Early Career Researchers development program - biomedical

Target Audience

The 2012 program for Biomedical Researchers aims to give participants support in career planning, networking and the development of research capacities. The program is for researchers who are 1 - 10 years postdoctoral. It consists of 7 half day sessions and a structured mentor program.

Demand for this course is always high so attendees must commit to attending all sessions.

The program will consist of the following modules:

  • Session 1 - Career planning
  • Session 2 - Working with other personalities
  • Session 3 - Negotiating and influencing - skills for a successful career
  • Session 4 - Optimising grant success
  • Session 5 - Meet your mentor
  • Session 6 - Writing about your research in plain English
  • Session 7 - Communicating with non-specialists

To register your expression of interest

Expressions of Interest for ECR - Biomedical 2012 are now closed.


Session 1 - Career planning

Presenter: Professor Carol Armour and Dr Margaret Hughes
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 13 June 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

Scientific careers may sometimes appear chaotic and out of our control, but there are strategies for maximising our chances of prospering and doing what we love: discovering the secrets of life, the universe and everything.

Topics will include the following:

  • thinking about future directions of your career - what is possible?
  • working collaboratively with other researchers
  • engaging with industry / government partners - who is out there?
  • research methods - thinking differently.

Session 2 - Working with other personalities

Presenter: Wendy Jocum
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 20 June 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

Recognising and understanding differences between people is enormously important in building more productive work relationships.

Through the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, this session offers participants an opportunity to:

  • develop a better understanding of yourself and how you differ from other people in the way you prefer to focus your attention, acquire information, make decisions and manage your work
  • discover how workplace behaviour and communication is influenced by individual personality preferences
  • experience those differences in action and discover how they impact upon team dynamics
  • learn to improve communication between different personalities and explore ways of creating positive relationships in your team.

Session 3 - Negotiating and influencing - skills for a successful career

Presenter: Eleanor Shakiba
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 27 June 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

Successful researchers know how to negotiate. They use these skills to influence colleagues and managers, persuade others to take ideas on board, and negotiate agreements. In this session you will learn the secrets of great negotiators, learn to prepare your influencing strategy and steer negotiations towards productive end points.

This session will cover areas such as:

  • applying key principles of negotiation in an academic environment
  • preparing a negotiation strategy
  • using influential language patterns to build agreements
  • adopting a win/win approach to conflict.

Session 4 - Optimising grant success

Presenter: Professor Carol Armour and Dr Margaret Hughes
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 4 July 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

A major grant application is like an examination where you must score 100% - but then still might not pass. Why are some people so often successful in their grant applications? Are they better scientists (perhaps they are), or just better at communicating their ideas to a highly critical scientific audience? Are there some simple skills that can be learnt to maximise our chance of success in grant applications?

Topics will include:

  • the grant process
  • what grants are available to biomedical researchers including grants from small granting bodies?
  • what support is available once you are successful?
  • tips for success
  • "traps for young players"
  • how to work most effectively with the Research Office.

Session 5 - Meet your mentor

Presenter: Professor Carol Armour and Dr Margaret Hughes
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 11 July 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

This workshop will introduce the mentoring program to the Early Career Researchers. ECRs will be invited to participate and will be asked to register their interest when they are invited to register. The goals of the mentoring program will be for each mentee to develop a five-year research plan.

Topics to include:

  • what is mentoring?
  • benefits of mentoring for both mentees and mentors
  • structured mentoring program
  • feedback skills for mentees
  • coaching skills for mentors.

Session 6 – Writing about your research in plain English

Presenter: Mark Ragg and Melissa Sweet
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 18 July 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

Many researchers find it difficult to describe their work clearly and succinctly. Fair enough - it's complex work. Yet it is vital to be able to do so for necessities such as:

  • grant applications
  • reporting back to funding bodies
  • reporting back to employers
  • seeking funding from charities
  • promoting your research
  • promoting research generally
  • social situations.

By the end of the seminar we hope you will be able to:

  • describe your work in plain English
  • describe the reason you are doing this research
  • place this research in its social and scientific context.

Topics to include:

  • what is plain English?
  • what is jargon?
  • defining your audience
  • writing to impress

Session 7 - Communicating with non-specialists

Presenter: Mark Ragg and Melissa Sweet
Duration: 9.00am - 1.00pm
Date: 25 July 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Learning Solutions, SUV, Bligh Building L03 - Ground Floor

If you are doing research at a university, then at some stage you will want to, or perhaps have to, communicate with non-specialists about your work. You may want to raise money for your research. You may want to talk to a charitable foundation, or to a promotions committee, or to members of a support group. You may even want to talk to the media to publicise your work.

This session builds on the skills developed in the previous session on "Writing about your research in plain English" and covers areas such as:

  • the value of talking to the public - for them, for your employers, for research generally and for your career
  • talking to non-specialists such as Promotions or Appointments Committees
  • working out your message - what do you want to say?
  • understanding your audience - what do they want to hear?
  • the who, when, where, why and how of communication
  • how the media works and how to gain access.

By the end of the seminar, we hope you will be able to:

  • understand the benefits of talking about your work
  • have a feel for what may or may not interest others
  • know how to decide what to say
  • know how to say it.