VLS Announcements 128 - 10 March 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to thank Peter Irwin, Graham O’Hara, Treena Burgess and Garth Maker for presenting at the Science Careers Evening this week. The event was well attended with over 150 attendees interested in hearing about careers in science.

I would like to congratulate Dr Paola Magni who will present at the TedX Sydney Salon in April. Congratulations to Mark O’Dea, Terrance Lee and Sam Abraham for their recent publication in Essays in Biochemistry, “Development and transmission of antimicrobial resistance among Gram-negative bacteria in animals and their public health impact”. Amanda Ash, Aileen Elliot, Stephanie Godfrey, Halina Burmej, Mohammad Abdad, Amy Northover, Craig Thompson and Alan Lymbery have discovered a new species of tick, which may be facing extinction. Their paper “Morphological and molecular description of Ixodes woylie n. sp. (Ixodidae) with consideration for co-extinction with its critically endangered marsupial host” has been published in Parasites and Vectors. Jane Chambers and Philip Jennings have written a very topical and timely piece for The Conversation titled “Roe 8: Perth’s environmental flashpoint in the WA election”, a great way to communicate research to those who may not usually see it.

The VLS Staff Awards are open for nomination. Nominations will be taken until 24th March; more details in the Staff News and Events section.

Open Day planning is underway. Open Day will be held on the 30th July 9am till 3pm. If you would like to host a hotspot activity at Open Day please email Mhairi Finlayson, Marketing and Communications Coordinator.

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]

  • First year support - update from the Learning Support Team , CUTL

    There is a 5 day a week service in the Library from 10.30am onwards of Peer Academic Coaches available to answer study skill questions.

    PACs have been chosen from a variety of discipline areas. See information at

    PACs are also on-line via Collaborate during their scheduled roster hours for External Student queries.

    Our consultations with our expert language and numeracy staff are now open for bookings and they also do Skype consults with External Students. Information at

    The comprehensive Succeed at Uni - workshop series has now commenced and students can enrol directly from the website .

    The cross campus UniEdge Collaboration
    For the very early non-teaching week this semester in week 4, the UniEdge team, Library, Counselling Service , Transition and Retention, Student Services and Learning Support Team, CUTL have put together two days of workshops (with a free lunch) in that week to maintain students' engagement and good habits of coming on to campus. Please encourage your students to attend

    Week 4
    (non-teaching week)
    Monday 20th March Wednesday 22 March
    9.30-10.30am Ways to catch up on study B440
    Ways to catch up on study B440
    10.30-11.30 Coffee break time Coffee break time
    11.30-12.30 Dry Mouth; Wobbly Knees! How to Manage Presentation Nerves B440
    Procrastination & Perfectionism B440
    12.30-1.30 Free Lunch Bush Court Free Lunch Bush Court
    1.30-2.30 Essay Writing: Referencing and Paraphrasing B440
    Effective Note-taking B440
    2.30-3.30pm Library Tour Library Foyer
  • The big one: $750,000 for science/innovation/teaching—nominations for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science now open

    Nominations are sought from industry and academia for the two major prizes worth $250,000 each and the $50,000 early to mid-career awards

    Each year the Australian Government honours Australia’s best scientists, innovators, and science teachers through the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

    But we need your help to find the humble science heroes, promising early-career researchers, media-shy innovators, and modest teachers who deserve to have their work recognised on a national stage.

    We’re looking for:

    • heroes of Australian science who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge through science—people like Rick Shine, Graham Farquhar, and Ingrid Scheffer—for the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
    • exceptional innovators from both industry and research who have translated scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact—like Michael Aitken, Colin Hall, Graeme Jameson and Ian Frazer—for the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
    • early to mid-career scientists whose research is already making, and will continue to have, an impact on our lives—like Kerrie Wilson, Jane Elith, Ryan Lister, Andrea Morello, Angela Moles, Matthew Hill and Tanya Munro for the $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and the $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
    • promising early to mid-career innovators from science and industry—like Colin Hall—who have enhanced our economy, translating scientific knowledge into a substantial commercial impact for the $50,000 Prize for New Innovators.

