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NHMRC Careers Scholarships Postdoctoral Awards Career Development Awards

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Title: NHMRC Careers Scholarships Postdoctoral Awards Career Development Awards


1
NHMRC Careers Scholarships Postdoctoral
Awards Career Development Awards
2
Rule 1
Understand the system (know the enemy)
3
Rule 2
Follow the guidelines (to the letter) eligibility
4
Rule 3
Know the Scoring Matrix (format your application
accordingly)
5
NHMC Research Training Awards
BSc, MBBS etc
Postgraduate Scholarships
Training Awards
Postdoctoral Fellowships
0 - 5 yrs (since PhD)
CDA
Career Development Awards
3 - 9 yrs
RF / PF
Career Fellowships
gt9 yrs
6
Career Support Path
Training
PhD
No more than 2 yrs post-doc (at application)
2-5 yrs post-doc
CDA
3-9 yrs post-doc
RF / PF
Usually more than 9 yrs post-doc
7
Training Awards
8
NHMRC Training Awards Scholarships
  • Features
  • Designed for a recent graduate
  • a medical graduate with further clinical
    training,
  • enrolled in combined PhD/MBBS,
  • from a nursing or allied health professional
    background.
  • 3 yr funding (6 month extension possible)
  • Apply in August each year
  • 2250 in direct research costs
  • Research Scholarships available in
  • Biomedical Science 19,231 - 21,231 pa
  • Clinical Medicine 24,817 -
    26,817 pa
  • Public Health 28,600 -
    30,600 pa

9
NHMRC Training Awards Scholarship Types
1. Biomedical (Dora Lush) Postgraduate Research
Scholarship 2. Medical and Dental Postgraduate
Research Scholarship (including Gustav Nossal
Scholarship) 3. Training Scholarship for
Indigenous Health Research 4. Public Health
Postgraduate Research Scholarship 5. Primary
Health Care Postgraduate Research Scholarship 6.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Scholarship 7.
John Shaw Scholarship (MSD)
10
NHMRC Training Awards Training Fellowships- a)
Australian Full-time
  • Features
  • Up to 2 yrs post PhD at application
  • Institution and supervisor must be different from
    PhD (limited exceptions)
  • 4 years in an Australian Institution
  • Training Support Package Level 1 - 59,750
    5,000 pa. in Direct Research Costs
  • Apply in July each year
  • Three types
  • Biomedical - Peter Doherty
  • Clinical - Aust Clinical Research
  • Public /Population Health
  • - Public Health Australia

11
NHMRC Training Awards Training Fellowships- b)
Overseas
  • Features
  • Up to 2 yrs post PhD at application
  • 2 years overseas
  • 2 years back in Australia
  • Up to 2 years suspension permitted
  • Must be in Aust in Dec of year before apply
  • Training Support Package Level 1 - 62,250 O/S
    allowances (5000 direct res costs).
  • Four types
  • Biomedical - C.J Martin
  • Clinical - Neil Hamilton Fairley
  • Public Health - Sidney Sax
  • INSERM - exchange with France

12
NHMRC Training Awards Training Fellowships- c)
Australian Part-time
  • Features
  • Preferably 2 yrs post PhD at application
  • Connected to Health Professional activity
    relevant to research/ special circumstances
  • Up to 1 year suspension permitted
  • Training Support Package Level 1 - 62,250
    5,000 pa. DRCs.
  • 50 - 70 (incl. DRCs)
  • Two types
  • Health Professional Research training - Clinical
    and Population Health (4 yrs)
  • Australian Part-time (in any category). For
    compassionate reasons only (4 yrs)

13
NHMRC Training Awards Other Fellowships - Howard
Florey Centenary
Provides a vehicle for Australian researchers
working overseas to return to Australia and
continue with a biomedical/health related
research career
  • Features
  • 2 to 5 yrs post PhD at application
  • Must be overseas at time of application
  • 2 years in an Australian Institution
  • Training Support Package Level 2 - 73,750
  • Resettlement Allowance - 5,000 (one-off)
  • Direct research costs - 10,000 pa

