2022 AAMRI Policy and Operations Forum

2022 AAMRI Policy and Operations Forum

08-09 March 2022, online meeting

REGISTER HERE

To register you’ll need your login details of the Zoom account you wish to use to attend the Forum

Day one – Policy forum

This event is targeted towards at MRI Directors, Deputy Directors Research, as well as policy professionals at medical research institutes. Institutes are welcome to send multiple delegates.

Day two – Operations forum

This event is aimed at professional services staff including COOs, research managers, finance managers, facilities managers, HR professionals and anybody with an interest in the event sessions. Institutes are welcome to send multiple delegates.

 

Session times listed in the program below are in AEDT (GMT +11) (NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT).

  • For AEST, subtract one hour (QLD)
  • For ACST, subtract 90 min (NT)
  • For ACDT, subtract 30 min (SA)
  • For AWST, subtract 3 hours (WA)

 

Program

Tuesday 8 March - Day One
Vision 2040 – What do you want to see in Australia’s health and medical research strategy?
11.00-11.15am AEDTWelcome to the AAMRI Policy Forum Professor Kathryn North AC, AAMRI President
11.15am-12.30pmSession 1: The health and medical research workforce plan

Chair: Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI)

Breakout discussion Chairs and panel discussants:
- Professor Steve Wesselingh, Executive Director, SAHMRI
- Professor Michelle Haber AM, Children's Cancer Institute
- Professor Alison Venn, Menzies Institute for Medical Research

In this session:
- Chair's Introduction
- Breakout discussion groups of 10-15 participants
- Regroup to share discussion outcomes
Australia's researchers - our people - are the heart and soul of the health and medical research sector, yet there has never been a national health and medical workforce plan.

How can Vision 2040 ensure a sustainable health and medical research workforce now and into the future?
12.30-1.00pmBreak (30 min)
1.00pm-2.15pmSession 2: Supporting the entire research pipeline from discovery to translation


Chair: Professor Fabienne Mackay, Director and CEO, QIMR Berghofer

Breakout discussion Chairs and panel discussants:
- Professor Peter Schofield AO, NeuRA
- Professor Sam Harvey, Black Dog Institute
- Professor Scott Bell, Translational Research Institute

In this session:
- Chair's Introduction
- Breakout discussion groups of 10-15 participants
- Regroup to share discussion outcomes
Australia's strong track record in basic research should be supported through to the marketplace and clinic. But have we got the balance of investment right?

How can Vision 2040 ensure the right balance of investment to the whole research pipeline?
2.15pm-2.30pmBreak (15 min)
2.30pm-3.45pmSession 3: Funding the full costs of research

Chair: Professor Ricky Johnstone, Executive Director, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Breakout discussion Chairs and panel discussants:
- Professor Tom Kay, Executive Director, St Vincent's Medical Research Institute
- Professor Alan Cass AO, Menzies School of Health Research
- Professor Chris Goodnow, Garvan Institute of Medical research
- Professor Peter Leedman AO, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research


In this session:
- Chair's Introduction
- Breakout discussion groups of 10-15 participants
- Regroup to share discussion outcomes
Most funding schemes provide only partial support for research and do not cover the indirect costs. But what would we need in place to support the full costs of research?

How could Vision 2040 enable better support for the full costs of research?
3.45pm-4.00pmClosing address for Day 1 Dr Peter Thomas, AAMRI Executive Director
4.00pmClose

 

Wednesday 9 March - Day Two
Medical research institute operations in 2022
11.00-11.05am AEDTWelcome to the AAMRI Operations Forum Dr Peter Thomas, Executive Director, AAMRI
11.05am-11.45amSession 1: Towards net zero in the MRI sector

Chair: Dr Peter Thomas, Executive Director, AAMRI

Introduction by the session chair
Presentations - MRI case studies
1. The George Institute (NSW) - Chelsea Hunnisett, Policy and Advocacy Adviser, Impact & Engagement
2. Translational Research Institute (TRI) (QLD) - James Lynch, Workplace Health and Safety Manager
3. WEHI (VIC) - Steve Droste, Head, Facilities

Audience discussion and Q&A
Many MRIs are already working to reduce environmental impact of their operations. Several MRIs will discuss what has and hasn’t worked well so far as well as challenges on the horizon.

This session will also provide the opportunity for discussion among attendees to share approaches and identify common challenges where we may be able to work together as a sector.
11.45-11.55amBreak (10 min)
11.55am-12.30pmSession 2: Living with COVID in the MRI sector
Chair: Dr Cath Latham, Director of Policy, AAMRI

MRIs to share approaches
Group discussion
We are moving towards a world where COVID-19 will become endemic – what is the MRI sector facing on the road to endemic COVID in the next year and beyond?

