VLS Announcements 109 - 14 October 2016

Dear Colleagues,

Our Cetacean Research Unit has once again been featured in the media. Their research using drones to monitor southern right whales’ health while raising calves has been on Channel 9 News along with multiple news websites. The Cetacean Research Unit has had multiple research projects covered in the news recently and I would like to thank them for the work they have done with the media team to raise the profile of not only their own research but also of the university.

VLS Poster Day is fast approaching. For those not aware, Poster Day is an annual event that the College of Veterinary Medicine originally started over 20 years ago and is now a School wide event which provides our PhD students the opportunity to showcase their research and network with other researchers and our external guests. Poster Day is a great opportunity to show our support for our PhD candidates and to find out more about what research is happening in other areas of the school. More information, including RSVP information, is available in the “Staff News and Events” section.

If you have logged into Murdoch eLearning Platform (MeLP) recently you may have noticed that you have been enrolled in 10 additional compliance modules. I encourage everyone to take the time to go through and complete these modules and take full advantage of the learning opportunities offered to staff through this platform. More information about the MeLP offering is available in the “Staff News and Events” section.

Kind regards

Phil Nicholls
Acting Dean, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences.

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Mhairi Finlayson COB each Tuesday for publication Thursday

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

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

  • GRDC Investment plan application changes

    The GRDC will soon be releasing its new investment management system to manage the application process for its investment portfolio online. The details of these new processes will be publicised shortly.

    The new system will feature an ongoing call for investment partners, replacing the traditional annual External Investment Plan and is targeted at simplifying the application and reporting process for our research partners. As such, there will no longer be an annual call for applications. Calls for investment partners will now be advertised on the GRDC website on an ongoing basis and updates can be monitored through alert subscriptions for investment areas of interest.

    All current investment decisions will continue to centre on the GRDC research, development and extension (RD&E) priorities in the areas of; agronomy, farming systems, weeds, pests, diseases, soil, nutrition and information & research support as articulated in the Strategic Research and Development Plan 2012-17.

    The GRDC looks forward to bringing a more efficient and flexible investment management system to assist in partnering to deliver RD&E for Australian grain growers.

  • Review of CUTL’s Unit Coordinator Materials

    CUTL is seeking unit coordinators from VLS to volunteer for a review of the materials currently available for unit coordinators through the CUTL website, and to determine what needs to be further developed and how this can be best delivered. The date is likely to be in mid-November. If you are interested in participating, please email Mike Calver.

  • Agricultural Educators Association of WA 2017 Teaching Scholarship

    Applications are now open to apply for the Agriculture Educations Association of WA (AEAWA) 2017 Teaching Scholarship. See the attached 2017 AEAWA 2017 Teaching Scholarship Application and AEAWA 2017 Teaching Scholarship Conditions for more information.

  • Nominate to Supervise Scholarship-Funded Maters or PhD Students- China Scholarship Council - note from Professor Yonglin Ren

    The School is looking at ways to attract China Scholarship Council (CSC) supported Masters and/or PhD students to complete Masters or PhD research at Murdoch University in 2017.

    CSC has 24 or 36 months scholarships available.

    The 24 months scholarship-supported students are enrolled at Chinese Universities. After a one year course study in China, they can spend 24 months at an overseas university to complete their research. Their scholarship covers international travels, accommodation, living allowance, transport and medical insurance, but does not include bench fees. The students will spend two years at Murdoch and work on research projects in Murdoch. They stay in Australia for the full 24 months. The Chinese university will get credit for the completion of the PhD but some of the potential benefits of supervising a student within this CSC program are:

    • Students are available for 24 months to work on research projects and in the labs
    • They can contribute to generate 2-3 publications
    • Potential for Intellectual Property
    • This program can also be beneficial to establish collaborations with the Chinese Institutes and supervisors through the students coming into the program.

    CSC also offers 36 months scholarships to a small number of high calibre applicants enrolled at overseas universities. This scholarship requires the host university to waive their fees. (The student will be directly enrolled at Murdoch and we get credit for the completion of the PhDs at Murdoch University.)

    To apply, the CSC supported students need to have a nominated overseas supervisor/s, a research proposal and submit the proposal to the Chinese university in November for approval. In December, the Chinese universities will send all bulk proposals to CSC for final approval. The students will be informed whether their application has been successful or not in February 2017.