    The awards will be presented at a gala dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra, where the leaders of science, industry, education and government will have the chance to meet the recipients.

    Nominations close at 5 pm Canberra time, Wednesday 12 April 2017.

    It’s simple to nominate in the first (shortlisting) stage, with an online form. If a nomination is shortlisted, further material will be required in the final stage.

    For eligibility, selection criteria, nomination guidelines and forms, visit: or call 13 28 46.

    To read more about past recipients and the awards dinner visit:

  • Gates Foundation Grant Opportunities

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting proposals for the latest round of Grand Challenges Explorations.

    Grand Challenges Explorations fosters early-stage discovery research to expand the pipeline of ideas for solving our greatest global health and development challenges. Launched in 2008 with an initial $100 million commitment from the foundation, Grand Challenges Explorations grants have already been awarded to more than 1200 researchers in more than 65 countries.

    Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies. Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million.

    We are accepting applications on the following four topics until May 3, 2017:

    Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions in English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish will be available very soon. We also invite you to check these two blogs: Innovation for an Interconnected Laboratory System and Improving Timeliness and Completeness of Routine Immunizations in Low-Resource Settings Will Save Lives.

  • Supervisor Perceptions of Industry Engagement in the Australian PhD

    Ms Ashleigh Roberts is a Masters by Research student at Murdoch University with over 8 years of experience working with PhD candidates. Ashleigh’s research interests are in the area of increasing Research-Industry engagement and improving research student experience and employability.

    If you have time to take part in a 20 minute survey then we would be very grateful for your participation in this masters research project.

    The (anonymous) information you provide will potentially contribute to greater collaboration between industry and universities, the likelihood of positive employment outcomes for PhD graduates and acquisition of transferable skills for continued career progression.

    Please complete the survey at the following link:

    Ms Roberts will be supported by:
    Dr Megan Paull
    Dr Tash Ayers
    Dr Craig Whitsed

    Please contact the student investigator for further information

    Murdoch University Ethics approval 2016/214
    Edith Cowan University Ethics Approval 17351

  • Space Utilisation Survey, South St - March 27 to April 7 - message from Jacqui Ing, Manager, Resource Scheduling

    In accordance with the Space Management Policy, we will conduct a space utilisation survey in South St teaching venues from March 27-April 7.

    During this time student casuals will be asked to enter teaching venues once every hour to count the number of people in the room, from 8:30 to 5:30.

    This data will provide insight into the way in which spaces are actually used, and inform future planning.

    Once collected and analysed, the space utilisation data will be distributed to School Deans and School Managers.

    The survey will cover general teaching rooms and many teaching laboratories.

    Please contact us as soon as possible if you have any concerns regarding students entering a space during class time so that we can discuss appropriate protocols or adjust the room list where necessary.

    We will not survey a room during a supplementary exam, but Schools will need to alert us if they have scheduled a test within normal class times in this period, as these will not be visible to the survey planning team.

    If you have any queries or concerns about the space utilisation survey please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • New Colombo Plan – Apply for funding for overseas student experiences in 2018

    The external Engagement Team will be hosting New Colombo Plan application workshops.

    The aim of this workshop is to discuss the New Colombo Plan selection criteria and how to write a strong application. It will also give staff the chance to discuss their project ideas and I will be able to identify gaps based on previous experience and tips from the Australian Government. Staff that were previously unsuccessful and that want to re-submit their project in 2018 are also very welcome to attend.

    New Colombo Plan Application Workshop
    Date: Wednesday 22nd March
    Time: 3.30pm - 5.30pm
    Venue: 440.2.051 (Social Sciences, upstairs opposite the new bookshop)

  • New Colombo Plan 2018 – Pre-application information - message from Jeannette Geesmann, Student Mobility Officer (Outbound)

    Please find attached pre-application information for the 2018 NCP Mobility round, which will assist you in preparing your project (Mobility Program Guidelines, NCP Grant Application Form SAMPLE).

    Approximately $36 million in funding is available to support Single-term Mobility Projects and the first year of Multi-year Mobility Projects through Student Grants and a contribution to Applicants’ administration costs.

