Message from the CEO

“Oh the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind.”

This quote from Dr. Seuss speaks to leadership, progression and discovery – qualities that characterise Victoria’s health and medical research sector and will see it clear to become a global leader in innovation, to improve health and create wealth.

BioMedVic is the premier voice for linking medical research to clinical care in Victoria and as we wind down for the year, we reflect on much to be proud of.

We saw our advocacy platform bear fruit. BioMedVic assisted the Victorian Government to deliver almost $4 million of initiatives that support the state’s Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020: the prestigious and valuable Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships and the transformative Medical Research Acceleration Fund awards. These initiatives responded to recommendations submitted by BioMedVic in response to Victorian Government discussion papers in 2015, and we are proud to see the collective vision of our Members reflected.

BioMedVic represents over 18,000 of Victoria’s 25,000-strong community of scientists and clinicians working in our member network of universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes and CSIRO.

In 2017, BioMedVic’s Chair, George Morstyn, and I represented the diverse interests of these people and organisations in briefings to state and federal Ministers, ministerial advisors and senior leaders in key government departments.

BioMedVic’s opinion leader forums, the Scientific Advisory Council and the Hospital Research Directors Forum, exchanged knowledge and sector intelligence, and provided input into key Victorian Government committees, including the Science, Medical Research and Technology (SMaRT) Panel, the Digital Health Strategic Advisory Committee and the Ministerial Advisory Council addressing the Victorian health system design, service and infrastructure plan.

Also in 2017, we stimulated the research careers of 39 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) scholars in partnership with CSL, the program’s Principal Sponsor, bringing the grand total of jobs facilitated through UROP to 649!

Collaboration is in Melbourne’s DNA.

This year, BioMedVic made sure this message was heard loud, clear and globally through the launch of the online research network map that showed Melbourne’s output and collaboration in high quality research in partnership with Nature Index.

We are proud of our 16-year history of facilitating collaboration in Victoria’s health and medical research sector, ensuring our sector shines to its full potential. I am confident BioMedVic’s work will continue to drive stronger research, employment, investment and growth for the future.

I sincerely thank you for your support this year and wish you all the best for the festive season, and hope that you return inspired for the New Year.

Jan Tennent

Spotlight on Melbourne’s life science collaboration

As we reflect on the year that was, BioMedVic warmly invites you to explore the key connections that are at the heart of Melbourne’s reputation as a City of Science and Innovation. We are excited to announce a new spotlight on life science research!

BioMedVic’s partner, Springer Nature, recently updated the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map, by adding subject filters for life science, earth and environmental science, chemistry and physical science.

What exactly is the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map?

The Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map is an online, interactive, updateable research network map which is powered by the Nature Index and sponsored by BioMedVic. It shows output and collaboration in high quality research between institutions in the greater Melbourne region.

The Nature Index tracks high-quality research and collaborations by measuring the contribution of institutions to a set of high-quality journals in the natural sciences. An institution’s contribution to these journals is its fractional count (FC), while article count (AC) is the number of an institution’s journal articles that appear in the Nature Index. Institutions are represented in their locations by circles on the map, with the size and colour of the circle representative of the institution’s FC.

When evaluating the collaborative effort between two institutions, a bilateral collaboration score (CS) is derived. This is sum of the FCs from articles with authors from both institutions. Local bilateral collaborations between institutions within the greater city area are represented by the lines on the map with the line thickness and colour representative of the strength of the collaboration, while the top international bilateral collaborations are listed in the popup box for each institution. The collaborations of child institutions that are part of a larger institution are shown as dashed lines. In most instances, only the primary location of an institution is mapped.

Not your average map

Confused at first glance? Below is a quick guide to help you find your way around the information presented on the Melbourne Collaboration Map.

All in the numbers

The Melbourne Collaboration Map puts publication data tracked by the Nature Index right at your fingertips. Here is what you can learn about your organisation:

Time to see how your organisation tracks! Explore the Melbourne Collaboration Map here.

Applications Open – Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research

The Victorian Government has opened applications for the 24th Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research.

Awarded annually to recognise the exceptional contributions made by early career health and medical researchers in their PhD studies, the Premier’s Awards will be expanded to include five category awards in 2018:

  • Basic Science Researcher
  • Clinical Researcher
  • Aboriginal Researcher undertaking research in any field of health and medical research
  • Health Services Researcher
  • Public Health Researcher

The category award recipients receive $5,000 each and the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research Excellence recipient receives $15,000 ($20,000 in total). The awards will be announced at an awards ceremony proposed for the end of March 2018.

Applications close Monday 22 January 2018. Apply here

Department home ground for medical researcher

Joanne Enticott’s stint as a researcher in residence in the Department of Health and Human Services was so successful she was invited to speak at the Biomedical Research Victoria (BioMedVic) annual general meeting.

Accompanied by her supervisor, principal policy advisor Jennifer Pitcher, Dr Enticott discussed the benefits of her time in DHHS’ office of health and medical research.

The Researcher in Residence program is the initiative of BioMedVic, the state’s leading network linking medical research to clinical care through its member universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes, CSIRO and other research organisations.

BioMedVic’s vision is for the Victorian health and medical research sector to be a global leader in innovation, to improve health and create wealth.

The goals of the program are to:

•       Provide an opportunity for a postgraduate biomedical research scientist to gain an understanding of political and parliamentary processes;

•       Enable governments to receive background information and advice on current issues in health and medical research;

•       Establish ongoing, two-way, links with the health and medical research community.

Dr Enticott, a translational clinical research design specialist and biostatistician, has particular interest in health services research and mental health.

She spent a day a week at DHHS from early July to late November while continuing her usual work in Monash University’s Department of Psychiatry, supported by Monash Health.

During her time at the department, Dr Enticott assisted with health services research policy work – mapping Victorian bio-medical precinct stakeholders and major collaborations within the precincts – and provided a researcher perspective on a range of initiatives.

DHHS accessed Dr Enticott’s expertise, fostering additional links with universities and gaining a greater understanding of the work of a biomedical research scientist.

Dr Enticott told the BioMedVic AGM she valued being immersed within a Victorian government department and experienced first-hand the development of policy.

She said she had already recommended the Researcher in Residence program to others.

 

This article was originally published by the Department of Health & Human Services on the Health Victoria website.

Image: Researcher in Residence Joanne Enticott (left) and her DHHS supervisor Jennifer Pitcher (right).

Image credit: Department of Health & Human Services

 

Victorian Cancer Agency 2018 Early Career Health Services Research Fellowships – EOI now open

The Victorian Cancer Agency has opened expressions of interest for the Victorian Cancer Agency Early Career Health Services Research Fellowships.

The intention of this scheme is to fund early career researchers within cancer health services with a focus on building capacity within cancer health services research, improving the delivery of care for patients, improving patient outcomes and improving patient experience. It is expected that applications will align to the Victorian cancer plan 2016-2020 and/or the Cancer Reform Framework.

The scheme is open to medical, nursing and allied health practitioners, health economists, behavioural scientists, statisticians, bioinformaticians, epidemiologists and other disciplines conducting health services research in cancer.

Applications close 31 January.

More information, including guidelines, funding rules and a link to the application forms can be found on the Victorian Cancer Agency website: http://www.victoriancanceragency.org.au/index.php/2018funding-round