School of Engineering. His research efforts have been recognized by numerous awards including one of the four Westpac Research Fellowships awarded in 2015 in Australia.

Dr Deborah Apthorp is currently an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the ANU Research School of Psychology. After earlier careers as a classical musician, parent, and self-employed businessperson, she began her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Macquarie University in 2002. Graduating with first-class Honours and the University Medal in 2006, she went on to complete her PhD at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Dr. David Alais in 2011. After brief stints as a postdoctoral researcher at Sydney and then at the University of Wollongong, she was awarded the NHMRC Early Career Fellowship in 2013, and moved to ANU to carry it out. She was recently awarded a Perpetual Impact Philanthropy Foundation grant for her research into postural sway in Parkinson’s Disease. She has established an EEG (electroencephalography) lab at the Research School of Psychology as well as a Parkinson’s Research Lab at the Canberra Hospital, in collaboration with Professor Christian Lueck. Her collaborators at ANU also include scholars from the Research School of Engineering, the John Curtin Medical School, the Research School of Population Health (CRAHW), and the ANU Medical School. Her research interests include visual perception, attention, EEG, postural control, neurodegenerative diseases, and non-linear dynamical approaches to data analysis.

Dr Catherine Frieman is a lecturer in European archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology. Previously she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at the University of Oxford and a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Nottingham. She received a BA in archaeological studies from Yale University and an and D.phil in archaeology from the University of Oxford. Catherine’s D.phil examined the adoption of metal objects and metallurgy in 4th-2nd millennium BC northwest Europe through a close study of various lithic objects long thought to be skeuomorphs of metal. Her primary research interests include innovation and conservatism, and she is a material culture and technology specialist with a particular interest in stone tools. She has ongoing fieldwork in the UK, is lead Chief CI of an ARC Discovery project looking into human mobility and the diffusion of innovations in prehistoric Iberia and the Pacific and she has also worked on lithic material and technology from Neolithic sites in Vietnam. In addition to her research, Catherine is a passionate teacher and her contributions to education at the ANU have been recognised by teaching excellence awards from CASS, the Vice-Chancellor’s office and the Australian Office of Learning and Teaching.

Dr Nicholas Farrelly is Deputy Director (Impact and Engagement) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. After graduating from the ANU with First Class Honours and the University Medal, he completed Masters and Doctoral theses at the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2006, Nicholas co-founded New Mandala, which is nowadays a prominent website on Southeast Asian affairs. Over the years he has undertaken political and social research in Thailand,  Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, China and Myanmar. He recently completed an Australian Research Council fellowship focussed on political change in Myanmar, for which he spent 6 months living in Naypyitaw. Nicholas also writes a weekly newspaper column for The Myanmar Times.

Dr Douglas Robertson is Director of the Research Services Division at the Australian National University reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research; an appointment he took up in July 2013. Douglas started in the field of University Research Administration and Support at the University of Leeds, UK in 1983. This was then followed by a period as Contracts Manager at the University of Strathclyde, UK from 1987 to1993. In 1994 Douglas was appointed as Director of Research Business Development at Nottingham University, UK with responsibilities covering research, procurement, insurance, conferences and technology Transfer. In 2003 Douglas assumed the role of Director of Business Development at Newcastle University, UK with wide ranging responsibilities covering all aspects of externally funded project activity including research support, regional economic development and technology transfer. Major projects included project direction of a significant museum refurbishment project and part of the senior team responsible for initiating development of overseas campuses in Malaysia and Singapore and development of an entirely new city centre property development in Newcastle, UK focusing on co-location of university and industry activities.

ANU Qualitative Research Network – Spring Forum 15 November

QRN Spring Forum

Theme: Qualitative research and the policy process: How can qualitative research better inform decision making processes?

