VLS Announcements 70 - 15 January 2016

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 70 of our weekly announcements.

David Hampson is on leave at the moment, at a conference, and I’m acting in his place. Welcome back to those of you returning to work this week.

Kind regards

Phil Nicholls

Acting Dean

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Emma Thorp  by COB each Tuesday for publication on Friday.

Note: items that require action are marked with a red flagfor action.   Click on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

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

  • Reconciliation Action Plan/Acknowledgement of Country

    As part of the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), the RAP Steering Group, the Kulbardi Centre and the Acting Vice Chancellor, would like to encourage unit coordinators to deliver an ‘acknowledgment of country’ in their first teaching session for Semester 1 and all teaching periods thereafter.

    An acknowledgment is a way that non-Indigenous people can show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, people and cultures and the ongoing relationship of traditional custodians with the land upon which Murdoch’s campuses are located. This small but important gesture demonstrates Murdoch’s commitment to social justice and reconciliation. Kulbardi and the Centre for University Teaching and Learning have developed a pre-designed file for download that can be included in unit lecture materials or used as a template for recognition in other forms. This page also contains further information about an acknowledgment to country and contexts within which it may be appropriate for one to be delivered. Please note, for those teaching in Mandurah, there is a separate template to reflect the different custodianship of that area.

    Please feel free to forward this on to those who may find it useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Braden Hill, Manger of Kulbardi.

  • Assignment Collection from Biological Sciences reception for action

    In order to better facilitate student assignment returns, we are changing the times that students can pick up assignments from Biological Sciences Reception.

    Times for assignment collection are as follows:

    Monday to Friday


    3:00pm - 4:00pm

    Students may request pick up outside of these hours, but must do so in advance by contacting Kiara ( or Emma (

    We would be grateful if Unit Coordinators could please pass this information on to students.

  • Unit Guide Submission

    The VLS Admin team is currently receiving a number of request for Unit Guides from previous years. If it is at all possible, can you please forward Unit guides from 2009 - 2013 to Kiara (

    By storing these centrally, it is hoped that this will cut down requests to individual unit coordinators. If you have had a request from Kiara recently, there is no need to forward your unit guide again. We appreciate your assistance with this.

  • Update ARC and NHMRC Deadlines Reminder for action

    There is a problem with the IRMA coversheet which will be resolved hopefully next week.

    Therefore extended the Discovery Project IRMA coversheet deadline to 18th January.

    This is a reminder of the upcoming deadlines for the next ARC and NHMRC major rounds. Please refer to the attached grant deadlines and ARC and NHMRC deadlines documents for further information.

    Please note that internal deadlines will be strictly observed for these rounds and proposals submitted after the relevant internal due date will not be accepted.

    All submitting applicants are required to submit an IRMA coversheet by the relevant internal deadline, for particular noting:

    · For those submitting to Discovery Projects IRMA Coversheets must be completed by 13th January 2016 - Updated to 18th January

    · For those submitting to NHMRC Projects IRMA Coversheets must be completed by 22nd January 2016
  • ARC Linkage Changes in 2016

    The Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda Report (and attached) represents a major change to the ARC Linkage Projects scheme. In an effort to ensure more end-users are able to engage more readily with researchers the ARC will implement changes to the current Linkage Projects scheme. Please see Factsheet 17.

    From 1 July 2016, the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme will be open to continuous applications and decision-making will be fast tracked. Shifting to continuous rounds will allow both researchers and industry partners to take greater advantage of opportunities for collaboration faster and will encourage more partnerships between universities and business.

    What’s changing?
    Collaboration between researchers and business helps generate more products and services to benefit the business, the economy and broader society. The ARC Linkage Projects scheme:
    · will be open to continuous applications, allowing both researchers and industry partners to take greater advantage of opportunities for collaboration faster, and encourage more partnerships between universities and business
    · will continue to fund through the ARC the highest quality applications taking into consideration the anticipated benefit of the research.
    · closer connect between proposal submission and outcome announcement

    When’s it happening?
    The current one round per year scheme will move to a continuous proposal scheme from 1 July 2016, with high-quality proposals being expedited to the Minister for decision.

    The Grants Office will circulate further information as it comes to hand on process changes both internal and external, changes to ARC decision making process (particularly what “expedited” means) and changes to the ARC Linkage application forms. The internal deadline for ARC Linkage Projects will continue to be three weeks before the ARC submission until further notice.

    For all queries, please contact - Jane Crier


    Information about ARC Linkage EOI's for 2017.

    EOI Submission:
    Applicants are required to submit the EOI word document as an attachment to the IRMA coversheet by 12pm Friday 15th January 2015.

