The NECTAR Early Career Academic development mentoring program

ANU plans to ‘lead the Nation in mentoring’ (ANU strategic plan 2017-2021). This includes establishing a strong culture of mentoring for early career academic staff. Now ANU, through NECTAR, is opening up has not just a mentoring program, but a strategic academic career development mentoring program with cross-disciplinary networking opportunities, included.

Early Career Academics (ECA) are working under huge psychological and career pressure in a bottle neck of a career pathway. Successful academics when asked how they got through, almost always refer to quality mentoring.  Moreover, mentoring was the only significant factor decreasing stress and increasing job satisfaction in the NECTAR ECA survey of 2015, where only half respondees had any form of mentoring.

The NECTAR Mentoring Program will start in March 2018 and build on the strength of the highly regarded Mentoring Program of the science Colleges, developed over the last three years. This will be a collaboration between NECTAR and the Joint Colleges of Science and is funded and supported by the ANU Colleges.

Registrations open soon, stay tuned.

More information will be posted shortly.


Collaboration across boundaries 2017 – a success!

20171207-_MG_4313NECTAR launches a new channel to cross-disciplinary collaboration at ANU

OUR first Collaboration across boundaries – a cross-disciplinary industry engagement – last Thursday (7 December) was a great success. Over 100 people attended to see 41 posters, including 5 posters presenters form CSIRO, 4 films and 4 artwork series.

NECTAR thanks the Industry representatives who attended and judged the competition including CSIRO, the Capital Health Network, the ACT Primary Health Network, and the Saudi Arabian Embassy among others.

NECTAR volunteers were instrumental in making this event a success, particularly Dr Elizabeth Sturgiss and Dr Umme Habiba Hossain. Thank you to all our NECTAR volunteers.

We would also like to thank our partners the Joint College of Science Early Career Academic Development Committee, particularly Julia Sharwood, and the Heritage Early Childhood Centre.

Congratulations to the winners:

Christina Spry won: Most engaging poster or art work – her prize was $2000 research funds!

Vini Gautam won Outstanding poster or artwork – with a prize of $100 to take a collaborator out to dinner at University House.

Michal Glikson won Outstanding poster or artwork with her interactive poster/ website See also her film – what happens if you create in a space that is totally unpredictable?

Aparna Lal and Alice Richardson won the Audience Choice Award with the globe poster “Health in a Changing Environment”.

Congratulations and thanks to all participants.

If you have ideas on how to develop this event for next year please contact us!

The Buzz – NECTAR newsletter

Subscribe to NECTAR’s monthly Newsletter – The Buzz

Newsletter Archive

2017 December – The Buzz NECTAR Newsletter.pdf Collaborations Across Boundaries

2017 November – The Buzz NECTAR Newsletter.pdf $2K Research Funds Prize…

2017 October – The Buzz NECTAR Newsletter.pdf Prepare for Research Fellowships

2017 September – The Buzz NECTAR Newsletter.pdf Early Career Poster Exhibition

2017 August – The Buzz NECTAR Newsletter.pdf  ANU Grand Challenges Scheme

The Buzz NECTAR Newsletter – July 2017.pdf  ECAs to be leaders of $10mil scheme


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Early Career Academics to be leaders in the ANU Grand Challenges Scheme worth up to $10 Million

ANU’s Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt has announced that the ANU Grand Challenges Scheme (now open) will be granted to teams with leadership from a ‘high proportion’ of early to mid career academics.

“This scheme should create leadership opportunities for Early Career Researchers and thus platforms for future funding.”

This scheme will favour unique interdisciplinary collaborations.

Prof Schmidt says he wants this scheme to “expose the next generation of researchers and scholars to the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration”.

Nevertheless, Early Career Academics have contacted NECTAR expressing private concerns that the ECA of ANU will be sidelined in the grab for this money bag.

“The professors in our school are putting together a proposal and I think they are just going to add some names of Early Career Researchers to their scheme but after they get the funds who knows if there will be any leadership opportunities for us!” They said.

What do the guidelines say on this scheme, do I hear you ask? They can be found here.

Basically they say established research leaders can be included in this scheme to provide guidance and support to develop future leaders.