14
NHMRC Training Awards Other Fellowships -
Industry Research
Industry Research Fellowships target outstanding
researchers who will spend up to two years in
industry and two years in a research institution.
  • Features
  • foster closer interaction between Australian
    researchers and high technology industries
  • Intermittent time between with industry partner
    as expertise developed (up to 50)
  • Award can be in marketing,IP, business
    development, IT, formulation, chemistry,
    toxicology, clinical devlt etc
  • 4 year fellowships
  • package is 90,500 pa including direct research
    costs

15
Scholarship and Fellowship Assessment and Scoring
Matrix
  • Assessors consider
  • Selection Criteria and Eligibility
  • All applicants ranked within their category
  • Generic scoring matrix

16
Scholarship and Fellowship Assessment and Scoring
Matrix
  • A generic scoring matrix is used. The assessment
    teams consider -
  • Selection Criteria and Eligibility is determined
  • All applicants are ranked against each other
    within their category
  • Scoring and Ranking Key criteria
  • undergraduate record
  • research experience
  • publications (papers/chapters/abstracts/patents)
    - quality, quantity and originality
  • professional skills and potential to succeed
  • postgraduate/professional training (for some
    categories)
  • research project and potential benefits
  • supervisor and institution
  • referees reports
  • The Howard Florey Centenary Fellowship has its
    own scoring matrix.

17
NHMRC Training Awards Scoring matrix -
Postdoctoral
  • Get involved
  • Highlight your major research achievements
  • Join ASMR other professional societies
  • Volunteer to give lectures (scientific lay)
  • Organise symposia
  • Ask to be nominated for prizes

18
NHMRC Training Awards Scoring matrix -
Postdoctoral (cont)
  • Review other successful applications
  • Clear, concise research plan (2 pages)
  • Highlight significance, outcomes, deliverables
  • Choose a strong supervisor/institution
    highlight strengths

19
NHMRC Training Awards Scoring matrix -
Postdoctoral (cont)
  • Track Record
  • Current impact factors
  • Ask to co-author reviews/book chapters
  • Present your work widely (nationally/internation
    ally)

20
Scholarship and Fellowship Referees
  • Choose supportive, highly regarded referees
  • Referees comment on
  • quality of the project,
  • research environment, and
  • capacity and potential of the applicant
  • Fellowships (arranged by applicant)
  • personal referee (applicant-nominated)
  • independent referee (different institution)
  • proposed supervisor
  • The supervisors report and the independent
    referee report are critical.

21
Scholarship and Fellowship Referees
  • Referees are broadly asked to comment on the
    quality of the project, the research environment,
    and the capacity and potential of the applicant.
  • Scholarships
  • Applicants should arrange for an independent
    referee and a supervisors report. Both are
    critical to the assessment.
  • Fellowships
  • Applicants should arrange for 3 referee reports
    one personal referee (applicant-nominated), one
    independent referee, and a report from the
    proposed supervisor. While each is important, the
    supervisors report and the independent referee
    report are critical to the applicants
    assessment.
  • Independent Referee - should have had no
    substantive professional or private contact with
    the applicant, or the applicants recent or
    future supervisors, and should not be from the
    same institution.

22
How to make your application more competitive
(Scholarships/Fellowships)
  • Read the scoring matrix and frame application
    according to the weighting.
  • Prioritise successesrecent rather than earlier.
  • Clearly indicate your research record.
  • Dont inflate your application with non-events.
  • Be enthusiastic about your project and your
    career plans.
  • Make sure your planned supervisor/referee "sells"
    you.
  • Think beyond refereed publications Impact in
    Australia is highly regarded across all three
    areas. For Public Health Researchers government
    reports with high impact are valuable, for
    Clinical Researchers changes in practice
    recognised by your profession are valuable.
  • Fully document your claims when arguing not to
    transfer institutions, or if you claim to have
    less than two years research despite a PhD which
    is more than two years old.

