Combating gender inequality, helping ECRs to find work-life balance

This article was forwarded to NECTAR from an ANU ECR, following NECTAR’s 2015 retreat discussions around gender equity issues.

The article highlights mechanisms that one research institute has put in place to address gender inequalities and to help researchers to balance work and home lives.



NHMRC CEO Prof Anne Kelso’s presentation at the 2015 NECTAR Retreat

Professor Anne Kelso AO
Chief Executive Officer, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
BScHons, PhD (University of Melb)

Professor Anne Kelso AO was an invited keynote speaker for NECTAR’s 2015 Early Career Academic Retreat, recently held 10-11 June. Professor Kelso recently joined the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) as its new Chief Executive Officer and NECTAR was thrilled that Professor Kelso could speak to us at the retreat. Professor Kelso has kindly made available a copy of her presentation slides which you can access here: Kelso Retreat Slides In her presentation, Professor Kelso highlighted Early Career Researchers and the increasing focus on gender equity by the NHMRC.

Professor Kelso was previously Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, a role she commenced in 2007.

Professor Kelso previously spent her research career at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, where she earned her reputation as a leading researcher in the field of immunology.

From 2000 until 2006, she was also Director/CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology. She has previously served as President of the Australasian Society for Immunology, as Secretary-General of the International Union of Immunological Societies and as a member of several governing boards and advisory groups, including the Council of QUT, the Boards of the Telethon Kids Institute and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and committees advising the WHO and the Australian Government on influenza. She was appointed Officer in the Order of Australia in June 2007 for service to science.



From the Coordinator – NECTAR 2015 Retreat Wrap Up!

Sincere thanks to everyone who participated in NECTAR’s 2015 ANU Early Career Academic retreat and helped to make it such a success! There was lots of positive feedback received over the course of the 2-day retreat, and lots of appreciation for the valuable advice and support of leaders in the field and the opportunity to engage and share experiences with fellow ECA peers.

ANU Early Career Academics were treated to presentations from leading figures in the university sector, including Prof Aidan Byrne (CEO ARC), Prof Anne Kelso (new CEO NHMRC), Prof Ian Chubb (Australia’s Chief Scientist), and at the ANU from DVC-R Prof Margaret Harding, Prof Kiaran Kirk (Dean CMBE), Prof Jan Provis (Assoc Dean ANU Medical School), Prof Michael Martin (Prof of Statistics CBE & Promoting Excellence Team, CHELT), Glen O’Grady (Director, CHELT), Prof Peter Kanowski (Master University House & Prof of Forestry, Fenner School). Participants were truly privileged to have the opportunity for direct dialogue with these esteemed leaders in the field and NECTAR acknowledges the support of all the guest speakers who gave of their time and offered their advice to current Early Career Academics.

We also heard from ECA peers involved in the inaugural ANU Early Career Academic Fellowship program established by University House (Dr Hilary Howes, Dr Anne-Sophie Dielen, Dr Niraj Lal, Dr Adam Henschke, and Dr Aparna Lal), and those involved in the Education Fellowship Scheme run by ANU’s Centre for Higher Education, Learning and Teaching (CHELT) (Dr Chris Browne and Dr Anna Von Reibnitz).

All up, it was a fantastic 2 days to celebrate the talent of ECAs at ANU, to discuss the current challenges facing ECAs, and to think through opportunities for the future.

NECTAR will gradually provide further feedback and highlights from the retreat at our website, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some photos from the retreat, below. Enjoy!

Dr Michelle Antoinette, NECTAR Coordinator







NECTAR ECA Retreat Program now available!

Have you registered for NECTAR’s 2015 ANU Early Career Academic Retreat?  

Early Career Academics and final year PhD students at ANU are warmly invited to:

NECTAR’s fourth annual ANU Early Career Academic Retreat on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June at ANU Commons.

Registration is free, and includes all workshops and catering for each day. We strongly encourage participants to join us both days. We have planned a fantastic line-up of workshops and speakers on issues that matter to early career academics, including a round-table discussion with ANU DVC-R, Prof Margaret Harding. …

The full NECTAR retreat program is now available with further confirmed key speakers!

