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.


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About the NECTAR Team

In addition to the Early Career Academic volunteers of NECTAR (the NECTAR College Contacts), NECTAR also has now two staff members: Sophie Baker and Hannah Birke.

NectarCoordinatorSophie Baker
Sophie Baker – NECTAR Coordinator

Hi, I am keen to facilitate NECTAR to be the best it can be. I’d like to think any ECA can feel comfortable dropping into our office, the NECTAR headquarters at building 10T1, for a chat, any time.”
Hannah Birke – NECTAR Administrator

Hi, I’m Hannah. I’ve spent five years postdoc-ing at CSIRO and ANU, so I know a lot about the challeges facing ECAs. I was lucky and had a lot of support while navigating these challenges. I hope that I will now be able to give back some of that support to the NECTAR community.

NECTAR headquarters:

Room 1.32, Chancelry Building 10T1, Fellows Road

The Australian National University

Acton ACT 2601

T + 61 2 6125 7165

F + 61 2 6125 4023


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.

Blogging for a better world? ANU Bell School Horizons Seminar Series

When: Friday 30 September, 12.30pm-2.00pm
Where: Lecture Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Rd and Liversidge St, ANU

Those of us who work in universities like to think that academics and their ideas have the power to make the world a better place.

But all too often, scholarly insight and knowledge fails to reach the wider world. So how do we liberate this expertise?

One proven approach is to harness the power and potential of academic blogging — the re-packaging of lofty scholarship in accessible, bite-sized formats.

In this Horizons 2016 seminar, three practitioners will look at the promise and pitfalls of academic blogging and why it is an activity that modern places of research and teaching must undertake – for both theirs and the globe’s sake.

Speakers will examine how academic blogging can fill the gap left by the retreat of traditional media, speak truth to power and hold elites to account, scrutinise politicians’ claims with peer reviewed fact checks, and drive and deepen public debate and knowledge.

This seminar forms part of the ANU Bell School’s Horizons 2016 seminar series, Digital vision: agency, power and the future of Asia-Pacific affairs.

The event is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be provided beforehand (12pm) and registration is essential.

Register at Eventbrite

About the Speakers
Sunanda Creagh is Fact Check Editor for The Conversation. Prior to this role she worked as a political and general news correspondent in the Reuters Jakarta bureau, and as a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald where she covered politics, urban affairs, arts, features and sport.

Sam Roggeveen is Director of Digital at the Lowy Institute. He oversees the Institute’s digital strategy across its two websites and its social media channels. Sam joined the Lowy Institute in 2007 as founding editor of its digital magazine, The Interpreter. In that role he was privileged to work with some of Australia’s best international policy minds to put together one of the smartest, wittiest, most informative sites on the web.

James Giggacher is editor of New Mandala a specialist academic blog on Southeast Asia’s politics and society, teaches courses on strategy for digital platforms and writing for public audiences, and co-convener of the Bell School’s 2016 Horizons seminar series.

About Horizons
Hosted each year by the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, the Horizons seminar series aims to enhance research innovation by supporting and showcasing collaborative, interdisciplinary, innovative and accessible thinking and work in Asia-Pacific affairs. The 2016 series, Digital vision: Agency, power and the future of Asia-Pacific affairs, explores how and why academics need to take scholarly debate and knowledge to wider audiences.

Call For Applications: ANU – University of Yangon collaborations

The ANU Myanmar Research Centre is delighted to announce the Reciprocal Academic Visitor Program in partnership with the University of Yangon. The aim of this program is to develop research linkages between scholars at the two institutions.

Over the next 12 months, this program will support 10 academics from ANU to visit the University of Yangon and 10 academics from Yangon to visit ANU. This program is a component of the DFAT supported Government Partnerships for Development (GPfD) project between ANU and the University of Yangon.

Since 2014, the Myanmar government has been working on reforming the country’s tertiary education sector. As these reforms continue to unfold, it is particularly exciting to have this opportunity to collaborate with scholars in the country’s leading tertiary institution, the University of Yangon.

The ANU Myanmar Research Centre is providing academic and administrative support to the Reciprocal Academic Visitor Program, and calling for expressions of interest from ANU academics. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The University of Yangon has expressed particular interest in developing collaboration with ANU in the Sciences, building on some of the links already established in the social sciences and humanities.