23
How Many Scholarships / Training Fellowships were
Awarded (for 2006)?
Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only,
access to Travelling Awards) 153 of 331
applicants
Success rates 30-50
Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in
Aus, or 2 yrs OS 2 yrs in Aus) 115 of 325
applicants
Industry Fellowships (2 yrs in industry OS or Aus
2 yrs in research institution in Aus) 6 of 15
applicants
Howard Florey Centenary Fellowship (2 yrs
Aus-based only, returning from OS) 9 of 28
applicants
Career-Development Awards (5 yrs Australian-based
only) 48 of 222 applicants
Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based
only) 6 of 21 applicants
Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based
only) 27 of 101 applicants
24
Career Development Awards (CDAs)
25
NHMRC Career Development Awards (Formerly
R.D.Wrights)
  • Features
  • Researchers moving towards independence
  • In the 3 - 9 years postdoctoral range
  • Are for 5 years
  • Apply in April each year (outcome end Oct)
  • CDAs are available in
  • Biomedical Science 89,000 pa including direct
    research costs
  • Clinical Medicine FT or 30 - 70
  • Population Health FT or 30 - 70
  • Support Enhancement Option (SEO) - (10,000) for
    Health Practice or Industry linkages

26
CDAs- Assessment
  • Highly Competitive
  • Full and Part-time (30-70)
  • Biomedical (3)
  • Clinical/Pop Health (1)
  • Assessment
  • Research objectives,
  • research proposal,
  • research support,
  • detailed CV

27
NHMRC Training Awards Scoring matrix - Career
Development Awards
  • Track Record is Everything
  • Current impact factors
  • Citation rates (if relevant)
  • Ask to co-author reviews/book chapters
  • Present your work widely (nationally/internation
    ally)

28
NHMRC Career Development Awards
Commencing in 2007
Number of Applications 186 Category Applied Aw
arded Biomedical 141 37 Clinical 24
7 Population Health 21 6 Incl Partnerships
with Diabetes Aust, National Heart Foundation
(2), National Breast Cancer Foundation,
Alzheimers Aust, ANZ Nephrology Society, Kidney
Health Aust
29
NHMRC Career Development Awards
Success rates 20-30
For 2007, 45 applicants were female while only
28 of recipients were female
30
Recent Developments
  • CDAs are extremely competitive
  • Difficult for early CDAs to compete with more
    experienced applicants
  • RC approved two CDA levels for 2007
  • lt 7 years post-doc (research active years)
  • 7-12 years post-doc (research active years)

31
Research Fellowships
32
Aims of the Research Fellowships Scheme
  • Aims of the Research Fellowship Scheme
  • Develop and support highly productive Australian
    biomedical and health research scientists
  • Provide researchers with a career structure
  • Foster an intellectual environment supporting
    training
  • Encourage translation of research outcomes into
    health practice
  • Facilitate interaction with industry

33
Research Fellowships
  • Features
  • Long-term career structure possible if maintain
    standards of excellence
  • Available from about 9 yrs postdoc
  • 5 years, renewable in Open Competition with
    Initial Applicants every 5 years
  • Automatic 6th yr if not renewed
  • 7th yr Grant-In-Aid possible if not renewed
  • 100 inital apps pa 45-65 renewals pa
  • Four levels of RF
  • SRFA Senior Lecturer
  • SRFB Senior Lecturer
  • PRF Assoc Prof
  • SPRF Prof, Personal Chair

34
Research Fellowships
  • Features
  • HIGHLY competitive scheme
  • Only for full-time researchers
  • Part-time appointments on case-by case basis (eg
    parental responsibilities, illness)
  • Part-time for those with active Clinical or
    Public Health Practice - whose research and
    practice don't strongly link
  • Most Initial Appointments are at SRF levels, to
    maintain a career path
  • Senior, tenured academics or Institute Directors
    generally ineligible to apply
  • Honorary Fellows can obtain leave of absence up
    to 5 yrs for another award
  • Promotion - at Renewal or in yrs 2-3 of existing
    Fellowship

