SPARQ-ed (pronounced spark- ed) is a unique biomedical educational facility for school students, developed in collaboration between the Department of Education and the Translational Research Institute. Our cutting-edge facility features a fully equipped PC2 teaching laboratory and learning centre, located at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) in Brisbane, providing students with a practical introduction to biomedical research and teachers with curriculum aligned professional development.

Our Vision

To be a leader in Australian STEM education by delivering innovative biomedical research education that fosters the development of aspiring and successful students, as the future leaders and innovators of Queensland.

Our Mission

To deliver sustainable and accessible world-class biomedical education experiences that inspire students to consider STEM subjects and careers, enhance the professional practice of teachers and build strong connections with the community.

Students & parents

Junior Research Engagement Program (2 x days) - open to Year 8 & 9 students

This immersive program is open to students across Queensland with an interest in STEM and are considering their future subject choices. You will gain experience using the latest technology and techniques in our state-of-the-art PC2 biomedical research laboratory, learn valuable collaboration skills with peers in a real research environment.  

Cost:  Includes tuition, lab materials, learning resources and catering for 2 days inclusive.

  • Schools from low ICSEA schools less <950 = $50
  • Regional & Remote students = $50
  • Students from ICSEA school greater >950 = $130
Parents are invited to the final day presentation delivered by students, followed by light refreshments and opportunity for question time with SPARQ-ed staff.
 
Senior Research Immersion Program (5 x days) – open to Year 10, 11 & 12 students 
 
Working in a team on a real biomedical research project, you will use the latest technology to examine, test and analyse your results, then discuss your findings with world renowned university researchers based at the Translational Research Institute.  

Cost:  Includes tuition, lab materials, learning resources and catering for 5 days inclusive.

  • Schools from low ICSEA schools less <950 = $150
  • Regional & Remote students = $150
  • Students from ICSEA school greater >950 = $350

Parents are invited to attend the final day presentation delivered by students on the program, followed by light refreshments and opportunity for question time with SPARQ-ed staff and researchers.

Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarship

The Lions Medical Research Foundation (LMRF) offer eligible regional & remote students traveling from across Queensland an opportunity to apply for a LMRF Scholarship to assist with costs associated with travel and accommodation to attend the SPARQ-ed Junior & Senior Research immersion programs. For more information on the support LMRF offer to aspiring students from regional and remote Queensland, see the Lions Medical Research Foundation.

How to apply

Junior Research Engagement Program - Students complete the Junior Research Engagement Program registration form when the program opens and email to [email protected].  Limited time with places strictly limited.

Senior Research Immersion Program - Students complete the 2023 Senior Research Immersion Program application form in consultation with their Teacher and email together with your report card to [email protected] by the relevant Group closing date. Applications go before a review panel and are assessed according to strict criteria. Limited places are available in each session.

Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarship - To apply, regional/remote students complete the SPARQ-ed LMRF scholarship application form and email to [email protected] for consideration.

Forms

Junior Research Engagement Program registration form

Senior Research Immersion Program application form 

Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarship form

Student Medical Information form

TRI Image Consent form   

program dates 2023

JUNIOR RESEARCH ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM - Note, students must be in Year 8 or 9 in 2023 to apply.

  • Session 1:  30 - 31 January 2023 (full)
  • Session 2:  2 - 3 February 2023 (full)
  • Session 3:  27 - 28 November 2023* Registrations open mid-year 2023 for session 3 & 4 (date tbc)
  • Session 4:   30 November - 1 December 2023* Registrations open mid-year 2023 for session 3 & 4 (date tbc)
SENIOR RESEARACH IMMERSION PROGRAM - Note, students must be in Year 10, 11, 12 in 2023 to apply.

