ABC searches for Australia’s brightest emerging minds in 2021

The ABC has started the search for this year’s brightest minds across science, the humanities and the arts, to give a voice to Australia’s next generation of research talent.

Applications for the 2021 intake of the ABC TOP 5 media residencies are now open, to support emerging researchers, scholars, and practitioners in sharing their work with the nation.

This year’s TOP 5 Arts scheme, in partnership with the University of Melbourne and Australia Council for the Arts, has been expanded to include practitioners and scholars in music and literature, alongside visual arts, performance, design, architecture and screen.

The TOP 5 program is also open to early-career researchers in science, in partnership with the Australian National University, and the humanities, in partnership with the University of Sydney.

Successful TOP 5 applicants in all three fields will receive intensive two-week media training and practical experience in residence at ABC Radio National in Sydney or Melbourne, working alongside some of Australia’s best journalists and broadcasters.

Jennifer Collins, ABC Head of Factual & Culture, said the TOP 5 program would bring the work of researchers, scholars and practitioners to a broad audience. “Audiences are hungry for credible, reliable information and thoughtful analysis and debate about issues big and small. With our partners at the University of Melbourne, Australia Council for the Arts, Australian National University and University of Sydney, we look forward to giving a voice to our next generation of big thinkers,” she said.

“Great ideas and research do not operate in a vacuum. The ABC is committed to equipping dynamic and passionate scholars with the skills to share their knowledge and expertise with the nation.”

The 2020 TOP 5 residencies were held virtually due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ABC intends to present the 2021 residencies face-to-face, pending any further COVID-19 restrictions.

Applications are open from 1 May to 1 June 2021.

Who can apply for the TOP 5 programs?

  • Science: PhD-qualified early career researchers in science, technology, engineering, maths and research (STEM). The two-week media residency will be hosted by the ABC at its Sydney office in Ultimo from 30 August to 10 September.
  • Humanities: PhD-qualified early career researchers in humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS). The two-week media residency will be hosted by the ABC at its Sydney office in Ultimo from 25 October to 5 November.
  • Arts: Graduate, independent or freelance professional artists, or arts practitioners working for an Australian arts organisation, and PhD-qualified early career researchers who are working at an Australian university or a research organisation. The two-week residency will be hosted by the ABC at its Melbourne office in Southbank from 27 September to 8 October.

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