    From our end, Associate Professors and Professors in the School of VLS can nominate to supervise Chinese students for 2017. Mid-career researchers can also nominate but will need to have either an Associate Professor or Professor listed as the main supervisor.

    An example of a completed project nomination form is attached. If you are interested in registering some of your projects for 2017, please fill in the CSC nomination form and return to Nathalie Kennedy by 17th October COB for collation.

    Those forms will then be processed by Pearl Chua-Kyselicova who will organise a bulk promotion to targeted universities and contacts in China.

    Please do not hesitate to contact Professor Yonglin Ren if you have any queries (

  • PhD Candidate Looking for Academic and Research Staff to Interview for Project

    Heriyanto from Information Systems School, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is doing a study that aims to investigate the ways researchers experience using open access (e.g open access journals, university repositories) as part of their information literacy.

    If you are current academic researcher (sessional, contract and full time) who have used and published in open access publications during the last 12months then he would like to invite you to participate in an interview to share your experiences.

    Your participation in this project is entirely voluntary. The interview will be conducted in person at mutually agreeable time and place. It will take between 30 and 60 minutes.

    Your contribution to this project will provide a better understanding of researchers experience open access as part of their information world.

    Please view the attached recruitment flyer for further details on the study and how to participate.

    Please note that this study has been approved by the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 1500000045).

    Student: Heriyanto, PhD student,
    Principal Supervisor: Adj/Professor Helen Partridge,, 07 3138 9047
    Associate Supervisor: Dr Kate Davis,, 07 3138 9387

  • eJournal Browsing Service on Trial

    The Library is trialling eJournal browsing service BrowZine in October. BrowZine allows users to add library journals to a personalised bookshelf and alerts users to newly published issues of their favoured journals sitting on their bookshelf.

    Staff and students can access the service on their desktop or mobile device. BrowZine will automatically detect if users are on campus, off-campus users will be prompted to select Murdoch as their library.

    To access BrowZine from your mobile device:

    1. Download BrowZine: From your Android, iOS or Kindle Fire device, visit the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Amazon App Store. Search for “BrowZine” and download the app to your device. (If you have previously been using BrowZine with our Open Access library, please delete the app and reinstall it.)
    2. Access BrowZine: Tap on the app icon to open BrowZine. A list of libraries will appear, please select Murdoch University. Enter your staff or student number and Murdoch password.
    3. Start browsing! Use the Subject dropdown menu to browse by subject categories or our Titles A-Z to find a specific title by name.

    Please provide any feedback you may have regarding this resource via the feedback hyperlink on the page above or directly to Jean Coleman by email at

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

  • ARO Weekly Newsletter #40 - 10 October

    Please find attached, the ARO newsletter for the week beginning 10 October.  Please see attached the documents mentioned in the newsletter; Acupuncture Flyer, 11.00-12.00 Booking Form, 12.30 - 13.30 Booking Form.

  • Chemical Management 2016 for action

    The Chemical and Hazardous Substances Committee met recently in September 2016 and proposed an upcoming chemical audit and amnesty to be held over a three month period (September to end of November 2016).

    All laboratory managers as per the attached Chemical Management v3 MUR-SAF-SPR-INV-2016 register are required to make a list of all chemicals within their laboratory utilizing the attached Chemwatch Manifest MUR-SAF-SPR-CMA-2016 inventory register.

    Any surplus chemicals can be disposed of through the Science Store (Physical Sciences, Room 1.016) or held until the chemical amnesty with the assistance of the Murdoch Safety Team towards the end of the year.

    All areas such as laboratory, workshops and stores must maintain a chemical register (list of chemicals), which includes a list of all chemicals in the area including quantity and location. A list of designated “hazardous substances” assessed as hazardous according to the assessment criteria produced by the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission must also be kept and included in the chemical register.

    This list of all chemicals in each area is maintained and available electronically in the university “Chemwatch” Chemical Management System in which the safety team will provide some upcoming training.

    The Chemwatch audit process is outlined in the attached presentation Chemical Management Audit Rollout MUR-SAF-PRE-CMA-2016 and will cover all chemicals within the area and ensure the existing SDS’s are up to date.