Date: 15th November, 2016. 4pm – 5.30pm
Location: Scarth Room – University House, ANU

Speakers for the forum include:

Sean Innis – Special Advisor to the Productivity Commission
Susan Helyar – Director, ACT Council of Social Services
Karen Kellard – Director of Qualitative Research, Social Research Centre
Kim Grey – Senior Advisor, Evaluation Policy and Advice Section, Indigenous Affairs Group, PM&C

Enquiries: Dr Marisa Fogarty:

The How and Why of Clinical Research

Are you a clinician interested in research but not sure how you can make it work?
Come along to hear how senior clinicians have developed their research career

ACT Health, the ANU Medical School, and the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment Early Career Academic Development Committee invite clinicians to attend a discussion about research careers, how to juggle research and clinical duties, and a panel discussion. Speakers include:

Professor Paul Smith
Assistant Professor Bernie Bissett
Professor Kieran Fallon
Associate Professor Christine Phillips

Professor Imogen Mitchell, Acting Dean, ANU Medical School will be convening. Come along to hear about successful research pathways and ask any questions that you may have.

Thursday 25 August 2016
5:30 pm for canapés and drinks
Session commences 6:00pm – 7:15pm

All clinicians, JMOs and medical students with an interest in research most welcome.

ANU Medical School Auditorium
Canberra Hospital
Building 4, level 2.
RSVP – August 13, 2015 (for catering)

Upcoming Talk at ANU: Innovation Logic: Six easy steps to innovate product or process and access to the global brain; BIG Patent DATA

ANU welcomes Simon Dewulf, CEO of AULIVE, to speak about Innovation Logic.

Presented by Innovation ANU
When: Thursday 30 June, 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Where: TBC, ANU Campus
Free to register

AULIVE Innovation Logic is based on fifteen years of creativity research, over five hundred innovation projects and the exploration of worldwide BIG Patent DATA. The method and patent analysis software bring speed and efficiency to:

  • R&D innovation and problem solving capability
  • market connection for technology, product or process
  • predictive innovation and technical trend analysis
  • knowledge retainment and technology transfer
  • patent analysis and technology landscaping.

The AULIVE Innovation Logic originated in the nineties from a UK DfEE sponsored project at Imperial College, London, on fostering creativity and innovation in engineering education. With subsequent research years in Ypres and Leuven, Belgium and Bangalore, India, AULIVE designed free inspiration tools at including an innovation database, a patent analysis tool, and production innovation tool and a creativity test. AULIVE has trained over 1500 researchers in Innovation Logic. Their star research tool PatentInspiration is actively used in universities in San Paulo, Talca, Ohio, Brno and Osaka and companies like GSK, P&G, SKF, CSR, Shell, L’Oréal, SABMiller and Kodak. The patented AULIVE Innovation Logic was awarded the INSEAD Innogator prize in 2010.  Now based in Australia, AULIVE opens an innovation training resort this September on a bush mountain, in Glen Elgin NSW.

More information about this event

Advancing women in science and engineering: how does Australia compare?

Public lecture Forum

Presenter: Prof. Sharon Bell, Charles Darwin University; Dr. Lisa M. Frehill, National Science Foundation
Event date: 
4–6pm 12 November 2015
Venue: Conference Room 1.02 , Sr Roland Wilson Building (#120), McCoy crt, ANU

Please register online

In November the Gender Institute is bringing to the ANU two distinguished experts on gender equity in science, who will reflect on the current state of knowledge and policy effectiveness in this area. This is a unique opportunity for everybody interested in gender equity in science to get together to debate how far we have yet to go and how to move forward.


Prof. Sharon Bell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University, will discuss the most recent findings from her studies of gender divides in Australian science. This research was motivated by the fact that in Australia women constitute a majority of undergraduate and higher degree research students. Yet, the semblance of parity disguises persistent patterns of inequality.  Growth in women’s participation remains primarily in disciplines that are historically highly feminized. Despite pressing and impending workforce needs, women in non-traditional areas of study as the equity category have fallen off the policy table, with the notable exception, and only recently, of women in science.

Sharon will discuss the recently released report ‘Women in the Science Research Workforce’ (2015), which focuses on biology and chemistry, as these two disciplines have experienced significant female participation up to the doctoral level for several decades. Postgraduate female biology and chemistry graduates, particularly chemistry graduates, enter a wide range of occupations in industry and government as well as in the science research workforce. This is a landmark report in that it is cross-sectoral in two important fields of science, draws on data from both men and women across all career stages and draws on evidence from those who have left the science research workforce.

