11th October, 2021
- ❖ Flagship Professorial level Clinical Researcher role
Generous philanthropic funding has been provided to Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), a leading centre for brain and CNS research, for the appointment of a world-leading clinical researcher who will impact the lives of those affected by dementia, Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders. The role reports to the CEO and a conjoint or fractional appointment at the University of New South Wales and the Prince of Wales Hospital will be facilitated.
Your brief is to establish an independent program of investigation which can be tailored to focus on clinical, translational or basic research according to your expertise and interests. This ideally includes clinical trials and collaborations within NeuRA and across the Randwick Health and Innovation Precinct.
Your qualifications span medicine and specialist registration as well as post graduate research. You have extensive academic credentials and high impact publications, plus demonstrated success winning competitive grant funding and supervising postgraduate research students. Importantly, you are a respected clinical researcher who communicates effectively with all stakeholders, including the donors who made this Chair a reality.
NeuRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.Position Description
Reporting to the NeuRA Chief Executive Officer Professor Peter Schofield AO, the Kinghorn Chair in Neurodegeneration Research will be a professorial level clinical academic leader with an outstanding track record of research translation in the field of neurodegeneration. Specialisation as a neurologist would be particularly valued.
The successful candidate’s key responsibility will be establishing an independent research program in neurodegeneration aligned to their clinical field of expertise in neurology or similar discipline. It is possible for their approach to encompass clinical, translational or basic research.
While the primary appointment will be at NeuRA, the successful candidate will also hold appropriate conjoint or fractional appointments in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales and the Prince of Wales Hospital, subject to their policies and procedures.
The successful candidate will develop and lead a program of research including clinical trials, the outcomes of which will lead to substantially improving the quality of diagnosis, treatment and/or care for one of more of the neurodegenerative disorders. They will build and direct a high calibre research group, mentor/supervise students and promote excellent academic performance including publication and outputs and outcomes. They will have a history of outstanding grant support and internationally recognised research publications, as well as an exceptional record of successful industry and consumer engagement. They will be recognised as a national and international leader in neurodegeneration research and their chosen clinical area. In this leadership role they will be expected to build and foster a collaborative team culture aligned with NeuRA’s values, leading to world class academic and research outcomes in partnership with the University of New South Wales, Prince of Wales Hospital, the health care sector, industry and community.
The successful candidate will also be expected to draw on the rich intellectual environment provided at NeuRA through forging collaborative ventures with NeuRA colleagues in fields relevant to neurodegeneration, as well with relevant Hospital clinicians and departments and UNSW academics.
The Kinghorn Chair will be supported by the world-class facilities at NeuRA such as the NeuRA Imaging Facility and its research-dedicated Philips Ingenia CX 3T MRI scanner, the Sydney Brain Bank which collects and characterises brains from a range of neurodegenerative disorders and holds over 650 brains for research, a 3 bed sleep research facility and mechanical and electrical workshops. Extensive clinical research facilities, dry research and wet laboratory facilities are also available. Philanthropic Origin of the Appointment
The Kinghorn Foundation has supported NeuRA’s vision to enhance our capacity to positively impact the lives of individuals affected by dementia, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders through funding of the recruitment and support of a world leading clinical researcher in neurodegeneration. Their wish through this philanthropic commitment is to make a real difference to Australian society. The position therefore comes with substantial resources. Key appointment criteria:
- Hold medical and research qualifications such as MBBS and PhD or MD by research.
- Be a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians or equivalent or be eligible for membership if recruited from overseas.
- A history as a successful clinician-researcher in clinical, translational, or basic research with a strong record of attracting competitive fellowships and funding including from the NHMRC or equivalent and grant making organisations, industry and philanthropy.
- An extensive academic record with a substantial body of high impact peer review research publications and international recognition through invited presentations, awards and other markers of esteem.
- Extensive experience in attracting and supervising higher degree by research students to maximise research performance.
- Demonstrated ability to lead improvement of academic standards, including implementing best practice research strategies and dissemination of innovative practices.
- Demonstrated high level of interpersonal, communication and collaborative skills including the ability to consult with senior executives, external bodies, produce executive reports, negotiate agreed directions, outcomes, and targets within a multidisciplinary and complex research environment.
- Experience working with significant donors to engage and keep them engaged in the research vision outcomes and impact through compelling and regular reporting.
(Note interaction with the Kinghorn Foundation will be led and managed by the NeuRA Foundation Executive Director.) Scientific Career Structure Policy
NeuRA’s Scientific Career Structure outlines the Position Description and Promotion Criteria.
