The best up-and-coming scientists across Australia as voted by the top companies and clients within the Scientific Sector

Kelly Scientific Resources has spent the last few months uncovering the best up-and-coming scientists across Australia as part of our Future Scientist Award!

The Kelly Services Future Scientist Award allows recent science graduates the opportunity to represent themselves in person to potential scientific employers, as well as receiving important advice and coaching from our science recruitment specialists. 

Now in its second year, the Award was open to young scientists across Australia. Winners in each state will receive $1000, insights and opportunities within their scientific field, as well as the honour of being named a Kelly Future Scientist!

After applying, the Kelly Scientific Resources team selected the finalists for each state, who then presented their goals, ideas and plans for the future of science to industry leaders and innovators in October.

Meet the winners of each state below and find out who is leading the Future of Science in Australia.


From left to right: Michelle Forione, Hayley Fancourt, Edward Nagal, Dien Bajerai, Belel Rathborne.

Michelle Forione
Biochemistry and Pharmacology
Winner for Adelaide

An ambitious and hard-working individual, Michelle has a strong passion for cancer research, science communication and community health. With particular interest in the genomics and pharmacology of haematological cancers, in combination with exemplary interpersonal skills, this motivated young scientist aims to utilise her research, employment and general life experiences to both directly contribute to medical research, and also to educate and motivate others to take an interest in science, and strengthen the relations between scientific community and wider society.

  • Bachelor of Science - Advanced (Biochemistry & Pharmacology)
  • Designed and tested cloning strategies for both known and novel acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) fusion genes as part of Leukaemia Research Group
  • Used existing database to extract and analyse clinical data using SPSS and R
  • Constructed an abstract for publication, published in the British Journal of Urology International, no. 116, pp. 22-23

Want to know more? Meet the other finalists from the Adelaide Future Scientist Award.


Hayley Fancourt
Biomedical Science - Forensic Anthropology
Winner for Brisbane

With aspirations to work in the Medical / Forensic science and research sectors, Hayley focuses her well-honed skill set towards grass-roots organisations and professional development. Always eager to learn and up for any challenge, she is a versatile and motivated young scientist.

  • Versatile & motivated with experience through Honours research in Anatomy, 3D scanning, Statistics, and Programming in R
  • Most interested in grass-roots organisations with professional opportunities for Research assistant, technical assistant, pathology assistant

Want to know more? Meet the other finalists from the Adelaide Future Scientist Award.


Edward Nagal
Chemistry, Environmental and Analytical
Winner for Melbourne

  • Worked as part of a small interdisciplinary team to create a framework for the Doxa Youth Foundation to assess the educational and psychological benefits of its programmes for disadvantaged youths.
  • Developed an automated flow-based analyser using polymer membrane technology for the ultra-trace measurement of phosphate in pristine waters.
  • Laboratory synthesis of new gallium compounds for medical imaging applications, designed to be targetable at specific organs.
  • Chemical researcher (6 years) in the areas of polymer science, materials characterisation, analytical chemistry, automatic chemical analysis and environmental chemistry
  • Experienced in the use of numerous measurement and materials characterisation techniques

Want to know more? Meet the other finalists from the Melbourne Future Scientist Award.


Dien Bajerai
Material Science, Chemistry
Winner for Perth

A keen scientist and innovator from a young age, Dien has a passion for discovery and thirst for ground breaking ideas. His passion lies in the innovation of current materials technology, paving the way forward for the future of materials discovery and inspiring tomorrow’s futures scientists today.

  • Keen scientist and innovator from a young age, with a passion for innovation of current materials technology and paving the way forward for the future
  • Research experience with CSIRO and established project groups
  • Awarded the Physical Sciences Prize and nominated for the Dean’s award
  • A myriad of experiences and skills with analytical, synthetic and instrumental techniques
  • A keen sense of safety and risk mitigation, team work, diplomacy, leadership, problem solving and critical thinking

Want to know more? Meet the other finalists from the Perth Future Scientist Award.


Belel Rathborne
Food Science and Technology

Winner for Sydney

Already well on his way to cementing his success in the Food Science and Technology sector, Belel is a driven and passionate scientist working hard to make his mark upon the world. With a life-time of high acheiving, he brings a technical and methodical approach to ensure the best results with maximum efficiency.

  • 2017 and 2016 Dean's Honor’s List & 2014 Volunteers Award
  • Thesis researcher experience, involving prototype and analyse samples to model variables that affect texture on the production line, where they engaged with industry and academic personnel to secure resources for the project and collaborated with R&D teams to diagnose problems and develop solutions, as well as being responsible for testing and tracking 12 different variables (including texture, moisture, and rheology), designing plans for sensory evaluation panelling to evaluate acceptability, and analysing over 1000 data points to identify trends and test hypotheses
  • Technical experience analysing existing quality systems and developing methods to streamline workflows - Environment, OHS, and Supply Chain – while being responsible for mapping the farm to factory supply chain of an ingredient (quantified the proportion from sustainable sources), and working with industry bodies and local communities to collect statistics for supply chain management Quality Operations
  • Quality and product development experience analysing and developing the application of unique flavours into various food matrices
  • Lab assistant training including operating and generating reports using analytical instruments, including calibration and programming
Want to know more? Meet the other finalists from the Sydney Future Scientist Award.

Looking for the perfect new hire? Pick up a Future Scientist Award finalist for the perfect solution.

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