VLS Announcements 135 - 28 April 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to congratulate Professor Chengdao Li on his work and research in partnership with DAFWA, assisted by research funds from the GRDC, mapping two of the seven barley chromosomes. This will accelerate the development of new and improved Barley varieties. More information about Chengdao’s work is available on the Murdoch News website.

I would like to invite you to attend the Award Ceremony for the Schools of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Health Professions, and Psychology and Exercise Science on Tuesday 9 May. This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all of our prize and scholarship recipients. A list of prize recipients is attached. Details regarding when, where and RSVPs are available in the “Staff News and Events” section.

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 actionClick on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

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

  • Poster Session: Honours and Masters

    All VLS personnel are cordially invited to attend the Research Methods poster session on MONDAY 08 MAY from 12.30-14.20 in the GYM.

    Honours and MSc students will be presenting posters on their research projects and your attention and feedback are invaluable to them. The session is designed to mimic a conference so the students will be attending their posters and having interested people milling around is a key ingredient.

    Faculty/postdocs/PhD students are requested (please!) to mark students posters at the session. Marking sheets will be available at the door and we ask that you mark 5-10 posters to make moderation feasible. The aim is to have each student marked twice; once by someone in their discipline and once by someone outside their discipline. The poster session is a science communication exercise where we want to evaluate each student’s ability to put together a cogent poster, their capacity to speak succinctly, and understanding of the topic.

    Many, many thanks in advance --- Joe Fontaine, unit coordinator Research Methods

  • New Undergraduate and Postgraduare Draft Course Structural Models and Draft Coursework Regulations - message from Mike Calver, ADLT

    You will all have received the university announcement in which the DVC(E) invited comments on draft new Coursework Regulations.

    Many of you will be wondering about the background for this, so I’m contacting you to provide context for the changes and what needs action. The most important point is don’t panic: there will be changes, but they don’t need to be in place until S1 2020 at the latest and until they are made it is business as usual. Thus while there are things to do and feedback to make in the near future, there is plenty of time for planned implementation of the larger scheme. If you are time poor, this is the cue to skip to the end of the document and check ‘What should I do now?'

    What is the new course structure?

    All the detail is in the attached Course Structural Draft. For a summary of key elements, see the figure below.

    135 Course Structure Model.png

    The key elements are:

    • Murdoch spine - covers employability skills and can be thought of as one unit in each year.
    • Course Core - includes units required of every student in the course. Although not marked on the figure, the Course Core can be varied to as low as 0. At the moment, the core is the BSc and there isn’t really a meaningful core other than BSC100. We could, if we wished, create named courses containing smaller groups of majors with a central theme (e.g. Biological Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Biomedical Sciences), but that’s for longer-term planning.
    • Major - as we understand it, but (i) the specified points total is 24, but that can be amended to up to 36 on request, and (ii) it includes all required units, including 1st year.
    • Double major - as we understand it, but the detail of the definition is changing (more later).
    • Co-major - a Clayton’s major, the major you have when you’re not having a major. It sits between a major and a minor and is taken by students who just can’t fit the full major into their schedules. It’s greatest use will be by students doing the BEd. Not every major has to offer one.
    • Minor - as we understand it. Smaller than a co-major.

    For postgraduate ACs, you don’t escape. Although less complex, here is the proposed postgraduate structure. The main significance is that we could (if we wished) group some (or all) or our postgraduate majors into overarching course(s), each with its own course core and distinct majors. Minors are even possible (but note of this is for fast action).

    135 PG Course Structure Model.jpg

    What are the new Coursework Regulations?

    To drive the new structure, we will need new regulations (draft attached). The draft regulations should make sense given the summary above. Comments on them are due by Tuesday 2nd May (as per the mailbomb from the DVC(E)). If something is bothering you, you have a chance to input. I have attached my own comments to share the issues I have spotted.

    What should I do now?

    As Academic Chairs, it will be helpful if you make a submission on the new Coursework Regulations by 2nd May using this link -  You may not share all (or any) of my concerns, but if you do the more voices that make the point the better. I will be raising the new structure and regulations on visits to clusters in coming weeks, and both will be on out next LTC agenda.

    Finally, remember that there will be changes, but they don’t need to be in place until S1 2020 at the latest and until they are made it is business as usual.

    Announcements are here -
    Coursework Regulations - 

  • DVM Project Proposals Day

    The DVM projects are a new and exciting development for the veterinary program at Murdoch. The students have worked very hard already to get their topics researched and developed into meaningful project proposals, which will be presented on Wednesday 3 May. This, and the final results presentation day (in a conference-style format), will become regular fixtures in the College calendar. You are invited to attend and participate. The program is attached.

