Careers Evening 2017

1 June 2017


Booked Out! Tickets were quickly secured when news of the annual VIIN Careers Evening hit the press. And attendees were not disappointed; held on a clear night in May on the top floor of the Woodward Conference Centre in Carlton, a picturesque backdrop of the Melbourne’s lights perfectly complemented five scintillating presentations given by our esteemed guest speakers.

Professor Tania de Koning-Ward was again a wonderful host and chair for the event, providing a warm introduction for our invited speakers and moving the evening along seamlessly.

We were privileged to hear from five successful ambassadors of the scientific world:

·         Dr Connie Wong, Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow – Monash University

·         Dr David Harrison, Postdoctoral Fellow and Laboratory Manager – Burnet Institute

·         Dr Lina Laskos Human Ethics and Compliance Manager – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

·         Prof Eugene Maraskovsky, Senior Director, Head of Cell Biology and Physiology – CSL Limited

·         Dr Rachel Stevenson, Associate, Patent Attorney – Davies Collison Cave

Presented with a diverse combination of career paths, our 130 registrants were provided with some wonderful insights into the various directions their scientific career trajectory might take them.

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Following presentations from our invited guests, attendees had the pleasure of a networking session where they could chat directly with the speakers to “pick their brains” about their career paths, whilst enjoying some drinks and nibbles.

The presenters offered a diversity of useful tips to young researchers on parallel careers in science and on how to succeed in these career paths:

Transitions from industry to academia and back again are possible, with good publications and goodwill. - Advice from Eugene Maraskovsky.

A/Prof Maraskovsky's presentation highlighted a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies world-wide, including CSL, which foster the development of post-doctoral researchers and encourage publication of results, when appropriate for the business development cycle.

A good scientist is analytical, critical, independent, always thinking ahead, and a team-player. Take ownership of your project and career. Be a good team member. Get a mentor. - Advice from Connie Wong.

Having and highlighting “soft skills” in your CV is invaluable as a scientist.  These include, but aren’t limited to communication and presentation skills, project management, people management. - Advice from David Harrison.

The attributes of a good patent attorney or similar to those of a good scientist: analytical, detail-oriented, good communication and problem-solving skills, cool under pressure. - Advice from Rachel Stevenson

As a scientist or in parallel scientific careers, seek career coaching, network, get involved at every step of the research process. -  Advice from Lina Laskos

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Feedback from the evening was overwhelmingly positive, with registrants very pleased with the blend of speakers and choice of venue.

We warmly thank our invited speakers and VIIN attendees for making the VIIN 2017 Careers Evening an informative and thoroughly enjoyable night.

Registrants came from a number of VIIN’s valued Contributing Organisations, including the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Burnet Institute, the Hudson Institute, CSIRO, Deakin University, La Trobe University, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Swinburne University and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, as well as RMIT and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

To view all the photos from the 2017 VIIN Careers Evening, visit our Facebook page.

If you are a student, Research Assistant, Early Career Researcher or post-doc, submit an abstract and register for the next big VIIN event: The 2017 Young Investigator Symposium, Monday 16 October 2017 at WEHI.  Abstract submission closes 25 August 2017.


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