VLS Announcements 124 - 10 February 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to remind all academics that submissions for the VLS Small Research Grant Scheme and VLS Equipment/Software Grant Scheme are due by the 27th February. Forms are available below in the “Teaching and Research News” section.

Congratulations to the Centre for Fish and Fisheries who had two papers published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Fish Biology; Interdecadal changes in the community population and individual levels of the fish fauna of an extensively modified estuary and Renal mucous production in Australian freshwater plotosid and ariid catfishes.

I would also like to congratulate Garth Maker who’s publication in The Medical Journal of Australia, “What risks do herbal products pose to the Australian community?” has gained considerable media coverage on TV, radio and online (available here). PhD Student, Luca De Prato’s research on reducing the level of THC in hemp has also received media coverage online. Dr Jatin Kala and Dr Joe Fontaine featured on ABC Radio’s National Science Show this week speaking about climate change. Tarryn Coward, Student Ambassador was also interviewed on the show alongside WA’s Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken, the recording is available online. I would like to thank you all for the time you have taken to speak to the media, these appearances help to raise the profile of the school and the university.

Kind regards,

David Hampson
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]

  • Scholarly practice of academics at Murdoch (SPA) - mandatory unit for all academic staff of probation

    The academic probation policies are under review, but until the review is completed staff must abide by current policies. If you are newly employed or currently on academic probation you are required to participate in the unit SPA (formally the tertiary teaching course) as one of the conditions of probation under the current policies, which will continue through 2017.

    To register to participate all staff have to do is click on the link below and enter the registration key (onsen)

    The sessions are conducted over the non-teaching weeks and the dates are as follows. Queries should be directed to Craig Whitsed, 2752,

    24th Feb - ECL 2.031 - am
    21st Mar - ECL 1.031 - am + pm
    23rd Mar – ECL 1.031 - am + pm
    19th Apr – Learning Link 2.003 - am + pm
    21st Ap- TBC - am + pm
    9th Jun - ECL1.031- am

    Morning Sessions 10:00 - 12:00
    Afternoon Sessions 1:30-3:30

  • Do you have fieldwork in your unit?

    This is a reminder that if you have fieldwork in any of your undergraduate units (and that includes taking the students off-campus for an afternoon) you should complete a RAMP form for the activity. You can find details of RAMP and other safety requirements at

  • Environmental Research Program Grants – now open

    The NSW Environmental Trust is now inviting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to its Environmental Research Program. The closing date for Research EOIs is 13 March 2017.

    This year’s Research Program is offering grants of up to $150,000 for applied research projects resulting in practical application under the following themes:

    1. Contaminants and Pollution
    2. Biodiversity
    3. Climate Adaption
    4. Mechanisms for Social Engagement.

    Priorities under each theme are outlined in the Program Guidelines.

    Applicants must demonstrate a collaborative approach that engages end-users from the outset of their proposal, through to dissemination of research findings. Proposals that fail to do so will not be assessed.

    Program information
    Go to the Trust’s website ( for more information about the Research Program, and to access the following documents:

    • Program Guidelines
    • Expression of Interest Form
    • Guidelines for completing your EOI
  • New Independent Researcher Infrastructure Support Awards

    The Department of Health is inviting applications for New Independent Researcher Infrastructure Support (NIRIS) Awards in 2017. NIRIS Awards of up to $10,000 each are available and will be awarded on competitive merit.

    The purpose of these awards is to assist outstanding new medical and health researchers in WA to develop their independent careers, help meet infrastructure costs associated with their research programs and provide recognition of their achievements.

    These awards are for infrastructure costs associated with research programs for a period of 12 months commencing in the 2017 calendar year.

    For the Guidelines and Conditions and Application Form, visit the Department of Health, Research Development Unit website

  • ACICIS Study Indonesia: 2018 New Colombo Plan Mobility Program Consortium Application: Member University Consultation Timeline

    As you may be aware, the guidelines for the 2018 round of the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program were released early in the new year. The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. Applications for the 2018 funding round open on 20 March and close on 19 May 2017.

    Since the 2014 NCP Mobility Program pilot round, ACICIS has successfully secured a total of more than $4.5 million of NCP mobility grant funding on behalf of the consortium’s Australian member universities and their students. This funding will eventually support over 1000 undergraduate students from ACICIS member universities to undertake study in Indonesia through ACICIS between 2015 and 2018.