Dr. Lisa M. Frehill, of the National Science Foundation, will present her recent research on the status of women in science and engineering cross-nationally.  Her talk will also discuss outcomes from the ADVANCE program funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation implemented to increase women’s access to academic careers in science and engineering.  Starting in 2000, the ADVANCE: Institutional Transformation Program has provided funds to U.S. universities and scientific societies to take stock of the status of women in science and engineering and to develop strategies to increase recruitment, retention, and advancement of women via positive institutional change.

Lisa implemented this program at two U.S. universities and worked on gender equity with two dozen other institutions in the U.S. and abroad. She has travelled to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to consult and assist in the development of similar initiatives. Lisa’s background includes work as a General Motors industrial engineer, positions in academia, industry, not-for-profit organizations, and the U.S. government. Her sociological research, including her most recent co-edited book titled “Advancing Women in Science: An International Perspective” published in 2015 by Springer, concerns implementing organizational change to increase gender and ethnic equity.

Please register online by Tuesday 10 November

Higher Education Conference 2016 – Call for Posters

The 2016 Higher Education Conference – Transforming Australia: universities and their
communities will host a poster exhibition to highlight research that demonstrates
excellent collaboration and contribution to the community. This will be an
opportunity for PhD candidates and early career researchers to showcase their
work to senior researchers, as well as to delegates from across higher education,
industry and government.

The Conference is Universities Australia’s flagship annual event, attracting more than 800 delegates from both within and outside the university sector. It is attended by Vice-Chancellors, Chancellors, eminent scientists and researchers, international education specialists, policy makers, business representatives and the media.

The 8th annual conference is to be held 9-11 March 2016 at the National Convention Centre Canberra with a focus on universities and their communities.

The project
The candidate’s project should be focused on innovative research that is addressing an issue for
the community.The candidate will demonstrate how their project is building links between their
university and individuals, organisations and government to solve challenging real‑world issues.

The proposal
Candidates are asked to submit a proposal by 6 November 2015 for their poster, using the relevant form – Higher Ed Conference – Call for posters 2016. Please note that there are 20 spaces available in the poster exhibition.

Projects will be selected by a panel from Universities Australia and successful candidates will be notified in writing by December 2015.

Liz Long
02 6285 8130

ANU Medical School – research workshop 14th November

The ANU Medical School is holding a one day (free) research workshop on Saturday 14th November open to all in the ANU Medical School building a research career – either the researcher just starting out or those someway into the journey of building a research career.

Convened by Prof Imogen Mitchell, the workshop includes participation from internationally recognised researchers who have huge research track records. They are all approachable with practical solutions to the often daunting task of creating a research track record, a research group and writing a successful competitive grant.

The full program can be accessed here.Research Workshop November 2015 ANU Medical School.docx

rsvp’s to Liz Sturgiss:

Invitation to ANU Gender Institute Members’ meeting and lunch

The ANU Gender Institute is presently preparing for a 5 year review of its achievements and impact with a view to building on the success of the Institute and ensuring its continuation. The formal review process will begin soon, and the Gender Institute would like to solicit member feedback and ideas for future directions.

Gender Institute members are invited to attend a general meeting with the Convener, Fiona Jenkins, and members of the Gender Institute Management Committee (Kim Rubenstein, Margaret Jolly, Hilary Charlesworth, Celine D’Orgeville and Helen Keane) where you can provide your feedback and ideas on the future of the Institute.

When: Wednesday 19 August, 12:30-1:30pm (followed by a light lunch 1:30-2:00pm)
Where: Conference Room 1.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building (120 McCoy Circuit).

by Friday 14 August for catering purposes (please specify any dietary requirements e.g., vegetarian, gluten free etc.).

The purpose of the review is to assess the Institute on the following aspects:
–          Gender research, education and outreach
–          Gender equity at ANU and beyond
–          National and international outlook and engagement
–          Influence in policy and practice
–          Furthering the strategic goals of ANU
–          Attracting visitors and students
–          Grants, prizes and fellowships
–          Management and governance structure

The Gender Institute understands that many members will have teaching commitments so if you are unable to attend, please feel free to email your feedback and ideas to