35
Peer-Review Process
  • Applications assigned to one of three Peer Review
    Advisory Panels (PRAPs) - 65-70 per panel
  • Only competitive applicants proceed to interview
    (cull)
  • Panels seek external assessors
  • Interviews (50 per panel) non-negotiable dates
    19-24 June
  • Ranking
  • Outstanding (top 5)
  • Excellent (top 10)
  • Very Good (but not top 10 internationally)
  • Good (some reservations)
  • Fair (major reservations)
  • Funding available to Outstanding and 45 of
    Excellent
  • Recommendations go to Research Committee

36
Numbers of Research Fellows in Scheme (1998-2007)
Total
Block Funding
SRF
PRF
SPRF
37
How Many Get Appointed?
Initial Applicants success rate (25)
Renewals success rate (76)
Total
Total
Received
Received
Funded
Funded
  • Similar success rate to Project grants
  • There are no set quotas for IA.
  • Success depends on ranking in open competition
    with renewals

38
Tips
  • Distinction between top of CDA and entry to
    Fellowships Scheme is blurry. Some have been
    awarded both!
  • Consistent publications in the top journals in
    your field/discipline.
  • Significant and sustained scientific
    achievements. You need to show that your work
    makes a difference.
  • Evidence that others listen to you - conference
    invites, literature reviews, commentaries, awards
  • An active and vibrant plan for the next 5-years
    is essential, not more of the same (new
    directions, team building).
  • Give something back ASMR, peer review,
    conference organisation etc.
  • Training and mentoring are very important.

39
Tips
  • The application is not JUST a CV. Have your
    colleagues look it over.
  • The interview is critical. No less important
    than a job interview. Have a mock interview.
  • Bring CONCISE CV updates to interview.
  • Interview can radically change ranking within a
    category (and less so, between categories).
  • Get your case summarised early in the interview.
  • Panels often focus on what they perceive as your
    weaker points. Don't despair, they have not
    forgotten your strengths!
  • At the interview end, you can point out what has
    not been raised.

40
Broad Scope of Panels (PRAPs)
  • There are currently three PRAPS covering a broad
    number of research fields. In general terms
  • Panel A includes the fields of Biochemistry,
    Immunology, Virology, Cancer/Oncology,
    Parasitology, Infectious Diseases and Genetics.
  • Panel B includes the fields of Neuroscience,
    Pharmacology, Physiology and Endocrinology.
  • Panel C includes the fields of Epidemiology,
    Health Innovation, Applied Statistics, Clinical
    Sciences and all applications for Practitioner
    Fellowships.
  • Note that due to the hump years in 2004-2005 most
    applicants whose research involves "humans" were
    in Panel C, whether clinical or not. Needed to
    spread the work load.

41
Peer-Review Process
  • Applications assigned to one of three Peer Review
    Advisory Panels (PRAP). Closing date 10 Feb
    2006.
  • First stage review Only competitive applicants
    proceed to interview
  • Panels seek external assessors
  • Second stage review Interviews (non-negotiable
    dates 18-23 June 2006 (DATE NOT FINAL-CHECK
    WEBSITE)
  • Ranking
  • Outstanding (top 5)
  • Excellent (top 10)
  • Very Good (but not top 10 internationally)
  • Good (some reservations) - Fair (major
    reservations)
  • Funding available to Outstanding and 45 of
    Excellent
  • Recommendations go to Research Committee

42
Position Classification Statements
  • Lists which set out broad outlines of baseline
    activities, attributes and achievements
  • Definitions are provided for each of the 4 levels
    of the scheme
  • Considered relative to opportunity (explain in
    your CV or write to chair of Fellowships
    Committee)
  • Includes activities and attributes required of a
    Fellow
  • Strongest applications will show breadth over
    widest range of the descriptors
  • You don't just MEET these guidelines, you need to
    be HIGHLY COMPETITIVE within them

43
Research Performance Descriptors
  • This is a set of guidelines on how to describe
    your performance
  • Guidelines are indicative, not exhaustive
  • A guide to what might be considered of higher
    merit in
  • Publications
  • Grants
  • Peer Recognition (invitations to speak)
  • Prizes and Awards
  • Research translation (Commercialisation / Health
    Practice)
  • Research training
  • Professional activities