    Please see the attached documents: 
    CREDO Quick Start Guide
    Chemwatch Process Flow
    Chemwatch Implementation Plan
    Chemical Audit and Chemical Amnesty

  • MeLP Annual Completion Rates - a note from People and Culture

    It’s just over a year since we created the Murdoch eLearning Platform. Since then we have uploaded 10 compliance related courses along with a number of other courses like Copyright and Licensing, Mental Health Awareness and Stress Management, just to name a few.

    We’ve tracked the completion rates for the 10 compliance courses as at 1 September 2016. If you include all the courses that we have published on MELP, we have 5,984 course completions. The average cost per head per course completion is $13.36, which is a very cost effective way of facilitating staff learning.

    Going forward into 2017, we would like to get even more value through this learning platform and would like to seek your assistance to encourage more staff to complete the compliance related modules, particularly as they are linked to our Values of Equity and Social Justice, Respect, Integrity and Personal and Professional Responsibility. It is a good reminder of what we stand for at Murdoch.

    The following link provides you with an update of your team’s completion of the 10 recommended modules,

    To access MeLP:

    Login Details:
    Username: Staff Number
    Password: MAIS Password

  • VLS Poster Day

    VLS Poster Day is approaching, the posters will be displayed from Monday 7th November till Wednesday 9th November in the Library Foyer. All HDR Students have been emailed, could supervisors please encourage their students to participate.

    Date: Wednesday 9th November
    Time: 2pm till 3pm
    Venue: Library Foyer
    RSVP: As drinks and nibbles are provided RSVPs are essential. Please RSVP by 2nd November to

    If you wish to invite any external guests please send their contact information including email to Mhairi Finlayson, VLS Marketing and Communications Coordinator ( for a formal invitation to be sent.

    More information is available on the Poster Day page of the website.

  • Review of University-wide Support for Students with Disability

    The University is undertaking a Review of University-wide Support for Students with Disability in November 2016 and you are invited to share your experiences and insight with the Review panel through a submission and meeting.

    The aim of this review is to examine the Murdoch University experience of students with disability/medical conditions with the goal of providing a level of support and institutional engagement that is compliant with legislation and policy, and meets the needs of our student community.

    To help the review panel better understand the experience of our students and the experience of supporting our student community, your submission to the review both in person and in writing is welcome. As a staff member the panel is particularly interested in understanding:

    • What is your awareness and understanding of our commitments to students with a disability, including the requirements under University policy, Commonwealth or State legislation
    • Based upon your experience, how well is the university meeting the needs of our students with a disability
    • What aspects of the study and university experience are currently working well to support students in their learning and staff in their teaching of students with disability
    • What changes or improvements could be made to make better support our students and our staff in providing appropriate accommodations

    All submissions will be kept confidential, available to the review panel and staff supporting the review only. The deadline for your feedback is Friday 28 October 2016. Please email Senior Quality Assurance Officer, Ms Alison Black (

    You are welcome to meet with the panel during their visit (31 October - 2 November) and a calendar invitation will be sent in the coming days. Most meetings with similar colleagues are grouped (hope the time suits) however if you’re interested in meeting with the panel but unavailable at the nominated time there is scope to reschedule or organize an alternative.

  • Postgraduate Evening

    The Murdoch University Postgraduate Evening is coming up. There is an event in the CBS on the 20th October and an on-campus event on the 26th. Please see the attached powerpoint slides (powerpoint with both eveningspowerpoint Club M only) to add to the end of lectures for final year Undergraduate students.

    The event is being marketed via emails to all final year undergraduate students, the database of prospective PG students, social media, radio, electronic screens around campus, staff and student announcements.

    108 PGInfoEveningFlyerA5 5.jpg

  • MUPSA Quiz Night and Sundowner

    MUPSA are hosting a quiz night and sundowner at the Tavern on Thursday 27th October, more information on the attached flyer.

  • Dr Jan Thomas, College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni - message from Professor Peter Irwin

    Many of you will remember Dr Jan Thomas during her time at Murdoch – as a veterinary student , veterinary pathologist and educator where she played a major role in putting together the material for the first AVMA accreditation visit in 2002, or as the Deputy VC for Academic Affairs. She went on to take up a position at the University of Southern Queensland and then as VC. She has just been appointed as VC of Massey University, which is home to New Zealand’s only vet school:

  • Seeking Canine Community Blood Donors - message from The Animal Hospital

    Does your cat have what it takes to be a TAHMU Superstar Blood Donor?