    This New Colombo Plan funding has also allowed ACICIS to expand significantly the range of in-country study options available to Australian students in Indonesia, with the addition since 2015 of four new study options offered in disciplines including Business, Agriculture, Creative Arts, and Public Health. A further two study options in intensive Indonesian language and Law will be launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

    As with last year’s NCP application, ACICIS will consult with the consortium’s membership in two distinct stages as outlined below, to formulate the consortium’s 2018 NCP Mobility Program application.

    Timeline for ACICIS 2018 NCP Mobility Program Consortium Application Consultation:

    # Timeline Activity
    Stage 1 1 6 - 24 February Stage 1 ACICIS Member University Consultation: Open call to ACICIS member universities to submit ideas for new program initiatives they would like to see ACICIS develop with NCP support in 2018 and beyond.
    24 February Deadline for Stage 1 member university submissions
    2 27 February – 17 March ACICIS Secretariat to review member university Stage 1 submissions for new in-country program ideas. ACICIS to synthesise Stage 1 university submissions into shortlist of (approximately) 10-15 possible new ACICIS program initiatives. Shortlisted program initiatives to be worked into one-page new initiative ‘expression of interest’ forms for circulation to member universities during Stage 2 of the member university consultation.
    Stage 2 3 20 March ACICIS 2018 NCP Mobility Program ‘New Initiatives’ and ‘Existing Programs’ expression of interest forms sent to member university Study Abroad offices.
    4 20 March – 28 April Stage 2 ACICIS Member University Consultation: Member university study abroad offices (in consultation with faculty staff) to consider, complete and submit ‘expression of interest’ forms to the ACICIS Secretariat – indicating for which programs – existing and new – they seek NCP funding. For each ACICIS program, member universities will be asked to indicate how many NCP mobility grants they would like the consortium to apply for on their university’s behalf.
    28 April Deadline for submission of Stage 2 member university ‘expressions of interest’ forms to ACICIS Secretariat
    APPLICATION SUBMISSION 5 1 - 19 May ACICIS Secretariat to collate member university Stage 2 ‘expressions of interest’ and synthesise into consortium’s 2018 NCP Mobility Program Application.
    19 May Submission of ACICIS 2018 NCP Mobility Program consortium application to the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training.

    At this initial stage, ACICIS is seeking your suggestions for new in-country program initiatives that your university would like ACICIS to develop in Indonesia with New Colombo Plan support in 2018 and beyond.For a full list of ACICIS’ current program offerings, please refer to our website here.

    If you submitted a new program idea in last year’s consultation that was not successfully funded, and would still like to see ACICIS develop the program, please do not hesitate to submit the idea again in this round. Repeat submissions are welcome.

    ACICIS is open to suggestions for program development in all academic discipline areas.

    Please click through to make your submission via a short online survey here.

    If you would prefer to make your submission via email, you can forward it directly to the ACICIS Secretariat at Please include the words “2018 ACICIS NCP Stage 1 Submission” in the subject line of the email.

    In addition to suggestions for completely new study options in Indonesia, ACICIS would be particularly interested to hear of any existing Indonesia-based mobility projects that your university has developed with the assistance of previous Commonwealth mobility funding. If your university has an Indonesia-based project that you would like to see continue, but that may pose an on-going administrative burden to your institution, ACICIS would welcome a conversation regarding the possibility of the consortium taking on the management of these already trialled programs. Specifically, ACICIS would be interested in Indonesia-based programs with scope for expansion to accommodate students from across the consortium membership. Drawing as it does on the consortium’s collective resources, shared in-country infrastructure, and combined pool of eligible member university students, ACICIS could represent a sustainable, long-term, solution to the maintenance of your university’s current Indonesia-based mobility project(s). If your university has any Indonesia-based program initiatives of this sort, ACICIS would be keen to hear from you.

    Member university Stage 1 submissions regarding either new programs you would like to see ACICIS develop for the 2018 NCP funding round – or any of your institution’s existing Indonesia-based projects you would be interested in ACICIS administering in the future – should be submitted via the online survey link provided above, or by email, on or before Friday 24 February, 2017.

  • Checklist for assessments in Unit Guides and Handbook entries

    As a new semester approaches, many of us will be finalising unit guides or thinking of modifications to unit descriptions in the Handbook for 2018.