    Further Information:
    ARC LIEF Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2017* PDF Format

    Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme changes:
    LIEF Proposals may now request up to five years funding if the Proposal is for construction of research infrastructure (see ARC LIEF Funding Rules E76.1.4 andE7.1.b). A Project may be applied for up to five years only for:
    - construction of research infrastructure, as described at E7.1.b; or
    - subscription or coordinated access to international facilities and major national facilities, as described at E7.1.d.

  • Turnitin Changes

    Murdoch University is now using another plagiarism software program which has now come in effect. We are currently in the process of extracting all documents from Turnitin so it can be used in conjunction with the new program.

    We are able to extract all the documents from Moodle but we do not have access to documents that are stored directly in Turnitin under your class id and therefore we will need your login credentials to access them.

    If you could send your contact details before the 15th of January to it would be much appreciated. Alternately, if you need to contact me for further information you may do so at 9360 6789.

    The cut off date for Turnitin takes place in the middle of January 2016. Once our license to Turnitin expires we will no longer be able to access any documents that are stored on their database.

  • Research to improve resistance to costly wheat fungal disease

    Research is underway that will pave the way for new, improved wheat varieties that are more resistant to a significant fungal disease that costs Western Australian growers $108 million each year.

    Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) is widespread across the Wheatbelt, especially the high rainfall zone, which results in shrivelled grain and average yield losses of 9 per cent. Department of Agriculture and Food is using new genomic technology from its counterparts in Victoria to identify and track gene combinations that produce resistance to SNB, for future use in breeding new commercial wheat varieties. The research is funded by the Grain Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Effective Genetic Control of SNB project, with wheat gene and DNA marker analysis from the State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre at Murdoch University.

    Department senior research officer Michael Francki said the project drew on previous GRDC funded research to identify the sources of resistance to SNB. “We have searched for wheat lines from across Australia and overseas to source germplasm that will allow us to develop wheat plants with high levels of SNB resistance,” Dr Francki said. “It is quite a complex process, as it is the accumulated effect of several genes that creates resistance to the fungal disease, but we have now targeted the genes to deploy into breeding wheat suitable for WA growing regions.” The research has benefitted greatly from the recent sequencing of the wheat genome, effectively providing a DNA map of the structure and function of genes that provide resistance to SNB. Dr Francki said it was important to test the new SNB resistant germplasm in field trials to evaluate its suitability for WA production environments. “We need to find the best combination of genes from different sources that give a suitable level of resistance in varieties for WA,” he said. “This will give crop breeding companies more confidence about the environmental influence on resistance levels when they choose germplasm and use DNA markers to select these genes in breeding.” If the field trials are successful, suitable germplasm is expected to be made available to Australian wheat breeding companies in 2017, after which it will take at least five years to develop new commercial varieties.

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

  • Jaki Dyer (HDR and Honours Coordinator) has moved office

    From Monday 11 Jan Jaki Dyer (HDR and Honours Coordinator) will be relocated. She has moved from her current office in Biological Sciences to Lon 3.036G in the School office in the Loneragan building. Her phone number and email will remain the same.

  • Adjunct Professor status of Dr Ian Edwards, Edstar Genetics

    Ian was officially recognised as an Adj Prof in late 2015, although he has had a 20 year association with the University – first as CEO of Grain Biotech Australis, now as CEO of Edstar Genetics, a private wheat and barley breeding company.

  • UWA Lab/Office items for sale

    Dr Wayne Davies from UWA is down-scaling his laboratory and has a large number of items for sale, including various lab equipment and office furniture/supplies, all in excellent/nearly new condition.

    An itemised list and a spreadsheet detailing the cost that each item was originally purchased for. Please e-mail if you are interested in any of the items and/or to arrange a viewing. I am happy to negotiate on price, with payment being made either via a PG transfer (for large items) or from personal funds (for small items) as appropriate.
  • Friday after work drinks - Message from Sofie DeMeyer

    Dear Colleagues, It is with great pleasure that I announce the Friday after work drinks for the first half of 2016.

    Every last Friday of the month there will be an opportunity to catch up with colleagues and enjoy the start of the weekend with some drinks and nibbles.

    Where? BSB common room (building 240, room 2.020) starting at 4pm








    Who? All VLS staff and students Hope to see you all there!

    Cheers Sofie deMeyer

  • RSO Secondment to 31 March 2016

    Valerie Findlay the research support officer in Finance for Molecular & Biomed is off on a secondment to R&D until the end of March, and Serena Zhang ( is replacing her during this time. Serena will occupy Valerie’s desk so will be on extension 2407


VLS Announcements No. 70