If you would like to apply please fill out the Application Form, addressing the following criteria:

  1. Does the proposal demonstrate an intention to develop an ongoing collaboration with the University of Yangon?
  2. How will the project contribute to improved governance in Myanmar through improved research capacity at the University of Yangon?
  3. Are the outputs from the visit realistic?
  4. Does the University of Yangon have the capacity to host the visitor and collaborate in the research? (The ANU Myanmar Research Centre can assist applicants with criteria #4)

Successful applicants will be supported for a 10-day visit to the University of Yangon, and provided with a return airfare, accommodation and a generous per diem.

A selection committee has been formed to oversee and endorse selections. The committee comprises Professor Andrew Walker (Chair), College of Asia and the Pacific; Professor Don Rothwell, College of Law; Dr Charlotte Galloway, College of Arts and Social Sciences; a representative from the Colleges of Science; and Mr Anthony Pages, ANU Enterprise.

For travel in 2016, expressions of interest are due on 20 June 2016. For travel in 2017, expressions of interest are due on 29 September 2016. Please submit your completed application to

If you have any queries about this exciting opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Olivia Cable (, or Andrew Walker (

Opportunity for Early Career Academic or PhD student to join Australia-Indonesia Leaders Program

Opportunity for Early Career Academic or PhD student to join Australia-Indonesia Leaders Program, 16-25 November (applications close 21 September)

The Australia Indonesia Centre, of which ANU is a member, is offering sponsorship for an ANU early career academic or PhD student to join the second 2016 Australia-Indonesia Leaders Program (16-25 November) – the theme is “Public Diplomacy, Infrastructure and Innovation”.

Application Information: Australia-Indonesia Leaders Program Nov16 application information ANU

Program Overview:  Australia-Indonesia Leaders Program – November 2016 Program Overview

Deadline: Applications close 5pm 21 September.
Applicants should be working on a topic relevant to the program themes.

Inquiries and applications should be directed to:
Peter Kanowski, ANU AIC Coordinator –; ph 6125 5334.

ANU Library seminar: Author symposium on book & journal publishing presented by Springer Nature

Author symposium on book & journal publishing presented by Springer Nature – ANU Library – ANU

Date: Tues 13 Sept 2016
Time: 10.30am-12pm
Venue: Mcdonald Room, RG Menzies Building, ANU

Looking to get published?

In co-operation with the ANU Library, Springer Nature is hosting an Author Symposium on book and journal publishing. The Symposium is aimed at early career researchers.

Springer’s Senior Editor for hard sciences, cell biology and biochemistry, Dr Thijs van Vlijmen, will present on the following topics:

>      An introduction to Springer Nature
>      Australia in a global scientific context
>      Journal publishing with Springer
>      Academic book publishing with Springer – how it works
>      An ANU author’s perspective on publishing with Springer

There will be opportunities for discussion with Thijs van Vlijmen after the Symposium.

Space is limited, so please reserve your spot ahead of time.

Further info

2017 Global Young Scientist Summit (GYSS) in Singapore

ANU again has the opportunity to recommend some young scientists to take part in the prestigious Global Young Scientist Summit (GYSS) in Singapore. The GYSS is open to post-doc academics  and PhD scholars (under 35), with ANU able make five nominations. ANU has been highly successful in the past, with all five of ANU nominations selected last year. The theme for GYSS 2017 is “Advancing Science, Creating Technologies for a Better World”.

The GYSS is aimed mainly at scientists but some cross-disciplinary applications have been successful in the past.

Those wishing to apply will need to forward the following documents to by COB Friday 16th September  to be considered for selection as an ANU nominee:

  • one page addressing the selection criteria (see GYSS2017-Participant-Selection-Criteria.pdf). Applicants should focus on their research and how it relates to the GYSS theme in their statement.
  • a short CV (no fixed format but should highlight research interests, education background, awards and key publications), and
  • a letter of support from a supervisor or Head of Research School (this should include confirmation that funding is available for flight costs).

ANU is expected to sponsor participants’ passage – all the other expenses will be provided by Singapore (see GYSS2017-Participant-Selection-Criteria.pdf). ANU PVC (Research & Research Training) will contribute $500 toward the flight costs of each participant. This will be paid via College Finance teams as a reimbursement.

Please contact Peter Francis if you have any questions.