    Please take a moment to check your unit’s compliance with these important assessment points:
    2.1.2. No one assessment component may account for more than 70% of the final mark.
    2.1.3. At least 30% of assessable work must be Supervised Assessment. A range of approaches to Supervised Assessment is indicated in the Dictionary of Terms.
    2.1.7. Engagement in activities, including class activities, in contrast to attendance, may be assessed, but shall not account for more than 15% of the final mark Under these circumstances the Unit Coordinator must ensure that the criteria by which engagement is to be judged are explicit and set out in the Unit Information and Learning Guide and/or on the unit website. Individual students must be provided with feedback on their engagement in sufficient time for students to adjust their performance. As a guide for work that is continuing for an entire teaching period, the mid-point would be a reasonable time by which feedback should be provided.
    2.1.8. Oral presentations with a weighting of up to 10% may be assessed on the oral version alone. When the weighting is greater than 10%, students should submit a written version of the presentation (e.g., power point slides) and the assessment of the written version included in the grading, along with the oral version. In both cases, there must be either at least two independent markers of the oral version (e.g., double marking by two academics or one academic plus peer assessment) or a capacity for remarking the oral version (e.g., recording of presentation or an option to re-present).
    2.1.9. Peer assessment shall not account for more than 15% of the final mark.

  • Usage Statistics from My Unit Readings

    The My Unit Readings programme is now fully implemented and is the authorised method for delivering copyright protected works to students. (If you aren’t sure what this service is, please see

    Experienced users can now use the the Dashboard Facility to access valuable usage data that have not available before to academics; and provides an opportunity to review readings that may have high usage rates. Conversely, the facility also indicates which readings have low usage rates. Given the time and effort that is required to source and upload, or link, to the readings by all concerned (Unit Coordinators, tutors and the Library), where readings have low usage patterns, informed decisions can now be made to replace them.

    We have provided some information below to assist academics access the usage data:

    When you login to your List you will see the green dashboard button, clicking this will open a very short Tutorial if you are interested.
    dashboard button

    First you see

    • Page Views = Number of Times your List has been Viewed in Total.
    • Total Clicks = Number of Times Users Clicked through to an Item
    • Annotations = Number of Times users made a note or set a reading intention
    usage stats

    Each Item has some usage metrics and quality assurance around Metadata. The Usage Thermometer gives a quick overview of Clicks and Metadata Quality. usage stats

    During the year, academics can access the dashboard to determine the use of current readings. Archived lists from 2016 can also be provided. To access an Archived List Link please contact the Subject Librarian.

    Should further assistance be needed, please call Ian Lee on X2561.

  • Acknowledgement of Country for Unit Coordinators

    As part of the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), the RAP Working Group and the Kulbardi Centre would like to encourage unit coordinators to deliver an ‘acknowledgment of country’ in their first teaching sessions and teaching periods thereafter.

    We started doing this last year and the feedback from our Indigenous students was overwhelmingly positive.

    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.

  • Year 10 Work Experience

    A Year 10 student from Wesley College is interested in pursuing his year 10 work experience within VLS, he is particularly interested in Marine Science or Veterinary Medicine. If you are interested in taking on a work experience student please contact Mhairi Finlayson(

  • VLS Casual Academic Contract Requests - Semester 1 2017 - Mac Compatible Form Addedfor action

    Please find attached the VLS Casual Academic Contract Request Form (Mac compatible form attached). Please fill in one of these for each of your casual academics. Academic staff should ensure that they have discussed their unit casual academic requirements with their Cluster Leader and received approval prior to making a request to the Operations team.

    Please complete the attached VLS Casual Academic Contract Request Form  (pay rates on page 3) and email it to as soon as possible and no later than COB Friday, 17 February 2017 or at least 2 weeks before the contract starts.  Please ensure that all details required on the form are provided and are correct for data entry on the online system.  It is the schools preference that tenured or fixed term academic staff should teach OUA and External units wherever possible.  Please note – Due to audit requirements the Office of People and Culture are now requiring additional information for all employees, details are on the VLS Casual Academic Request Form.

    With regards to the Casual Academic Contract process please note the following:

    • All recruitment must be approved by the Cluster Leader and within budget
    • Retrospective requests will not be accepted
    • For insurance purposes all employees will need to have a contract in place in the HR system before they start their teaching.
    • If required all payroll forms are available from VLS Operations either via email or from LB3.036, and the Tax File Number Declaration form can be printed from the ATO website and the original returned with the Contract. Employees who have been employed within the last 12 months will not need to resubmit these forms unless they need to make amendments to their details. Previous Employees who haven’t been employed within the last 12 months, will need to complete a new Tax Declaration Form and provide an email confirming all other payroll details (bank & superannuation) remain unchanged.
    • New employees to Murdoch will need to supply a current CV and complete the Employee Details Form (attached).
    • All Employee’s (New & Existing) will need to supply their current Working Rights and Qualifications (Details outlined on the Casual Academic Contract Request Form).