  • ACU Titular Fellowships

    ACU Titular Fellowships. … provide funding of up to GBP 5000 to enable a member of staff from one ACU member university to travel to a member institution in another country, for a collaborative research or fact-finding visit of up to six months

    George Weston Limited Fellowship: tenable in the fields of agriculture, forestry, food science and food technology
    Gordon and Jean Southam Fellowship: open to applicants working at Canadian member universities
    Hong Kong Jockey Club Fellowship (inward): tenable at any ACU member institution in Hong Kong
    Hong Kong Jockey Club Fellowship (outward): open to applicants working at any ACU member institution in Hong Kong
    Jacky McAleer Memorial Fellowship: tenable in the field of information technology
    Swansea University Fulton Fellowship: tenable at Swansea University in the UK
    University of Manitoba Fellowship: tenable at University of Manitoba in Canada
    University of Oxford Fellowship: tenable at University of Oxford in the UK
    Wighton Fellowship in Engineering: open to staff of engineering departments of ACU member institutions in low and middle-income countries
    Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Fellowship: tenable in the field of accounting

    Fellowships which are not tied to a specific subject area are tenable in any of the following fields: education, health and related social sciences, information technology, STEM subjects, sustainable development, and university development and management”

  • March for Science

    A small contingent of scientists from the SABC attended the March for Science in Perth on Saturday April 22st.

    The aim of the event was “… fostering a flourishing culture of robust scientific pursuit, ensuring that the knowledge gained through science is used for the public good, and improving the public’s relationship with the scientific process.” Although there was no march as such, there was an enthusiastic crowd supporting a number of speakers including Prof Lyn Beazley, former WA Chief Scientist, Dr Carmen Lawrence, former WA Premier, Prof Phil Bland, Planetary Scientist and others.

    Pictured at the March for Science (left to right) Sadia Iqbal, Chi Cao, Steve Wylie, Jamie Ong, Anindita Chakraborty, Jebin Akther, Karambir Hooda.

    135 March for Science 2.jpg

  • New Colombo Plan Mobility Program

    New Colombo Plan Mobility Program applications should be submitted by Friday 12th May. Submissions and queries to the Student Mobility Officer Jeannette Geesmann. Queries should be directed to Jeannette (X7836, School-led program checklist attached

    Key points include:

    • Govt. funding to students of $1k-$3k for short term (min. 2 wks, provide credit in Murdoch enrolled course) and $7k for a full-time (with credit for MU course) semester abroad. School gets 10% to assist in administrative costs. Extra $1k for internship component within a semester study.
    • Mobility Projects can include: study, practicums, clinical placements, Internships and Mentorships, research.
    • Multi-year projects can be funded (same project offered to successive student cohorts)
    • Students must be Australian citizens, 18-28y, doing Bachelor (AQF 7) or honours (AQF8) study.
    • Projects can be in: 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.


    • Overseas study opportunities are a key driver for students to choose a University. Use your international programs as a recruitment tool.
    • Create relationships with international universities and other stakeholders for future collaboration and, in particular, two-way flow of students, research, articulations. Again, use these programs and convert overseas students to study with us, short- or long-term.
    • Increase the number of Murdoch students with an international study experience, and make them more employable.
    • Reach and exceed the average of other Australian and International Universities, who are sending a greater number of students abroad.

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

  • VLS Awards Ceremony

    This year’s ceremony will take place on:
    Date: Tuesday 9 May
    Time: 6.00pm (Registration from 5.15pm, guests to be seated by 5:45pm)
    Venue: Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre
    The award ceremony will run for approximately an hour and will be followed by light refreshments at Club Murdoch

    It is essential that you RSVP online

    Our students are fortunate to have been taught, inspired and mentored by some of the best academic minds in the world. Your attendance at this award ceremony greatly enhances the Murdoch experience for our students, their family and friends. See attachment for prize winners.

  • How to Successfully Commercialise Research and Innovation

    Prof. Cassandra Berry was invited to contribute to the awareness sessions for Start Something at Murdoch to share her experience in engaging industry with research at the University. This involved speaking to a group of academic staff about the skills they need to successfully reach out to industry and frame their research idea. She discussed crucial skills to successfully commercialise research starting with an idea and reaching out to industry. The Start Something Program is an externally-run program that help equip researchers with the skills to pitch their research to industry and to forge new industry links. The 2017 Start Something Program is delivered by Peter Rossdeutscher and his colleagues at Innovation Cluster and Atomic Sky. See the Linkedin article at 

  • Flu Vaccinations

    St John's Ambulance are offering free flu vaccinations in Bush Court on Tuesday 9 May and Monday 15 May. See the attached flyer and post vaccine urgent care information.