    I have attached a sample application based on the 2017 selection criteria. Once applications open on 20th March, I will circulate the revised application form. However it should not change much and the selection criteria should be very similar.

    The New Colombo Plan aims to:

    • lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by increasing the number of Australian undergraduate students undertaking study and Internships in the region
    • deepen Australia’s people-to-people and institutional relationships with the region, through the engagement of students, universities, businesses and other stakeholder networks in the Program
    • establish study in the Indo-Pacific as a rite of passage for Australian undergraduate students, and an endeavour that is highly valued by the Australian community, and
    • increase the number of work-ready Australian graduates with regional experience.

    In the 2018 round the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program’s strategic objectives are to:

    • support more study experiences in as many Indo-Pacific locations as possible
    • fund innovative Mobility Projects that facilitate increased student mobility to the region and new or strengthened partnerships between universities and other organisations
    • encourage a substantial number of Students to undertake longer-term study, in-country language study and Internships
    • encourage private sector collaboration and sponsorship of the Program
    • engage New Colombo Plan Students, universities, and other stakeholders in public diplomacy and outreach, and

    Eligible students

    • A Student participating in a Mobility Project must:
    • be an Australian citizen. Students cannot receive a Student Grant to undertake a Mobility Project in a Host Location in which they have dual citizenship or residency rights
    • be enrolled in an on-shore campus of an Australian University throughout the duration of the Mobility Project
    • be undertaking a Bachelor Degree (Level 7) or Bachelor Honours Degree (Level 8), as defined by the Australian Qualifications Framework at the commencement of their Mobility Project
    • generally be between 18 and 28 years of age at the commencement of their Mobility Project. However 30% of students on a program can be 29 years of age and over. If you want to take more students over the age of 29, the Government will assess this on a case-by-cases basis
    • not have already commenced a period of overseas study in the same Host Location as the Mobility Project
    • not receive more than one short-term and one Semester grant (with or without an internship) during their Australian course of study

    Eligible Projects

    • Eligible Mobility projects must:
    • be at least two weeks (14 days) in duration
    • commence between 1st January 2018 and 30th June 2019
    • provide credit/count towards the course requirements for the Australian course of study in which the student is enrolled
    • be undertaken in an eligible primary Host Location: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

    Multi-year applications
    Multi-year Mobility Projects allow the same project to be offered over multiple years to different cohorts of students. Multi-year Funding is only available to Mobility Projects that support Applicants to deliver a long-term and sustainable increase in student mobility to the region. In the 2018 round, around 25 per cent of funding is available for Multi-year Mobility Projects that meet an additional selection criterion and are approved to run for up to two additional years beyond the Single-term Mobility Project Completion Date of 30 June 2019

    Advice to applicants from the Australian Government
    During the workshop on Wednesday 22nd March at 3.30pm (room 440.2.051) I will share some advice for applicants issued by the Australian Government. This will assist staff in further strengthening their application based on previous experience.

  • 2017 Tall Poppy Awards - call for nominations

    Young Tall Poppy Science Award Nominations are now open and accepted from all fields of science and technology and are made in all states and territories.

    Nominations close at midnight AEST 9 April 20117.

    Visit for the nomination form, eligibility and selection details.

  • Funding Industry Partnerships - Workshops 27th to 31st March

    Through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the government has focused on industrial (in its broadest research discipline context) research funding to further increase innovation in the country.

    This has meant major changes to some programs such as the ARC Linkage Projects scheme, and the introduction of new funding programs in areas supported by the Department of Industry. Attached is an overview on the range of schemes and opportunities available.

    The Research and Innovation Office is holding a series of workshops during the week March 27th to 31st 2017 to provide information that will assist Murdoch staff (and partners) to be competitive in these new research programs.

    Professor Alan Johnson AM, a previous member of the ARC College of Experts and previous ARC Executive Director will be facilitating the workshops. Professor Giles Hardy, a previous College of Experts member and highly successful Linkage Projects applicant will be participating in the workshop on ARC Linkage Projects.

