VLS Announcements 027 - 06 March 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 027 of our weekly announcements.

I am sure most of you will agree that the first week of Semester has indeed been a busy one. It has been great to see so many new faces around the campus, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to both our new and returning students.

I am pleased to announce the Veterinary and Life Sciences Research Website is now up and running. This is largely the result of many hours of hard work by Giles Hardy, Nathalie Kennedy and Trish Fleming. Thank you also to everyone who has provided input and support to this important project. Further improvements are expected and constructive suggestions are always welcome.

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing by COB each Friday for publication the following Friday.

Warm wishes,

David Hampson.

Teaching and Research News [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • THREE HOUR EXAMS - Message from John Bailey

    The recent request for exam data collection emailed to Unit Coordinators this week stressed the need for the LTC to approve any requests for three hour exams.

    You don't need to take any action on that request since the VLS LTC resolved this afternoon to approve all three hour exams as submitted through academic planning at this time last year.  The Associate Dean Learning & Teaching will advise the Exams Office on your behalf.  So if you had a three hour exam in your academic planning template for 2015 offering then all will be fine.

  • Applications for visits to France and the USA now open

    France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration (FASIC) Program Early Career Fellowships in 2015

    The FASIC program is a joint fund to support high calibre Australian and French early career researchers (ECRs) nominated by their institutions, to expand research and innovation activities and to initiate substantial research networks and linkages to support both countries’ research and innovation priorities.

    Candidates should be research active in the fields of (1) Food and Agribusiness;
    (2) Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; (3) Oil, Gas and Energy Resources; (4) Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; and (5) Advanced Manufacturing.

    Further information and the application form can be found HERE. Applications close 9am AEDT Monday 27 April 2015.

    Visit to the National Institutes of Health in the USA by a junior scientist in 2016

    The Australian Academy of Science invites Expressions of Interest from junior scientists, who are no more than 30 years of age at time of application, to visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States of America between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016. Proposals in any health-related field of natural science will be considered. Only citizens and permanent residents of Australia living in Australia at time of application are eligible to apply.

    At the time of application, applicants should be either 1) in the first two years of a PhD degree or equivalent; 2) have completed a Masters or a Bachelors with Honours degree; or 3) be in the final year of a Masters or a Bachelors with Honours degree.

    Further information and the application form can be found HERE. Deadline for Expressions of Interest: 9am AEDT Monday 1 June 2015.

  • Australian Academy of Science 2016 Awards - OPEN

    The Australian Academy of Science Awards for 2016 are now open. We invite you to nominate candidates and to forward the awards poster to any relevant parties.

    Please note that the closing date for nominations for honorific awards is 30 April 2015 and that nominations/applications for research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships are due by 15 June 2015.

    Information on the awards (including eligibility criteria and nomination/application procedures and forms) is available on the website

  • Small Research Grants and Equipment/Software Grants - Message from Giles Hardy

    VLS Small Research Grant Scheme and Equipment/Software Grant Scheme now open. Please note submissions for both schemes are due 27th March 2015.

    VLS Small Research Grants form
    VLS Equipment/Software Grants form

  • VLS Research Website - Message from Giles Hardy

    Please be advised that the VLS Research Website is now up and running.

    The result of everyone’s hard work at the end of 2014 at the School Research Day has borne fruit. The Research Website for the School in now live, we expect to keep ‘tweaking’ it and making further improvements and so constructive suggestions are always welcome. Thank you everyone for your input. Importantly, I would like everyone to take time and thank Nathalie Kennedy and Trish Fleming for the huge amount of work they contributed to make this website happen.

  • Outcomes from the VLS Small Research Grants Scheme in 2014 - Message from Giles Hardy

    A total of nine projects were funded in 2014. Eight of the nine projects met their Key Performance Indicators and the ninth has been given an extension for 12 months as the recipient had only just started in the School in 2014 and animal ethics and the establishment of laboratory facilities have held up his work. KPIs of the completed projects are listed below with lead CI alphabetically.

    Outcomes document

  • New Colombo Plan 2016 scholarship round reminder - opening soon.

    The New Colombo Plan is a federal Government (DFAT) initiative to increase student mobility from Australia to the Indo-Pacific region, for students studying on a short-term or semester/year long program or for students undertaking internships/ mentorships as part of their semester(s) abroad. The Government will provide a total of $100 million over a 5 year period for these scholarships and grants.

    Since the inception of NCP a year ago and Murdoch’s participation in the first two rounds, Murdoch University has been very successful. In 2014 Murdoch received 100% of the $38,300 bid for one program and in 2015 Murdoch received $157,300, 72% of the bid for eight programs .