  • Timetabling Bookings

    Timetabling cannot place or confirm bookings for the second half of the year until the semester 2 timetable is finalised which will be on the 29th May 2017. This is in line with current university policy:

    Extract from policy:

    1. Unless sanctioned by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Professional Services), university teaching activities have priority over external and non-teaching related activities in the booking of general teaching space.
    2. Where a scheduled class, such as a tutorial, is unable to take place due to a public holiday, a Vice-Chancellor sanctioned event or in the event of an emergency, the University will endeavour to facilitate the rescheduling of the class. For classes falling on Anzac Day, for example, the date and time of the rescheduled class will be decided in consultation with….

    We can book your request as soon as the timetabling process is complete and will send through a booking confirmation at that time.

  • End of Month Staff Drinks

    The end of month staff drinks and BBQ will take place on 28/04/2017 in the BSB Common Room.

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

  • Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment, Planning and Management- Current Trends and Future Directions

    Angus Morrison-Saunders is hosting a workshop on Ecosystem Servicesin Impact Assessment, Planning and Management - Current Trends and Future Directions for staff and PhD students. RSVP's are essential (email, see attached flyer.

  • The Naked Scientist - LIVE @ Murdoch

    Murdoch is happy to announce the Naked Scientist will be presenting live at Murdoch on the 9th May, flyer attached

  • Fifty Shades of GMOs- Facts and Issues

    Presenter: Professor Michael Jones
    Date: Monday 1st May
    Time: 6pm - 7pm
    Location: Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre
    RSVP: here

    Internationally recognised for his research in agricultural biotechnology, Professor Mike Jones will tackle the topical issued of genetically modified crops, commonly known as GMOs.

    It’s a strange paradox in plant breeding: the less precise a technology, the less it is regulated: conversely, the more knowledge and hard science that underlies a technology, the more it is regulated. Common sense would dictate exactly the opposite. What does GMO mean, what foods are or are not genetically modified, and does it really matter? What are the benefits of GMOs and what’s in the pipeline? Why has genome editing created so much excitement? Is there any reason why GMOs and organic crops can’t co-exist, and which is the safest food? Can we separate facts from misinformation, ideology, ‘alternative facts’ and politics? With 20 years history of safe usage, and 10 % of the worlds’ crops now GMOs, should regulations be eased to help feed the world’s growing population? These issues will be addressed.

  • PhD Student Looking for Long-Term Accommodation

    Dr Wei Xu's PhD Student, Anirudha Aghihotri, arrives on 11 July and is looking for long-term accommodation, close to campus. If you have accommodation available please contact him on

  • Science on Swan Conference

    This year’s Science on the Swan Conference, WA’s annual premier health and medical research meeting is focused on cutting edge research into “One Health” medicine (flyer attached).

    The three-day meeting (May 2nd-4th), has drawn international experts from all over the world to Perth and will focus on leading edge discoveries and their impact on “One Health” medicine.

    It will also profile some of WA’s brightest and best scientific minds as they present their recent innovative research findings.

    A number of significant Australian researchers will be presenting including 2017 Australian of the Year, Professor Alan Mackay-Sim; Professor Ian Frazer and Nobel Laureate, Professor Barry Marshall. International speakers include Professors Elaine Homes and Jeremy Nicholson from Imperial College, Professor Charlie Xiang, Zhejiang University, Dr Christopher Dye, WHO, among many others – Not to mention our own Una Ryan and Elizabeth Philips plus alumni Mark Schipp and Mia Carbon.

    This would be an excellent opportunity for you to meet colleagues across the medical and health research community.

    Please view the program here and register to attend here. Registering as soon as possible would be appreciated for catering purposes.

HDR Opportunities [Expand All] | [Collapse All

  • 2017 Forrest Scholarship

    Applications are now open for 2017 Forrest PhD Scholarship. Here is the link to the Forrest Research Foundation on the Murdoch University Website - 

    If you require further information, please contact the Graduate Research Office -

  • OLT Fellowship workshop - Helping STEM students understand their learning

    In this workshop participants will be introduced to a learning framework used in this OLT National T&L Fellowship and participate in a typical learning activity using resources developed as part of the Fellowship. The objective of this learning activity is to help students, particularly STEM students, think about how they learn.

    This workshop will be held on 11th May from 9.30am - 12.30 in the Engineering Pavilion (Bldg 215 room 300) at Curtin University.

    Please register your attendance using the following link:

  • Banksia Scholarship

    We have a fantastic scholarship opportunity for a current Murdoch student enrolled full-time in a course at Honours level to apply for the Banksia Association scholarship – valued at a total of $10,000.

    Historically, the scholarship has been awarded in November – for payment in the following year, however, after discussion with the schools we have found this could disadvantage students and deter them from applying - as some honours applications are not received until the start of Semester 1.

    Last week I mass mailed over 200 potential students – but I was hoping you could please advertise (via Facebook, school pages etc.) or forward this information on to anyone who may be interested.

    Going forward applications for the 2018 Banksia scholar will open in late 2017 and close in May of 2018.