44
Tips - The Application
  • Distinction between top of CDA and entry to
    Fellowships Scheme is blurry. Some have been
    awarded both!
  • Publications must include consistent articles in
    the top journals in your field/discipline. Not
    everyone has published in Nature/Science/Lancet
    (because these are not relevant to all
    disciplines).
  • Scientific achievements must be significant, and
    sustained. You need to show that/how your work
    makes a difference.
  • Case is strengthened by evidence others listen to
    you - hence conference invites, literature
    reviews, commentaries, awards.
  • An active and vibrant plan for the next 5-years
    is essential. "More of the same" is
    insufficient. Show how you have increased
    potential for next 5-years. Particular attention
    to new directions and efforts at building team.
  • Must be giving something back to the discipline -
    peer review, conference organisation etc. But
    not necessarily in all areas. (Depends on
    seniority).
  • Must be involved in training and mentoring.
    Considered highly. Small teams can do well too,
    but if small they need greater strength in other
    areas.

45
Tips - The Interview
  • Put considerable effort into the application.
    Its not JUST a CV. Have your colleagues look it
    over. Annotate, explain, expand...
  • The interview is crucial. No less important than
    a job interview.
  • Bring CONCISE updates on your CV to the interview
    (8 copies). Bring documents to support claims
    (in press papers, new grants). Unsupported
    claims occasionally cause problems.
  • Interview can radically change your ranking
    within a category (and less so, between
    categories).
  • Get your case summarised early in the interview.
  • Panels may focus interview on percieved weaker
    points. Don't despair, they have not overlooked
    your strengths! The focus is to help you bring
    out anything they may have overlooked.
  • At end of interview, you can point out what has
    not been raised.
  • Interview does not cover SEO application - to RFC

46
Practitioner Fellowships
47
Aims of the Practioner Fellowships Scheme
  • Aims of the Practioner Fellowship Scheme
  • Strengthen clinical and public health by
  • Providing opportunity to combine research with
    professional career
  • Facilitate translation of research outcomes into
    practice
  • Contribute to evidence-based practice and policy
    development

48
Practioner Fellowships
  • Features
  • Provide evidence of Clinical/Health Practice
  • 5 years, part-time 30 - 70
  • A second five-year appointment is now possible
    (immediately or after a break).
  • Scheme provides "protected" research time
  • Targetted at mid-career clinician-researchers
  • Essential to show link between research
    activities and clinical practice - translation
    (if not linked, can now apply for part-time RF
    instead)
  • Very competitive 20-30 applicants pa for up to
    10 Fellowships pa
  • Two levels of PF
  • PF1 SRF
  • PF2 PRF

49
How Many Practioner Fellowships were Awarded (for
2006)?
Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only,
access to Travelling Awards) 152 of 308
applicants
Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in
Aus, or 2 yrs OS 2 yrs in Aus) 106 of 325
applicants
Industry Fellowships (2 yrs in industry OS or Aus
2 yrs in research institution in Aus) 8 of 21
applicants
Howard Florey Centenary Fellowship (2 yrs
Aus-based only, returning from OS) 9 of 28
applicants
Career-Development Awards (5 yrs Australian-based
only) 48 of 222 applicants
Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based
only) 6 of 21 applicants
Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based
only) 27 of 101 applicants
50
How Many Practitioner Fellows Are There?
All
  • Scheme started in Jan 2001
  • Scheme just completed its first 5 year cycle for
    2005.

PF1
PF2
51
NHMRC KEY Dates for 2007 Round
  • Applications open Dec 7th
  • Project Grants
  • Applications due Mar 16th
  • Program Grants
  • Intent to apply Jan 12th
  • Applications due Feb 9th
  • Fellowships
  • Applications due Feb 9th

52
NHMRC KEY Dates for 2007 Round
  • CDAs
  • Applications open Mar
  • Applications due May
  • Postdoc fellowships Aug
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