    For 2016 the Government has announced that the next application round will open mid-March, with the circulation of the official guidelines, and most likely close at the end of May.

    I will circulate application information closer to the time and collect completed applications before the close date to forward them to the Government. The government will respond with funding offers for successful bids around August/September 2015, to cover programs for 2016 and possibly the first half of 2017.

    With this in mind, we can start preparing applications for 2016. I have attached the information that was sent out last year to the Schools, which can help your School prepare applications and create new programs. Please also feel free to contact me at anytime for support or information. Please also note that external agencies (such as CISaustralia) are also able to provide bespoke programmes for your School (groups) or for individual students.

    Please note, there have been a few changes to NCP for this year. The Government will prioritise the following projects that meet all or a majority of NCP strategic objectives including:

    • The Government will prioritise projects that meet all or a majority of NCP strategic objectives, including projects that support new mobility and strengthened partnerships, and facilitate longer-term study, language study and internships
    • The Government will prioritise projects that attract private sector in-kind or financial sponsorship (that goes beyond the provision of internships), to encourage collaboration between universities and the private sector
    • For the first time multi-year funding will be available for Mobility Projects that meet an additional criterion and are approved to run for more than one funding period (up to a total of three years). Up to 25 per cent of mobility funding will be directed towards multi-year projects . This is in particular interesting for Murdoch University as we have some well-established programs already. This is in particular interesting for Murdoch University as we have some well-established programs already.
    • Universities will be asked to describe how proposed projects support increased student mobility that lifts knowledge of the Indo-Pacific, support new or strengthen existing partnerships, and promote the NCP and study in the region
    • Additional weighting will be available to those projects that support language acquisition, internships and private sector sponsorship, to encourage collaboration between universities and the private sector
    • Universities will be asked to provide evidence (in the form of a letter, email or contract) of any private sector sponsorship at the time of application.

    DFAT is visiting Perth on Monday 16th March for a short 2.5 hour meeting to discuss recent changes to the NCP 2016 guidelines any issues. As the Student Mobility Officer (outbound) for the university I will be attending for Murdoch but I welcome any other interested staff to attend. The School Managers have received the event details.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.

    Best regards,

    Jeannette Geesmann
    Student Mobility Officer (Outbound) | External Engagement | Academic Registrar's Office (Phone +61 8 9360 7836 |* Email

  • Australian Postgraduate Awards 2015 mid-year scholarship - Message from Research and Development Office

    The Graduate Research Office is pleased to announce that the 2015 mid-year scholarship round for Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) is now open.
    Scholarships are awarded on academic merit, research experience and/or potential. Applicants must be enrolled full-time on an internal basis in order to be eligible.
    The APA scholarship provides a tax exempt living allowance of AUD$25,849 per annum (2015 rate) with a top-up to $30,000 awarded to students of exceptional research potential.

    Closing date – 30 April 2015

    More information on the 2015 APA Mid-Year round, and other scholarships available, can be found here -

  • 2015 L'Oreal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships - Applications now open

    Applications are now open for 2015 L'Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships

    We are delighted to let you know that in 2015, the L'Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship program has expanded.

    The Fellowships will still be awarded to outstanding early-career female scientists to help them consolidate their careers and rise to leadership positions in science, with the addition of a Fellowship specifically for New Zealand.

    In 2015 there are four Fellowships:

    • Three $25,000 L'Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowships
    • The inaugural $25,000 L'Oréal New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship

    The Fellowships are available to female researchers who are within five years post-PhD and have shown excellence in their career to date.

    In assessing the applications, the jury will be looking for women who exhibit leadership skills, independence in their achievements, and have an outstanding track record.

    Funds from the Fellowship can be used to help finance the Fellow’s scientific research, including the costs of equipment, consumables, travel and conferences. Previous Fellows have also used this support to hire a research assistant, or cover the cost of childcare.

    Applications are now open and close at midnight on Tuesday 7 April.
    To be considered, simply submit your application online

    We encourage potential applicants to read the profiles of past recipients to get a sense of the qualities expected of entrants into this highly competitive Fellowship.

    We also recommend you review the full Fellowship conditions and eligibility criteria as well as the FAQ to ensure that you are eligible.

  • ARC and NHMRC Deadline Reminder - Message from Research and Development Office

    We strongly encourage that completed applications are submitted to the Grants Office via RMS by the internal deadline. This will ensure that Grants Office staff have adequate capacity to carefully review each application for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with ARC guidelines and University policies, and that there is time to make the necessary revisions. Applications submitted by this deadline will be given priority over late submissions.

