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NHMRC Training Fellowships

NHMRC Training Fellowships

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NHMRC Training Fellowships

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  1. NHMRC Training Fellowships Brendan Jenkins Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases Monash Institute of Medical Research Thanks to: Bronwyn Kingwell Baker Heart Research Institute

  2. Grantsmanship Good grantsmanship will not turn poor or mediocre science into a fundable grant proposal. Bad grantsmanship will (can) turn very good science into an unfundable grant proposal. “A polished application will maximise your chances of funding” (Bronwyn Kingwell)

  3. Rule 1 Understand the system (know the enemy)

  4. Rule 2 Follow the guidelines (to the letter) e.g. eligibility

  5. Rule 3 Know the Scoring Matrix (format your application accordingly)

  6. Rule 4 Seek advice/talk to people in the know

  7. Career Support Path Postgraduate Scholarships BSc (Hons) etc Training Awards Postdoctoral Fellowships 0 - 2 yrs (since PhD) CDA Career Development Awards 2 - 12 yrs SRF/SPF Career Fellowships >9 yrs

  8. Training Fellowships for commencement in 2009 • Aims of the scheme • How to write a strong application • Pitfalls to watch out for • The assessment process

  9. Aims Support the continual development of outstanding (young) health and medical researchers to undertake further training either in Australia or overseas.

  10. Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only, access to Travelling Awards) Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in Aus, or 2 yrs OS + 2 yrs in Aus) Career-Development Awards (4 yrs Australian-based only) Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Training Fellowships - Full-time Australian Based • Types of Award • Biomedical Fellowship* • Clinical Fellowship • Public Health Fellowship • Primary Health Care Fellowship • Aboriginal and Torres Strait • Islander Health Research

  11. Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only, access to Travelling Awards) Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in Aus, or 2 yrs OS + 2 yrs in Aus) Career-Development Awards (4 yrs Australian-based only) Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Training Fellowships - Full-time Australian Based cntd • Features • Up to 2 yrs post PhD at application • Institution and supervisor must be different from PhD (exceptions) • 4 years in an Australian Institution • Can transfer, but not to same Institution • where PhD obtained (within first 2 yrs) • Up to 1 yr suspension permitted • Training Support Package Level 1 - $64,750 + $5,000 pa. in Direct Research Costs

  12. Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only, access to Travelling Awards) Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in Aus, or 2 yrs OS + 2 yrs in Aus) Career-Development Awards (4 yrs Australian-based only) Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Training Fellowships - Full-time Overseas Based • Types of Award • Biomedical Fellowship* • Clinical Fellowship • Public Health Fellowship • INSERM Exchange Fellowship • Training Fellowship for Aboriginal and • Torres Strait Islander Health Research • Australia-China Exchange Fellowship

  13. Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only, access to Travelling Awards) Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in Aus, or 2 yrs OS + 2 yrs in Aus) Career-Development Awards (4 yrs Australian-based only) Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Training Fellowships - Full-time Overseas Based cntd • Features: • Up to 2 yrs post PhD at application • First 2 years overseas • 2 years back in Australia • 2 yrs postdoc reflects active research time • Up to 2 yrs (o/s) suspension permitted • Training Support Package Level 1 - $64,750 + o/s allowances (+ $5,000 pa. DRC).

  14. Post-Graduate Scholarships (Australia-based only, access to Travelling Awards) Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships (4 yrs in Aus, or 2 yrs OS + 2 yrs in Aus) Career-Development Awards (4 yrs Australian-based only) Research Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Practitioner Fellowships (5 yrs Australian-based only) Training Fellowships – Australian Part-time • Two types: • Health Professional Research • Australian Research Part-time (in any category). • Features: • Preferably 2 yrs post PhD at application • 4 yrs

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

  16. Assessors consider: • Career Development • - Hns (why choose lab?, what did you study?, pubs, awards, scores) • PhD (why choose lab?, what did you study?, pubs, scholarship, awards) • post doc (why choose lab?, what did you study?, pubs) • Intent of the Applicant - Future Career • - Why are you in research (eg. understand human disease)? • - What are you goals? • short term (Australia or o/s post-doc….reasons why?) • long term (establish own group)

  17. Assessors consider cntd: Undergraduate Performance - Historical perspective - Highlight excellence (use numbers, not vague terms) eg. awards, prizes Additional Biographical Information - Highlight unique things about yourself (eg. president of associations, contributions to fund raising events, community groups, extra-curricular activities, prac class demonstrator, tutor) - Dot point What makes you stand out as a candidate?

  18. NHMRC Training AwardsScoring matrix - Postdoctoral It’s not quite all about you, but a lot of it is!

  19. Relative to opportunity • Research experience • - 3 yrs v 20 yrs…….don’t feel you’re disadvantaged (the big picture) • it’s important what you do with your time • arm yourself with different sets of skills (in and outside of the lab) • Professional skills • - Committees (institute, student, social clubs) • - Society memberships • Potential to succeed • - Indicators of success at every stage of career (undergraduate, Hns, PhD) • - Career Development, Undergraduate Performance sections • Prizes / lectures / conferences organised / courses

  20. Get involved and be pro-active! • Join professional societies (eg. ASMR) • Volunteer to give lectures (scientific and lay) • Conference participation • Ask to be nominated to join committees • Ask to be nominated for prizes (eg. poster) • Highlight your major research achievements

  21. NHMRC Training AwardsScoring matrix - Postdoctoral (cont) • Be smart and savvy • Understand the science • Clear, concise research plan (2 pages) • Highlight significance, outcomes…..the ‘big picture’ • Choose a strong supervisor/institution with recognized strengths • and track record

  22. NHMRC Training AwardsScoring matrix - Postdoctoral (cont) • PUBLICATIONS – what we live or die by! • Relative to opportunity and field of study • eg. IF of 3 may be low (in general), but within a field may be • the top ranked journal – if so, state it!

  23. Strong Publications Strong Track Record Increased Grant Success • Ask to co-author reviews/book chapters (lit. review) • Present your work widely (nationally/internationally)

  24. 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 supervisor’s report and the independent referee report are critical.

  25. Writing a strong application • Understand the scoring matrix and frame application according to the weighting - know what panel members are looking for! • Prioritise successes - recent rather than earlier. • Clearly indicate your research record (dot points). • Don’t inflate your application with non-events to fill space (but don’t be shy ‘pumping up your own tyres’ with events) • Indicate enthusiasm about your project and your career plans. • Liaise with your planned supervisor over your project, make sure he/she is ‘selling’ you. • Think beyond refereed publications • Make sure that you fully document your claims: when arguing not to transfer institutions

  26. How Many Scholarships / Training Fellowships were Awarded (for 2007)? Post-Graduate Scholarships 161 of 341 applicants 47% 33% Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships 119 of 359 applicants Industry Fellowships 5 of 16 applicants Howard Florey Centenary Fellowship 6 of 22 applicants 31% Career-Development Awards 50 of 186 applicants 27% 27% Research Fellowships 72 of 186 applicants Practitioner Fellowships 13 of 30 applicants 43% 39%

  27. How Many Training Fellowships were Awarded (for 2008)? # of Apps received:       390 # Recommended for Funding: 230 # Actually funded:                 135 (34%) Training (Postdoctoral) Fellowships 119 of 359 applicants 33% in 2007

  28. Parting Words • Understand the system • Follow the guidelines • Know the scoring matrix • Learn from your experiences and others • Have others provide critical input • Use a mentor (in addition to your boss)