Academy supports EMCRs at Synthetic Biology Australasia conference

October 29, 2019
Dr Jason Whitfield, member of the EMCR program organising committee, welcomes attendees to the EMCR networking session

The Academy supported a range of activities for early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) at the Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA) 2019 conference in Brisbane recently. More than 200 researchers and industry representatives shared their synthetic biology research and discussed the future directions of one of the fastest growing areas of modern science.

Through the Theo Murphy Initiative (Australia), the Academy delivered a program specifically designed to support the career development of EMCRs working in diverse aspects of synthetic biology and increase the opportunities to engage meaningfully with peers and industry representatives at the SBA 2019 conference.

The EMCR program featured an open circle discussion session on building successful careers and building transferable skills, a researcher-industry networking function, a poster session, an expert panel on kick-starting the Australian bioeconomy with synthetic biology, and a training session on commercialisation delivered by CSIRO’s national science and technology accelerator, ON.

The Academy also supported diversity and inclusion at the conference through the Theo Murphy Initiative mobility grants. The mobility grants were designed to offset the expenses associated with attending SBA 2019 for those EMCRs who may not be able to attend without support, who have caring responsibilities and/or people from traditionally underrepresented demographics. A total of 10 mobility grants were awarded to EMCRs from a diverse range of fields after a competitive selection process.

The program was made possible thanks to the support and with the collaboration of the University of Queensland, CSIRO, and Synthetic Biology Australasia.

Members of the Kick-starting the Australian bioeconomy panel were (from left) Dr Kirill Alexandrov, Dr Kym Baker, Dr Nandhitha Subramanian, Dr James Brown, Mr Matt Gardner and Mr Tony Hunter (facilitator)

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