    If you have yet to submit a request for Murdoch Contribution to your proposal, please do so as soon as possible to using the attached form.

    If you are submitting to any other NHMRC or ARC scheme not listed below, please contact me as soon as possible.

    Please see attached information sheet.

Staff News and Events [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Welcome to New Staff in the College of Veterinary Medicine - Message from Professor Peter Irwin

    We have three new staff who have started in the College recently:

    027 Herb Rovay Photo Dr Herb Rovay - Lecturer in Production Animal Medicine. Herb originally hails from Brazil but has spent the last few years in Canada. Herb has postgraduate qualifications in theriogenology and has been working in recent years as a Large Animal veterinarian in private practice in British Columbia. He joins the Production Animal team and has an office between Anne Barnes and Bolts on the first floor in F block.

    027 Courtney North photo Dr Courtney North - Locum Senior Registrar in Small Animal Medicine, helping to fill a vacancy during our recruitment process. Courtney has been living in Perth for a few years, but is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her internship and residency at the Animal Medical Centre in New York, and Michigan State University, respectively.

    027 Ihab Habib photo Dr Ihab Habib - Lecturer in Public Health. Ihab hails from Egypt where he completed his undergraduate veterinary degree and has been lecturing in food safety and control at Alexandria University for the last three years. Ihab has three Masters degrees, no less, from Egypt, the UK and Belgium, and a PhD from Ghent University (Belgium) where he studied the highly topical subject of monitoring and molecular epidemiology of Campylobacter in chicken meat preparations. Ihab has a wealth of experience in the topics of food microbiology, food safety systems and risk analysis, and foodborne zoonoses, and is a welcome addition to our collective expertise. He currently has his office in VCS2.013. Please make Ihab welcome to Murdoch and to Australia!

    We’re very fortunate to have these talented professionals come to work with us – please make them welcome when you see them around!

  • Congratulations to Dr Stephen Beatty 

    Stephen was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer Level C. Congratulations Stephen!

  • March 2015 CareerConnect Newsletter - Message from the Murdoch Careers and Employment Team 

    Please find here the current CareerConnect newsletter.

  • VLS Summer Scholarship program completion 2014-15 - Message from Dr Charlotte Oskam and Dr Thomas Ansell

    We would like to acknowledge the following students for their successful completion of a summer scholarship under the guidance of their supervisors.

    Muhammad Hanif BIN SALIM, Supervisor Professor Richard Harper - Project "Feasibility study of using saline water from Wellington Dam to irrigate sandy soils on the Swan Coastal Plain"

    Rebecca SMITH, Supervisor Dr Ravi Tiwari - Project "Effect of uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) gene knockout on symbiosis and stress tolerance in Rhizobia"

    Sarah LATHAM, Supervisor Professor Una Ryan - Project "Prevalence and genetic characterization of blood parasites in marsupials"

    Amanda EDWARDS, Supervisor Professor Una Ryan - Project "Describing new species of Cryptosporidium in Cat Fish"

    Hui Nee CHIN, Supervisor Susan Kueh - Project "Investigations into hindquarter paralysis in pet koi carps"

    Cindy PALERMO, Supervisor Professor Una Ryan - Project "Describing new species of Cryptosporidium in Ornamental Fish"

  • GST Deferral Scheme for Imports - Message from Natalie Mollett, Senior Tax Accountant

    We would like to advise that as of the 25th February 2015, Murdoch University is registered and approved for the Deferred GST Scheme for Imports.

    What this means is that Murdoch University is no longer required to pay upfront GST when goods are imported from overseas.

    Previously, this GST was imposed by Customs at the time of import and often paid direct to Murdoch’s freight forwarder/import agent. Previously, this GST was then claimed back from the Tax Office by the University’s Finance Office. Whilst there never was a net GST impact for University imports, there was a cash flow disadvantage in the need to pay upfront before Customs would release the goods and before the GST could be claimed back. This deferral scheme registration will hopefully eliminate this problem.

    To take advantage of this scheme when importing goods on behalf of the University, please inform Customs (or the relevant freight forwarder who is importing on your behalf) that Murdoch University is registered for the GST Deferral Scheme and quote the ABN number for Murdoch University.

    Murdoch University ABN: 61 616 369 313

    In the event that this process is missed and the University inadvertently pays GST on an import – please just forward a copy of the Tax Invoice and import documentation to the Taxation Accountant and the GST will be claimed back from the Tax Office.

    Please note that this Deferral Scheme only applies to GST on imports and not to GST imposed domestically. In addition, it does not apply to the Customs Duty or any other government charges levied by Customs.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either myself on 2948 or Kunle Freeman on 7605. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone in your area who may import goods.

