ABC Chair Kim Williams AO announces renewed ABC TOP 5 partnerships with three leading universities and Creative Australia

ABC Chair Kim Williams has launched the 2024 applications for the ABC TOP 5 and announced renewed triennial funding agreements with three of Australia’s leading universities.

The University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and Australian National University will continue their support of the ABC TOP 5 for the next three years, and Creative Australia will also continue its partnership with the TOP 5 Arts through to 2026.

ABC Chair Kim Williams says that it is essential for the ABC that it continue to strengthen its relationships with key cultural and educational institutions. “The ABC is in a unique position providing independent information and ideas to the Australian community. The close ties that the TOP 5 has developed with the universities and Creative Australia, means we have direct input to these new ideas that will shape Australia’s future.”

The ABC TOP 5 media residency program is the only one of its kind in Australia. It now boasts over 100 alumni, with many becoming leading commentators in their fields and mentors for early career researchers.

Professor Emma Johnston Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, University of Sydney said: “We are proud to continue our partnership with the ABC Top 5 Media Residency as a wonderful opportunity for humanities and social sciences researchers to learn from some of the best broadcasters in the business. The program equips early career researchers with vital career-long skills to clearly and confidently express the interest and value of their work to the community.”

Creative Australia’s Executive Director Development and Strategic Partnerships, Dr Georgie McClean commented on the important role the program plays in promoting Australian art and culture: “Creative Australia is delighted to continue our support for the ABC’s Top 5 – Arts Program, as part of our commitment to championing the value of Australian art, culture and creativity. The ABC’s TOP 5 gives arts practitioners and researchers practical hands-on experience of the media, empowering them with tools and strategies to share ideas and insights with a range of audiences.”

Applications are now open for the 2024 ABC TOP 5 media residencies.

The ABC is once again searching for Australia’s next generation of inspiring research communicators across Science, the Humanities, and the Arts – to share their ideas, findings and insights with the world.

In 2024, five successful applicants from each of the three fields will receive intensive two-week media training and practical experience in residence at the ABC, working alongside some of Australia’s best journalists and broadcasters.

Cath Dwyer, Manager ABC Radio National, says engaging with the media can be a daunting for early career academics, but their input to the ABC is also crucial. “The TOP 5 is a terrific program, not only because the researchers learn how to effectively communicate their specialist knowledge to broad audiences, but also because we here at the ABC also greatly benefit by working with these extraordinary individuals and being exposed to their ideas and ways of thinking”.

Applications open 9am (AEST) Monday 25 March 2024 and close 11.59pm (AEST) Sunday 7 May 2024.

The ABC TOP 5 media residencies are open to:

  • Humanities: PhD-qualified early career researchers in humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS)
  • Science: PhD-qualified early career researchers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medical research (STEMM)
  • Arts: Early-career Arts researchers – with or studying for – a PhD in visual arts, architecture, design, performance, screen, literature, or music.

The ABC is proud to be working with our project partners at Creative Australia, University of Melbourne, Australian National University and University of Sydney – their vital ongoing support makes the ABC TOP 5 possible.

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