Please visit the following link to see the full program:


  • Prof Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist
  • Prof Anne Kelso AO, Chief Executive Officer NHMRC
  • Prof Margaret Harding, ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Prof Aidan Byrne, ARC Chief Executive Officer
  • Prof Jan Provis, ANU Medical School Associate Dean and Chair of the CMBE Early Career Academic Development Committee
  • Dr Fiona Jenkins, Senior Lecturer and Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute
  • Prof Kiaran Kirk, Dean, ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment
  • Prof Michael Martin, Promoting Excellence Team CHELT & Professor of Statistics, ANU CBE
  • ANU Prof Peter Kanowski, Master of University House
  • Early Career Academics from the ANU University House Early Career Fellowship initiative
  • Glen O’Grady, Director, Centre for Higher Education, Teaching and Learning (CHELT), ANU
  • Early Career Academics who have participated in the ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme

Please register by Tuesday 2nd June to assist us with catering.  To register please visit:

For further information on NECTAR please contact the Coordinator, Dr Michelle Antoinette, on x57165 or



NECTAR’s Professional Development Training Calendar Aug-Dec 2018

The NECTAR office has been busy and has put together an exciting professional development training calendar for the second half of 2018. From ARC and NHMCR grant writing workshops to career development workshops to collaboration building workshops and opportunities, NECTAR has you covered.

For a full list of events, please click here. Registrations will open soon.

ANU NECTAR Forum – a cross-college discussion where you can have your say!

This is where the Early Career Teachers and Researchers of ANU form a collective voice in a direct discussion with University and funding executives. Featuring discussion with Professor Mike Calford – ANU new Provost and Joanne Tompkins from the Australian Research Council. Registrations are now closed. If you would like to attend, please contact the NECTAR office and we’ll see whether we can fit you in.


ANU Grand Challenges the videos now ready for team building and comments!

The Green Paper on ‘Redefining the ANU PhD’ has been released (document on ANU share point). The paper is a chance to reflect on the current PhD and have your say on what a 21st Century PhD might look like:Does the PhD still lie at the core of ANU, and is its stature reflected in our planning and strategies?

Join the Discussion at the NECTAR Forum (Session on 24 July at 10.45am).

  • Should an ANU PhD be more than just a Thesis?
  • Do you agree with suggested ANU Flagship Programs included in the Green Paper?
  • What is the purpose and function of coursework in the PhD?

 Collaboration Across Boundaries – a National EMCR conference at ANU – Save the Date 27th -28th November 2018. Enrolments open in August.


The inaugural ANU NECTAR Mentoring Program started in April 2018 with 111 mentors! Enrolments for 2019 open on 1st November 2018.


 More NECTAR events – will be announced in the next NECTAR Newsletter.


NECTAR Collaboration across boundaries 2017 was a success!

Featuring a poster on Artificial Intelligence and poster presenters form CSIRO.

An opportunity to get your team together for the ANU Grand Challenges 2018! This will be an annual event and we want Early Career Academics to help shape it so that it works for you.

In other news

NECTAR Retreat 2017 videos now online.

5 of the 37 video submissions to the ANU Grand Challenges 2017 were collaborations born at NECTAR events. We believe at least two of these reached the semi-finals! (You can view the films on the ANU Grand Challenge portal.) The finalists of ANU Grand Challenge 2017 present on 31 October.

Continue this discussion at the next NECTAR events


You are invited to join NECTAR!

Attending NECTAR events and joining in project development are great ways to meet Early Career Academics (includes PhD students and Mid-Career Academics) from across ANU. Take charge of your own network, develop your ideas, build confidence, and acquire some of the skills and knowledge to lead the future. Join NECTAR as a NECTAR Custodian or College Contact by talking to NECTAR representative or the NECTAR Coordinator.

Family members are actively encouraged to attend all NECTAR events.

Check out our Regular Events and meetings:


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Image from NECTAR Retreat 2016

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