  • ATO Voluntary Retirement Scheme - Extension to closing date - Message from Human resources

    The closing date of the second round of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Approved Voluntary Retirement Scheme (AAVRS) has been extended to Friday, March 20 2015.

    The AAVRS scheme provides preferential tax treatment and an incentive payment for those professional and academic staff members who voluntarily decide to take early retirement. The scheme is entirely voluntary.

    What is the incentive payment?

    • All eligible employees will be offered a lump sum payment of two (2) weeks pay per completed year of service (up to a maximum of 52 weeks). This will be in addition to the terminating employee’s statutory entitlements.
    • The payment under the Scheme is in excess of any superannuation benefits to which eligible employees would otherwise be entitled to.

    Payments made under the Scheme cannot be rolled into a superannuation fund.

    Staff who may be eligible for this scheme are:

    • Academic and Professional staff who are under 65 years of age (no minimum age) and who have been employed continuously at Murdoch University for a period of at least five years (as at 1 January 2015).
    • Applicants must have a continuous or fixed term contract with a natural end date after 31December 2016.

    Staff who wish to apply for the second round (Round 2) can negotiate a leaving date between 10 April and 30 September, 2015.

    Staff interested in applying are encouraged to discuss their potential applications with their Deans or Directors. Alternatively, queries can be directed to the Human Resources Office by contacting Manager Human Resources, Linda McNab on 9360 6142 or

    Please click here to access the application form, or here to view the FAQ section regarding eligibility criteria.

  • Paid Student Ambassador Program - Message from External Engagement

    An opportunity exists for the External Engagement Paid Student Ambassador Program to be promoted through your networks and staff are encouraged to ask standout students who would make great ambassadors to apply. Please see here for more details about the role, opportunities and pay rate.

    An email will go out shortly to all internal students in second year or further in their degree. However,  if you do have a student who would like to apply, applications can be made through the following webpage: http://

    Applications will close on the 15th March or staff can forward recommendations to Jade Castle

Seminars, Conferences and Workshops [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • EU Funding Information Seminar - Message from Research and Development Office

    Delegation of the European Union to Australia will be providing an overview of Horizon 2020. This is the EU’s main funding programme in all areas of research representing a significant investment of €80 billion for research and innovation, starting in 2014 and continuing until 2020. Horizon 2020 is a funding programme for all types of participants involved in research and innovation – academia, research, industry and other stakeholder organisations. Australian researchers can participate in Horizon 2020 and this session will be your opportunity to find out how!
    Horizon 2020 contains a number of different funding programmes and mechanisms, and is based on a structure of “three pillars”. There are opportunities for individual researchers and groups of researchers to apply for funding in each of these pillars. The choice of pillar and underlying programme depends on what a researcher is looking for funding for in terms of the size of the planned project, whether it is basic or applied or whether someone is interested in moving to another country (including bringing researchers to Australia).
    Arrangements are as follows:

    Date: Wednesday 11 March 2015
    Time: 3:00pm – 5:45pm
    Venue: Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Function Centre, 180 Hay Street, East Perth

    Please RSVP to by Tuesday 3 March 2015 to confirm your attendance.

    What is H2020 document

    Perth EU Seminar Event Flyer

  • Professor Wendell Ela - Desalination Seminar Invitation "Off-Grid Inland Desalination: From First Flop to Filling Tanks" - Message From Rebecca Treloar-Cook

    You are cordially invited to meet the newly appointed Chair of Desalination and Water Treatment at Murdoch University and Scientific Advisor to the NCEDA, Professor Wendell Ela. Professor Ela has come to Perth from the University of Arizona in the USA.

    Professor Ela recognises the importance of water security to the world and has a passion for desalination in remote areas using renewable energy. He has a deep commitment to the developing world and in 2014 was a Fullbright Scholar at the Zimbabwe National University of Science and Technology (link expired).

    His teaching and research focuses on water and wastewater treatment processes with particular emphasis on desalination technology development and implementation, decentralised and off-grid water treatment systems, and integrated water/renewable energy solutions for rural communities and agriculture.
    Professor Ela will discuss his experience with off-grid desalination in the USA and outline his plans for his new role at Murdoch University and the NCEDA.

    Date: Thursday 19 March 2015
    Time: 10.30am – 11.30am
    McCusker Conference Centre (Nearest Car Park No. 7)
    Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IIID) Building

    Murdoch University, South Street Campus

    Morning tea will be served after the presentation.
    For catering purposes, please RSVP by Friday 14 March 2015.

VLS Announcements No. 027