    Four themed workshops will be held, with duplicate sessions on offer, during 27th and 31st March:

    1. ARC Linkage Projects
    2. ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP)
    3. Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) and Projects
    4. National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) & Opportunities

    Please register below –


    First offer

    Second Offer

    Third Offer

    ARC Linkage

    27th March 2017

    08:00 to 10:30

    McCusker Conference Room


    29th March 2017

    14:00 to 16:30



    31st March 2017

    08:00 to 10:30

    McCusker Conference Room



    28th March 2017

    08:00 to 09:30

    McCusker Conference Room


    29th March 2017

    11:30 to 13:00




    CRC and Projects

    28th March 2017

    10:00 to 11:30

    McCusker Conference Room


    30th March 2017

    15:00 to 16:30

    McCusker Conference Room



    NISA and Opportunities

    28th March 2017

    15:00 to 16:30

    ECL 1.031


    31st March 2017

    15:00 to 16:30

    McCusker Conference Room



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

  • Urgent reminder Chemical users and laboratories for action - message from Brodey Anderson, Occupational Health and Safety

    you are aware the safety department in conjunction with the chemical & hazardous substance committee are continuing to move towards the closure of the chemical audit & amnesty date of 31 March 2017.

    A critical component is that all of you undertake the computer based training for Chemwatch in order to manage your chemicals within the laboratory, workshop & stores moving forward. The computer based training modules required to be completed are as per below -

    Upon completion of the modules, if you can please continue to send your completed certificates to - 

    As you are a laboratory owner or user in order to register your completed manifests into Chemwatch, you must complete the above training. If for any reason you do not have a log in username/password then please contact Brodey Anderson (OSH).

  • Replacement Car for VLS

    The Single cab Hilux 4x4 1ERA-316 has been replaced with an Extra cab Hilux 4x4 details below.

    The only difference between this car and the last is that it is an extra cab so has a bit more space in cab, can seat 4 passengers (if two are small) and it is Manual.

    Vehicle Toyota Hilux Extra Cab TTop 4X4 with canopy
    Owner Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, VLS
    Plate No 1 GGD-395
    Manual/Automatic Manual
    Availability General
    Fuel Diesel
    Booking Site Corridor Level 1 south BLD 240
    Parking Bay Res bay 9:18
    Contact Person
    (not to be contacted for booking purposes)
    Michael Taylor (2402)
    Cents/km 65

    First aid kit for this vehicle is stored behind passenger seat

    Users are responsible for:

    • Noting condition & ensuring vehicle is road worthy before using it.
    • returning it in a cleaned and ready to use state for the next user
    • returning it with no less than ¼ tank of petrol
    • reporting any damage/maintenance requests to the contact person.
  • Accommodation Wanted for visiting academic family.

    The College is hosting husband and wife academics who will be working in The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University, and their 11 year old son, from June until December. They are looking for a small house or two bedroom flat to rent or look after for this time, preferably close to Murdoch. If you know of anywhere suitable please contact Peter Irwin on

  • Conflict of Interest Declaration for action

    An Annual Conflict of Interest Declaration is to be completed by all staff members. This declaration can be completed at the Conflict of Interest page. It would be appreciated if staff members could complete the declaration by 31 March 2017. In addition, you should refer to the University’s Conflict of Interest policy. This policy was approved by Senate and will assist you in understanding your obligations in relation to disclosure of potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest. More information is available at

  • 2016 VLS Staff awards - call for nominations (nominations close Friday 24 March 2017)

    The VLS School Executive would like to call for nominations for the 2016 VLS Staff Awards in the following categories:

    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Learning and Teaching Award - Innovation
    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Staff Member
    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Team
    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Award for Outstanding Service by an Academic Staff Member
    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Award for research that has had significant and lasting translational impact and uptake for industry, society or environment
    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Award for interdisciplinary research
    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Award for innovative research by an Early Career Academic

    The prize for each of these awards will be a voucher of the winners choosing to the value of $500.00.

    To lodge a nomination please use the attached form and please ensure that you re-name each form submitted as follows ‘SURNAME, Given name_2016 VLS Staff Awards nomination form.