    Please also see the attached Exchange Personal Email Address and Mailbox and the Journey Insurance Form.

    If you have any queries about the process, please contact

  • VLS Small Research Grant Scheme and Equipment/Software Grant Scheme now open

    Please note submissions for both schemes are due 27th February 2017. Early and mid-career academics are encouraged to apply.

    Please see the attached:
    VLS 2017 Equipment Grant Application Form
    VLS 2017 Small Grant Application Form

  • Semester 1 2017 – update Unit Coordinator & Unit Contacts on Callista for action

    The Exams Office has asked if all unit coordinators (UC’s) and unit contact details could be checked on Callista for all Semester 1 2017 units. The Exam Data Collection process will be opening soon and Exams Office will be contacting all UC’s to get confirmation of their units exam requirements.

    Please email your requests for Unit Coordinator / Unit Contacts updates to

    If the unit contacts cannot be finalised for a unit, 2 weeks before the beginning of the Semester 1 (27 February 2017) you may need to contact your Academic Chair for advice.

  • Library review of print collections

    The Library is conducting a review to improve the quality of our print collection. The focus of this review is to provide our students and staff with the best available, up to date print collections and remove items that may obscure more contemporary and higher quality publications. The review has also identified some areas of the collection for future purchasing.

    We are now at the stage where the library has completed initial consultations and made some decisions regarding resources that are no longer required. The attached list documents all items relevant to VLS that have been marked for removal; this spreadsheet has 8 separate subject specific tabs.

    Please note the following:

    • This list does not include items that have already been marked for retention (the vast majority of the collection that is relevant to VLS)
    • These items have been identified for removal because they are low-quality, low-demand or have been replaced by newer resources
    • All items identified for removal are easily available via BONUS+ or our document delivery service
    • Specifically, items have been identified for removal, if:
      • They have never been borrowed or have not been borrowed for a significant period of time
      • They have been superseded by a later edition or editions
      • They are missing or damaged
      • They are available in another more accessible format
    • None of the items have been removed from the shelves. A separate project will implement the logistics of removing and reorganising resources

    If you do see anything that needs changing, please highlight it on the spreadsheet and forward it to Mike Calver by February 14th. The Valentine’s Day date is deliberate, because unless people reserve any item it will be subject to a St Valentine’s Day massacre.

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

  • Academic Registrar's Office (ARO) Weekly Newsletter #3 - 6 February

    Please find attached, the ARO newsletter for week beginning 6 February.

  • Booking Lecture Theatres and Meeting Rooms for Semester 2

    Timetabling have advised that no bookings can be made until the end of May for dates in Semester 2 – this is when they will release the timetable for Semester 2.

  • Murdoch University's New Employee Orientation 14th February

    All Murdoch employees, whether professional or academic, have an impact on our students' experience. So, regardless of whether your staff are 'behind the scenes' or in the 'front line', they play an important role in ensuring Murdoch staff are able to make a valuable contribution to our Community.

    To continue to support new staff, OCU (Organisational Capability Unit) along with CUTL (Centre for University Teaching & Learning) are offering a one-day combined Orientation for all new employees. The format of the day is designed for both Professional and Academic staff to attend the morning session. Whilst the afternoon session is designed mainly for Academic staff as it focuses on their particular needs, and although Professional staff are very welcome to attend, it is not a requirement.  See attached schedule.

    The afternoon session is for all Academics new to Murdoch University, and is an enjoyable and informal chance to join workshops on research and academic practice and policy, as well as teaching development and recognition. It is also an opportunity to meet key contacts across the University.1

    Whilst each new staff member will be personally invited to the event, we would appreciate your support and invite you to discuss the Induction with new staff in your school. I have attached a copy of the program, and further information can be found here

    If you have any queries, please contact OCU (

  • February Re-Team Newsletter

    Please see the attached re-team Newsletter for February 2017.

  • School of Business and Governance Newsletter

    Please see the attached School of Business and Governance Newsletter for January 2017.

  • Centre for University Teachin and Learning (CUTL) Monthly Newsletter

    Please see the attached CUTL Newsletter for February 2017.

  • Mental Health First Aid Training at Murdoch

    Murdoch is running three Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses this year:
    Course 1 - Thursday 9 & Friday 10 March (Mandurah Campus)
    Course 2 - Thursday 6 & Friday 7 July (South Street Campus)
    Course 3 - 31 August & 1 September (South Street Campus)

    MHFA is the initial support provided (by anyone) to a person developing or experiencing mental health issues, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. Course participants will learn how to provide MHFA in a crisis situation. Successful attendees will achieve Mental Health First Aider accreditation by MHFA Australia; this is a useful qualification for anyone involved with or concerned about student / staff wellbeing.