Group 1 – Application closing date: 13 February 2023

  • Session 1:  27 March - 31 March 2023
  • Session 2:  3 - 7 April 2023
Group 2 – Application closing date: 8 May 2023
  • Session 3:  3 - 7 July 2023
  • Session 4:  10 - 16 July 2023
Group 3 – Application closing date: 31 July 2023
  • Session 5:  11 - 15 September 2023
  • Session 6:  18 - 22 September 2023

teachers & SCIENCE technicians

School teachers can book a 2-hour Incursion workshop or a full day Excursion workshop experience for their students in Years 7-12. All experiences have been designed to complement the implementation of ACARA Science and QCAA Biology and Chemistry subjects. See our Events Calendar below for availability.

Incursion workshop
Topics:  
  • Bacterial Transformation: Science, Biology
  • Diagnosing Diabetes *(abridged version): Science, Biology, Chemistry
  • DNA extraction from fruit: Upper Primary, Science

    Cost:  Includes tuition, lab materials and learning resources. You can check your school ICSEA index at the ‘My School' website: https://www.myschool.edu.au 

    • Schools with ICSEA value <950 = $ 100 per 2-hour session of up to 28 students
    • Schools with ICSEA value >950 = $200 per 2-hour session of up to 28 students
    Excursion Workshop
    Topics:
    • Working with DNA: Science, Biology, Certificate III Laboratory Skills
    • Enzyme Inhibitors: Science, Biology & Chemistry, Certificate III Laboratory Skills
    • Cell Biology: Science, Biology, Certificate III Laboratory Skills
    • Microbiology Detectives: Science, Biology, Certificate III Laboratory Skills
    • Diagnosing Diabetes *(full version): Science, Biology, Chemistry, Certificate III Laboratory Skills

    Cost:  Includes tuition, lab materials and learning resources. You can check your school ICSEA index at the ‘My School' website: https://www.myschool.edu.au 

    • Schools with ICSEA value <950 = $ 100 per day up to 28 students 
    • Schools with ICSEA value >950 = $350 per day up to 28 students

    how to apply 

    To book your experience, complete the Workshop registration form and email to [email protected]. Teachers can also contact SPARQ-ed to discuss how we can create a customised bespoke workshop experience for their students from the topics listed above. 

    Professional Development Program

    School teachers and science technicians can register to attend Professional Development workshops designed by SPARQ-ed which supports school staff in implementing Biology, Chemistry, Australian Curriculum Science, and VET courses essential to the professional practise of teachers engaging students in STEM.

    Cost:  Includes lab materials, tuition and learning resources:

    • Twilight session workshops - $35pp
    • Full day workshops - $100pp

    how to apply 

    To register, complete the Professional Development registration form and email to [email protected].

    Forms

    Workshop registration form

    Professional Development Workshop registration form

    TRI Image Consent form  

    SPARQ-Ed events calendar 

    Early career researchers 

    SPARQ-ed aim to engage and collaborate with all researchers at TRI. To get involved and inspire the next generation of scientists, see our Event Calendar above for 'booked' sessions and contact the SPARQ-ed team at [email protected] or drop by our office on Level 2 for more information.

    • SPARQ-ed Ambassador Program
    • SPARQ-ed Tutor Scholarship
    • SPARQ-ed Advisory Board

    partners & industry 

    SPARQ-ed aim to engage and collaborate with all partners and industry at TRI. To get involved and inspire the next generation of scientists, contact the SPARQ-ed team at [email protected] or drop by our office on Level 2 to hear more about how you can engage with our students.

    • Translational Research Institute (TRI)
    • Queensland Government Department of Education (DoE)
    • Lions Medical Research Foundation (LMRF)
    • UQ Frazer Institute, QUT Research, PA Research, Mater Research

    contact 

    • Head of Department:  Charmaine Keal (DoE)
    • Teacher:  Jessica Malcolm (DoE)
    • Administration & Engagement:  Lily White (TRI)

    Enquiries 

    + 61 7 3443 6920 

    Email: [email protected]

    Location 

    Level 2, Translational Research Institute (TRI), PA Hospital Campus
    37 Kent Street, Woolloongabba, Brisbane Qld 4102 Australia