    • Between 1-8 years old
    • Ideally 5kg, or greater, we will accept 4kg if very suited to being a donor
    • Good temperament & healthy
    • Currently on flea preventive
    • Current vaccinated
    • Ideally donor cats are indoor cats. However, we recognise that many cats are indoor/outdoor cats and we take this into consideration.

    Our Screening process involves the following

    • We would like to meet you and your cat. We will go through some paperwork and ask you to complete a questionnaire – we like to have all the information we need.
    • For your cat – we will get a body weight & perform a full physical exam.
    • Behavioural assessment- most cats are very cautious, we like to spend a bit of time with your cat in the consult room and see how they feel about us and being a part of the Donor Team.
    • We will obtain a blood sample for preventative health screening. The FeLV/FIV tests are repeated at each donation.

    Unlike dogs, this procedure requires your cat to be anaesthetised for the collection procedure. It will involve dropping your cat off to us in the morning and collecting your cat at the end of the day. Donation can occur between 3 and 5 times per year if your cat is available.

    This procedure, while safe, carries inherent risk. Our experienced team monitor for complications before, during, and after donation.

    Please contact Michelle Rouffignac with any questions you may have and also your preferred contact details. We will make contact with you to schedule a meet and greet within 4 weeks of receiving your email.

    Many thanks for providing this community service to the patients of The Animal Hospital At Murdoch University.

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

  • AMSI BioInfoSummer 2016 Grant Applications Closing Soon

    Grant applications are now open for those attending AMSI BioInfoSummer 2016 in Adelaide this November. A grant can help cover the cost of travel, accommodation, partner support, and childcare arrangements associated with attending BioInfoSummer.

    AMSI and its funding partners are pleased to present two separate grants this year: the AMSI Travel Grant, and the CHOOSEMATHS Grant. AMSI Travel Grants are open to all attendees from AMSI member institutions outside Adelaide, while the CHOOSEMATHS grant has been specifically designed to support to female attendees.

    Grant applications close 16 October 2016. For more information, including eligibility criteria and application requirements, please visit our website today.

    More information us available on the AMSI website.

  • Applications Open: National PhD Leadership Program in Horticulture

    The University of Tasmania is proud to be coordinating the National PhD Leadership Program in Horticulture, which is co-funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) Ltd under its Pool 2 Leadership Fund.

    This program aims to drive research innovation and develop future leaders of the Australian horticultural industry via a national PhD scholarship scheme. Six national scholarships will be awarded annually from 2017-2019 for PhD projects that meet the program criteria.

    We are now seeking project proposals from potential supervisors from Australian Universities or other appropriate R&D organisations.

    Projects must be cross sectoral and transformational in nature, collaborative, and actively engaged with industry.

    Find out more and apply now.

    Project proposals for funding in 2017 close on 15 November 2016. A maximum of three projects may be submitted per organisation.

  • APA Application Round

    FYI all supervisors- The 2017 PhD scholarship round is now open!

    Scholarships are awarded on academic merit, research experience and/or potential. Applicants must be applying for admission for candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and possess a 1st Class Honours degree, H2A (or equivalent) or a Masters with a significant thesis component.

    Scholarships are open to Australian or New Zealand Citizens and to Australian permanent residents and scholarship recipients must be enrolled full-time on an internal basis.

    The 2017 APA and MURS scholarship provides a tax exempt living allowance of AUD$26,682 per annum with potential top-up to $30,000 for the APA.

    Closing date - 4.30pm, Monday 31st October

    Step-by-step application guide:

    Please contact for more information or visit the following website -

  • Kings Park Seminars

    Topic: The Influence of Drought on Plant Morphology, Physiology and Establishment in the Semi-Arid Post-Mining Environments of Western Australia
    Date: Thursday 13th October 2016
    Time: 4pm
    Presenter: Siobhan Sullivan, UWA PhD Candidate
    Venue: Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Kings Park (map:
    More information available on attached flyer.

    Topic: Fire and the Evolution of Mediterranean Floras
    Date: Thursday 27th October 2016
    Time: 4pm
    Presenter: Prof Byron Lamont is a Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) with the Plant Ecology and Evolution Group at Curtin University
    Venue: Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Kings Park (map:
    More information available on attached flyer.