    Completed forms can be sent to Sarah Gillett at

    Nominations close on Friday, 24 March 2017 and winners will be decided by the VLS Executive and Cluster Leaders at their joint meeting on the 31st March 2017.

  • 4WD Vehicle Training

    Designed for staff & students which need to use a four wheel drive vehicle as part if their studies, teaching or research whilst at University.

    The 2-Day Course will run from Wednesday, June 7th to Thursday 8th covering:

    • 4WD Theory
    • Things to carry for off road safety
    • Theoretical & practical recovery methods, minor repairs & vehicle part identification
    • Plus 1.5 days of practical driving experience

    We require a minimum of a 6 to a maximum of 10 – 12 participants to confirm this course, with your supervisor’s permission is a must!

    If interested, please contact Steven GOYNICH (Building #235, Office 4.034c, Ext 2445 or for application form & course information.

  • Academic Registrar's Office (ARO) Weekly Newsletter #7- 6 March

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

  • Veterinary and Life Sciences Award Ceremony 2017 - DATE CHANGE

    The date of the VLS Awards Ceremony 2017 has changed to the 9th May from 6pm. Please note: there is a formal University RSVP process for this event and information will be available approximately 6 weeks prior to the event via the Main University Staff Announcements: as well as in the VLS Staff Announcements 

    So if you would like to attend, please ensure that you monitor both sets of announcements to see further information on how and when to RSVP.

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

  • GRDC Stakeholders Briefing Perth 21st March

    The GRDC is holding a briefing session on the 21st March at 9.30am - 1pm (registration below) to give an overview of their transition towards a more responsive continuous investment cycle and their new online tool called the Grains Investment Portal. Going forward, tenders for new investments and ongoing management of contracts, including milestone reporting, variations and approval of payments will be undertaken through the portal. Registrations at

  • Biosecurity Workshop

    Simon McKirdy will be instructing at a hands on workshop on Biosecurity in Kansas this year. It has been set up as a hands-on workshop with instructors from the US, Australia and NZ. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

  • Overseas Travel Safety & Security Presentation for all staff - message from Daniel Byles, Manager University Resilience

    With the help of OCU, I am running a presentation on Overseas Travel Safety & Security from 1230 – 130pm on Wednesday 29th March for any interested staff.

    The session will cover:

    • Planning your trip
    • Being safe while travelling
    • What to do in a travel emergency
    • Murdoch travel incident management protocols
    • The PROACT Travel Advisory & Assistance Service
    • Handy Travel Resources – namely the Murdoch University Safe & Successful Travel Page

    The session is aimed mostly at staff who travel overseas for University purposes, however it will also provide some useful tips for anyone who travels overseas for any reason. I am confident that the most seasoned traveller will get something worthwhile out of the talk.

    Anyone can enrol for the session via the TCMS link below:

  • Seminar on University Student Retention

    Please join the School of Education as they host a discussion on University student retention, presented by Dr. Marold Wosnitza, Professor of Education at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at Murdoch University.

    To Leave or Not to Leave: Why students drop out of university and things we can do to help them

    Universities all over the world are aiming to improve student retention, to not only increase the efficiency of higher education, but also reduce the dramatic personal and social costs related to drop out. University drop out is a complex function of both student factors and the institutional environment. Research about interventions to support students in this critical process will be presented.

    Date: Tuesday March 14th, 2017
    Time: 3.30pm - 5.00pm
    Venue: Senate Suite room, Murdoch College building, (bldg 121, next to car park 1)
    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

  • Kings Park science seminar

    Title: Morphological organisation in eucalypt leaves
    Presenter: Dr Paul Drake, Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia
    Date: Thursday 23 March 2017
    Time: 4pm
    More Information: Leaves are complex and dynamic organs that are sites of intense metabolic activity and flow of resources. Leaf veins irrigate the mesophyll with water that evaporates when stomata are open to allow CO2 entry for photosynthesis. This exchange carries an inherent risk of desiccation … read more at 

Student Opportunities [Expand All] | [Collapse All