In this session, we will explore three key areas that MRIs are navigating as we move through this new phase of the pandemic:

- Hybrid working - is it working? We have been discussing for a year or so how this will be the way of the future, but how is it working in practice? What has and hasn’t worked well for MRIs, and are the approaches inclusive? How should we be approaching this in the longer term?

- MRI Workforce culture check – how are our MRI staff coping now that we’re into the third year of this pandemic? Many took on duties that were outside their usual roles to assist institutes deal with COVID operations with the expectation that it would be temporary. Many researchers and professional staff adjusted their way of working due to COVID restrictions, which have led to increased time and effort to adhere to appropriate protocols. Are people burned out? How are institutes assessing this and dealing with it?

- Work-related travel - While in theory we can start traveling again for work purposes, work-related domestic and international travel is far from routine. What additional precautions are institutes placing on their workforce, if any, for work-related travel? What kind of policies have been established, and is there a time-limit or period of review, expecting that this will be temporary?
12.30pm-1.00pmBreak (30 min)
1.00pm-2.00pmSession 3: Understanding the full costs of research

Chair: Nick Wood, CFO and COO, Telethon Kids Institute

Presentation:
Greg O'Brien, Head of Operations, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
and member of the MRI Working Group for Indirect Costs Benchmarking

Q&A Session with members of the Working Group:
Chaired by Nick Wood
- Nick Pearce, COO, Centenary Institute
- Tara McLaren, Head Research Development, Telethon Kids Institute
- Greg O'Brien, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
- Cathriona Clarke, Project Officer Corporate Operations, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Lack of financial support for indirect costs continues to be one of the sectors greatest challenges. One key issue is understanding what is covered by indirect costs and articulating the importance and nuances of this issue to decision makers inside and outside the sector.

A small working group of COOs and CFOs from MRIs have been working together to better understand common costs of research and seeking to develop more representative tracking categories for indirect costs. The aim is to develop a common language for indirect costs across the sector which will inform MRI financial operations, sector benchmarking and advocacy efforts.
2.00pm-3.00pmSession 4: Gender equity, diversity and inclusion in the MRI sector: taking action

Chair: Professor Maxine Morand AM, Chair of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, AAMRI Board Director and Chair of the AAMRI Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) Committee

Presentation:
Dr Cath Latham, Director of Policy, AAMRI

Group discussion with audience Q&A
Chair: Maxine Morand
Discussion led by members of the AAMRI Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Read the AAMRI GEDI Strategy and Action Plan, launched December 2021
The AAMRI GEDI strategy and action plan was launched in December 2021 and details AAMRI’s goals for the MRI sector over the next five years.

This session is an opportunity to update members on the action plan and discuss the next steps for AAMRI and its members.
3.00pm-3.10pmBreak (10 min)
3.10pm-4.00pmSession 5: Impact and Translation in Health and Medical Research
Chair: Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Director, Telethon Kids Institute

Presentations:
- Ken Knight, Research Impact Manager, Murdoch Children's Research Institute and co-chair of the AAMRI Research Impact Working Group
- Dr Tobias Schoep, General Manager, Grow Impact
AAMRI Research Impact Working Group

Q&A with the panel:
- Professor Katherine Andrews, Director, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GriDD)
- Dr Tobias Schoep, Grow Impact
- Ken Knight, MCRI
- Maxine Morrison, Trusts and Foundations Manager, Children's Medical Research Institute
- Tara McLaren, Head Research Development, Telethon Kids Institute and co-chair of the AAMRI Research Impact Working Group
There's no doubt that research impact is a term that has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. But how do we do it in our institutes, and how do we do it effectively?

This session will focus on approaches that MRIs can take to measure, communicate and drive research impact and translation in their organisation including:
- the value of implementing a common research impact framework across research organisations for better understanding, tracking and communicating research impact.
- A software platform developed at Telethon Kids Institute that can help researchers track their progress to impact and assist with understanding gaps and communicating their journey.
- how individual researchers engaged in impact activities can better communicate this on their CVs - read more here


About the AAMRI Research Impact Working Group

This group of research impact experts based within Australian MRIs has been driving the development of tools for the MRI sector to better capture and communicate research impact activities. In 2021, they launched the AAMRI Research Impact Framework, a publicly-available framework for evaluating research impact that was co-developed with the MRI sector.

About Grow Impact
Grow Impact is a new company spun out from Telethon Kids Institute and working in the research impact space. Their product, developed at TKI, is a software platform that assists research organisations to both measure and drive research translation and impact in their organisation.

About Katherine Andrews and the Impact CV
Professor Andrews is Director of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GrIDD) and recently out together an Impact CV template for researchers, which is based on the AAMRI Research Impact Framework, launched in 2021 - read more. She published a perspective on this in Nature Careers "Why I wrote an Impact CV" in early February 2022.
4.00pm-4.15pmClosing address for Day 2
4.15pmClose

 


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