    More information on the course and how to enrol is provided online:

  • Friday After Work Drinks

    Friday after work drinks on 24/02/2017, see attached flyer

  • Veterinary and Life Sciences Award Ceremony 2017

    As the year comes to a close it is time to look to 2017 and a date for the School’s Award Ceremony at South Street. It has been a problem to have all scholarship recipients selected in time for early April ceremonies, so in 2017 the ceremonies will be held a couple of weeks later. This will allow us to include all scholarship recipients for the School at the Award Ceremony. The tentative date is: Vet and Life Sciences Award Ceremony, Wed 24 May from 6pm

  • Veterinary and Life Sciences Graduation - February 2017

    Date: Friday 17th February
    Contingency date: Saturday 18th February
    Venue: Lower Bush Court, South Street Campus
    Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
    Contingency dates: Please note the contingency dates allocated to each ceremony. In the case of inclement weather the ceremony may be moved to this date. Please allow for this in your diary.

  • Deadline - Chemical Management - March 2017 for action

    The Safety, Health and Wellbeing team requires your assistance in completion of the chemical manifest as previously circulated.

    • Despite repeated requests for providing list of all chemicals within their laboratory utilizing the Chemwatch Manifest chemical register; only 46 out of 118 were received.
    • Only 15 out of 118 responsible lab personnel have completed the mandatory Chemwatch online training session.

    Based on the above, it is requested that:

    • All areas such as laboratory, workshops and stores must complete the Amended Chemical Manifest – MUR – SAF – SPR – CHE – 2016. 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.
    • The above mentioned chemical register should be sent to Brodey Anderson ( by no later than 31st March 2017.
    • Any surplus chemicals can be disposed of through the Science Store (Physical Sciences, Room 1.016) using Waste-Chemical-Disposal-Manifest.
    • ALL chemical users (staff, students, visitors, etc.) are required to complete Chemwatch online training sessions.

    For any concerns and queries please contact Brodey Anderson (

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

  • How safe are your herbal medicines? - FREE Public Lecture

    Presenter: Dr Garth Maker
    Date: Monday 27th February
    Time: 6pm - 7pm
    RSVP: here

  • Crimes, Critters and Clues - FREE Public Lecture

    Presenter: Dr Paola Magni
    Date: Monday 20th March
    Time: 6pm - 7pm
    RSVP: here

  • Solving whale mysteries using tags and drones - FREE Public Lecture

    Presenter: Professor Lars Bejder
    Date: Monday 27th March
    Time: 6pm - 7pm
    RSVP: here

  • Ecological Restoration: Recent Advances in Theory and Practice

    Presenter: Dr Tom Jones, Research Geneticist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Forage & Range Research Laboratory, Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Climate, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA.
    Date: Thursday 16th February
    Time: 4pm
    Venue: Kings Park
    For more information please visit 

  • Kings Park Summer Scholars Talks

    Presenter: Six Kings Park Summer Scholars
    Date: Friday 24th February
    Time: 2.30pm
    Venue: Kings Park
    Topics: - Priming Optimisation using Seed Metabolic Rates.
    - Investigating the soil temperature-depth relationship using distributed temperature sensing (fiber optic cables).
    - Biodegradable pot dynamics and restoration applications.
    - Tuart provenance trial informs seed sourcing for climate change.
    - Protecting seeds from pre-emergent herbicide with activated carbon pellets.
    - Seed metabolics and longevity in ex-situ storage.

  • Growing old collecting the data required to predict ecological impacts of climate change

    Presenter: Dr Rachel Standish
    Date: Thursday 9th March
    Time: 4pm
    Venue: Kings Park
    For more information please visit 

Student Opportunities [Expand All] | [Collapse All

  • 8th USLS Leadership Conference @UNITED NATIONS Bangkok, Thailand 2017

    The 8th University Scholars Leadership Symposium 2017 at United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand is OPEN for registration.

    We are looking for competent and compassionate student leaders with the following qualities to join us in this Leadership Development in Social Change :

    1. Student Leaders who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and aspire to constantly learn from others to better themselves.
    2. Student leaders who have an open mind and a genuine appreciation for different perspectives and individuals with different backgrounds, interests and ambitions.
    3. Student leaders who show consideration for others and possess an interest to better society.

    For more information visit our website at or simply write in to