NECTAR Custodian, Sophie Baker, wants to know how Early Career Academics are going with this scheme. Are you putting in a proposal and do you need collaborators or help? Are the established leaders around you supportive? What are the intractable problems you are facing? And would you like any support from the NECTAR team?

“I propose a meeting for Early Career Academics and Researchers to discuss this scheme at the next NECTAR meeting on Wed the 19th July 12pm Fellows Cafe“. Early Career Academics and their family members are actively encouraged to attend. Register for free food.

Submissions for this scheme are due on the 24th of July by 3 min video. Need help with that? Ask NECTAR.

Images of the NECTAR Early Career Academic Retreat

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Expressions of interest to serve on the ACCAN Independent Grants Panel

Expressions of interest to serve on the ACCAN Independent Grants Panel

If you are an Early Career Academic at ANU and you want to be on this panel then ask NECTAR for back up. Contact us

ACCAN is calling for expressions of interest for one additional member to serve on the Independent Grants Panel.

The Independent Grants Panel is responsible for assessing grant applications for funding under the ACCAN Grants Program. The Grants Program funds projects that work towards the vision of communications services that are available, accessible and affordable for all consumers. Projects address current consumer concerns by providing education, representation and/or research into issues of importance in the telecommunications marketplace.

If you would like to make an expression of interest please write a short statement (no longer than three pages) addressing the selection criteria and submit this with your curriculum vitae (CV) to by 5pm AEST on Tuesday 18th July, 2017.

For more information on the process, selection criteria and the role itself, please visit the Independent Grants Panel page on our website.

Each panel member is recruited for a three year term. We are especially keen to hear from candidates with a background in community sector project selection and management, commercial or consumer issues generally, and/or technical expertise and the social impact of communications technology.

ACCAN values diversity: women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, persons with disabilities and people from diverse cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Please also share this email with any candidates who would be interested in serving on the panel.

Warm regards,



Narelle Clark

Acting CEO



Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)


Redefining the ANU PhD – NECTAR invited to the discussion

Join the discussion on redefining the ANU PhD Program

You are invited to Open Forums where you can have your say in this important discussion. (See below).

NECTAR has also been offered the opportunity to nominate a representative for the Committee of Inquiry. Expressions of interest for this position to NECTAR by 10am, 30th June.

Here is the letter from Prof Imelda Whelehan (ANU’s Dean of HDR)


We are redefining the ANU PhD program.

During the development of the new Strategic Plan we made a commitment to redefine our PhD program.  We are now starting to work out what this will mean for our academic staff, supervisors and students.

ANU has the highest HDR load per total student population of any Australian university, consistently high research rankings and an enviable international reach. To continue to provide some of the best academic programs around the world and to give our students the best opportunities for their futures, we have a responsibility to reflect on what we do well, and to discuss what we might review and change. We are inviting you to help shape our discussions and have your say on what the new ANU PhD of the future could look like.

To start the discussion I will be hosting open forums for all interested staff and students. Please register below for one of the forums.

Questions will include:

  • What should a 21st century PhD look like?
  • How can we ensure that the ANU secures our position as a world leader in graduate research education?
  • What is best practice for PhD delivery worldwide?
  • What changes can we make?

In these forums I will be using Poll Everywhere to allow live interactive audience participation. Bring a mobile device (phone, tablet, laptop or iPad) to enable you to join the interactive discussions.

Please join me.

With best wishes


Professor Imelda Whelehan

Dean, Higher Degree Research Office of the Vice-Chancellor | Chancelry 10 East Road


Wednesday, 5 July from 10am-11.30am Venue: R214 Seminar Room, Ian Ross Building #31 ANU Register here.

Tuesday, 25 July from 1pm-2.30pm. Venue: The Drawing Room, University House, 1 Balmain Crescent ANU Register here.

Thursday, 3 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: ANU. Exact venue to be confirmed shortly. Register here.

Tuesday, 8 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: The Drawing Room, University House, 1 Balmain Crescent ANU Register here.

Thursday, 10 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: 1012, Fred Gruen Economics Seminar Room, HW Arndt Building #25A50 Register here.