NeuRA Principal Research Scientists (level D academic appointments) and Senior Principal Research Scientists (level E academic appointments) hold research fellowships from the NHMRC or other funding sources. They are internationally recognised leaders in their research fields. They are Group Leaders and are members of NeuRA’s Research Committee. Work performance criteria
The work performance of Principal Research Scientists and Senior Principal Research Scientists will be assessed by considering: Research performance
Other contributions to the research team and to NeuRA
- the quality and extent of contributions to research, e.g. through design, conduct and analysis of research projects
- evidence of significant and/or innovative contributions to the field of research
- the quality and amount of research output, e.g. as author (lead author, senior author or other) of peer-reviewed scientific papers
- the quality and extent of his/her leadership in research, e.g. through supervision and management of a research team
- success in attracting research funding through grants
- recognition in the field, e.g. in the form of invitations, awards or appointments
- guidance, assistance and co-supervision of staff and students
- application for and success in obtaining competitive grants
- the extent and quality of contributions to NeuRA outside of the research team, e.g. through committees, professional bodies, etc., and
- the extent and quality of contributions to the scientific and broader community, e.g. through peer-review activities, public lectures, media
- leadership of a cooperative, efficient and harmonious research team
The specific criteria for appointment as a Senior Principal Research Scientist are as follows:
- Carries out original or innovative research at the highest level using reproducible methods
- Makes important contributions to the advancement of knowledge
- Makes research contributions that are recognised at an international level and have a demonstrable international impact
- Is lead or senior author on high impact reports
- Builds and sustains a strong program of research and a distinguished research team
- Ensures a critical mass of research in the field at NeuRA
- Achieves a high level of peer recognition at an international level
- Establishes international collaborations and influences international networks
- Has a sustained record of substantial research income as lead applicant
- Mentors and guides students and colleagues. Recruits HDRs based on research reputation
- Supervises multiple HDRs to timely completion as primary supervisor and successfully mentors postdoctoral researchers
- Provides leadership to national and international agencies or groups
- Leads NeuRA or university committees and models and promotes behaviours that encourage workplace safety, collegiality, equity, diversity, inclusivity and sustainability.
NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia) is an independent, not-for-profit, medical research institute and one of the largest centres of research on the brain and nervous system in Australia. Located in its own dedicated research facilities on the Prince of Wales Hospital campus at Randwick, Sydney, NeuRA is recognised as an international leader in research, changing the face of research into diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system, not just in Australia, but around the world. Our eminent neuroscientists, clinicians and outstanding research leaders relate laboratory-based research to clinical research involving patients to ensure that our discoveries are translated into health benefits for people as soon as possible. NeuRA is affiliated with the University of New South Wales and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. NeuRA is committed to recruitment, selection and employment being made without bias and with recognition, respect and equality regardless of gender, disability, cultural background and Indigenous origin, and sexual orientation or gender identity. NeuRA is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, fair treatment and eliminating discrimination in the workplace. Organisational Structure
NeuRA was established thirty years ago as an independent medical research institute dedicated specifically to neuroscience, the study of the brain and nervous system and relevant conditions. This focus on neuroscience was adopted with a view to a future where people would be living longer but a gap would increasingly widen between their lifespan and their healthspan. NeuRA’s vision is to prevent and cure disease and disability of the brain and nervous system through leadership, excellence and innovation in neuroscience research.
The institute hosts 300 staff and students in 34 neuroscience research teams spread across five broad research themes:
- Ageing and Neurodegeneration – including Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, indigenous dementia
- Brain Structure and Function – including imaging and brain mapping
- Neural Injury - including spinal cord injury, accidents and injury prevention
- Mental Illness – including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and resilience
- Sensation, Movement, Balance and Falls – including falls prevention, muscle development, chronic and acute pain, and sleep
Research staff are supported by the Operations teams and specialised facilities including:
Precinct Operating Environment
- NeuRA Imaging with a research-dedicated Philips Ingenia CX 3T MRI scanner
- Sydney Brain Bank
- Sleep research facility
- Transurban Road Safety Centre
- Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre
- Mechanical and electrical workshops
NeuRA is a member of the Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct, which brings together world-class education, research, and healthcare organisations to address real-world problems across the lifespan, strengthening the symbiotic relationship between the Randwick hospitals, the University of New South Wales, research institutes such as NeuRA, and its extensive health partners.
NeuRA is a founding partner of the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network which has the vision of revolutionising the care and support of people with mental health, neurological and addiction disorders, by integrating the most successful clinical approaches from all three medical specialities into a rigorous management and research framework, underpinned by technology. Mindgardens is an ambitious concept that will be fulfilled incrementally over several years. The first stage, made possible by a $7 million grant from the Commonwealth Government, sets in place some foundational projects on which future investments can build.
NeuRA is also a founding member of Maridulu Budyari Gumal which is an academic health science partnership combining the talents of 14 thought-leading organisations including 4 Local Health Districts or Networks, 3 universities and 7 medical research institutes who come together to create the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE). The SPHERE partners are committed to:
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- working together in a spirit of collaboration
- accelerating life-changing research
- reducing healthcare costs and increasing healthcare value
- inspiring and training the next generation of health professionals
- improving economic prosperity in our region
- creating real world benefits for our patients and communities.