EQUS seminar series: Researcher profile building

Speakers: Kylie Ahern and AJ Epstein, from STEM Matters

Title: Researcher profile building

Abstract: Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent globally every year on research in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) but only a fraction translates into wide attention from the public, governments, industry, the media and philanthropy.  Yet there are researchers, entrepreneurs, leaders and communicators who have succeeded brilliantly at creating a large audience and/or profile for their research and innovations, often leading to greater access to funding.

Their secret?  They have consciously built their profile in a way that works for them.

Modern STEM engagement is about more than PR.  This one-hour presentation will be focused on the elements that your researchers need to create a profile – their toolkit.  We will cover the basics – like media engagement – but we will also talk about options and examples for how your researchers can tailor their efforts around their specific interests and time. 

What do they need to start planning and preparing to ensure that they are building the profile they need to stand out?


Kylie Ahern, CEO, is a an award-winning science publisher who has worked across popular and academic science publishing as well as mainstream media in Australia and the UK.  In 2004, she raised financing for, established and was the CEO of Cosmos Media, launching Australia’s top-selling science magazine and website, COSMOS, and environmental magazine and portal, The Green Lifestyle Magazine.  COSMOS was a game-changer for the science sector in Australia.  Prior to the launch, 99% of science magazine sales were to imported titles.  "COSMOS came along and had world-class science writing around local scientists, many of whom weren’t featured in mainstream media despite their extraordinary careers and impact. Before long we were outselling all the international titles.  We created the science category in Australia.  And we absolutely helped build the profile of many scientists that are well known today."

After selling her equity in COSMOS, she helped establish Nature Publishing in Australia and New Zealand.  After two years with Nature she went on to found STEM Matters – a strategy, content and engagement consultancy for the STEM and research sector.  In the past 5 years she has worked with 50 clients across 75 projects nationally.

In August 2020 she launched the online publication, The Brilliant, which showcases the work of extraordinary people and institutions that have magnified the impact of their research and innovations.  Her vision is to transform how universities, research institutes and the STEM sector engage the public with science and research.

Over the past 15 years, AJ Epstein, Publishing Director, has worked with research organisations across the country to develop content and engagement strategies that incorporate innovate storytelling, stakeholder engagement and strategic partnerships to build audience, demonstrate impact and achieve business objectives.

AJ has a deep understanding of the STEM sector, and how compelling content and engagement strategies play a key part in building profile and in attracting and making the most of new opportunities.

Recordings of past seminars are available to EQUS members via the Hub (requires login).

Major funding support

Australian Research Council

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present.