Are you a dynamic early career researcher with a passion for communicating your work to a wider audience? The ABC has today opened applications for its popular media residency scheme, calling for emerging university scholars to apply.

The nationwide callout for Top 5 is bigger than ever with two intakes in 2018. Building on the success of the Science program (now in its fourth year in partnership with UNSW), the ABC is expanding Top 5 to the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The new Humanities program is running in partnership with the University of Sydney.
Providing an in-house ideas incubator based at ABC RN, the program is designed to nurture the communication skills and media awareness of Australia’s most dynamic emerging thinkers to help them share their knowledge and expertise with content-hungry audiences seeking expert information and debate.
As ‘researchers in residence’, the Top 5 winners will spend two weeks at the ABC working alongside some of the country’s best journalists and broadcasters to train in the craft of radio and TV interviews, and develop content across ABC platforms.
The Top 5 Science program is supported by a high-profile line-up of ambassadors including UNSW Dean of Science, Professor Emma Johnston.
“We are very pleased to be partnering again with the ABC on this exciting program to help talented early career researchers reach a wider audience,” Professor Johnston said. “It is vital that scientists are able to share their knowledge, fascinating discoveries and new ideas in a way that is accessible to all, so we can have a scientifically informed society that values evidence-based policy.”
The University of Sydney’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Philosophy Duncan Ivison, is an ambassador for the Humanities program.
"In a world of ‘post-truth’, #MeToo, artificial intelligence, and the ‘roboapocalypse’, we need the humanities, as never before, to help us understand and address some of the most challenging issues of our times. It’s vital that our finest humanities scholars are fine-tuning their communication skills and engaging with the world. Being part of this inaugural Top 5 media residency program will help them to achieve that."
“The ABC is proud of the Top 5 program’s success so far in discovering some of Australia’s brightest emerging thinkers. It’s exciting to see the program expand this year so our audiences can hear from more fresh, new voices, not just in Science but now across the Humanities as well,” said ABC Head of Specialist Content Judith Whelan, who is one of the program’s judges.
“I thank UNSW and the University of Sydney for partnering with the ABC to provide a national media residency scheme for the next generation of talented researchers.”
Top 5 media residency programs in 2018 – apply at
Science: for PhD-qualified early career researchers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medical research (STEMM). The two-week media residency will be hosted by the ABC in July.
Humanities: for PhD-qualified early career researchers in humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS). New in 2018, the two-week media residency will be hosted by the ABC in September.
Find out more about previous winners of the Top 5 Science program – 2015, 2016 and 2017. Many of the researchers have had successful media careers since their RN residencies, both within and beyond the ABC. Photonics researcher Dr Niraj Lal (2016) has presented episodes of ABC short-form series Sciencey and was ‘guest physicist’ on Todd Sampson's Life on the Line; mathematician Dr Sophie Calabretto (2017) has appeared on Catalyst; and two of the class of 2015 have co-presented ABC podcasts: Dr Alice Williamson (Dear Science) and Dr Amanda Bauer (Cosmic Vertigo). 
Key dates and FAQs
Applications open: Tuesday 10 April 2018
Applications close: Wednesday 9 May 2018
Science media residency: 2–13 July 2018
Humanities media residency: 17–28 September 2018
The judging panel and ambassadors for each program are listed on the Top 5 website.
Who can apply for the Top 5 programs?
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 the full entry criteria and application forms.
If I am shortlisted, where will the interviews be conducted?
Up to 10 applicants will be shortlisted and interviewed for each program by a judging panel via Skype.
Will support be provided for Top 5 winners who live outside of Sydney to take part in the media residencies?
Yes. Any of the winners based outside of Sydney will be eligible for travel and accommodation expenses for the two-week residencies at the ABC in July and September.
For more information and to apply, go to the Top 5 website at