Have you been following the journey of the JDRF/Macquarie Group Foundation Future Research Leaders Pilot Program? Seven of the best and brightest rising stars of type 1 diabetes research are part of the pilot and in September they came together for a second intensive two-day leadership workshop.

Management consultancy, Marlow Hampshire, and career and capability development specialists, LH Martin Institute, facilitated the sessions, alongside two guest speakers. The workshop covered topics the group had nominated to focus on following their first workshop in April, including effective collaboration, mentoring, networking, project management and learning to thrive within the current research environment.

Guest speaker Professor Thomas Kay, director of Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, is a successful mentor and has fostered the career development of many research protégés from the early stages of their careers. Professor Kay gave the group some tips on the mentoring process and how to attract talent to your team.

The second guest speaker, Dr Sybil McAuley, an endocrinologist, clinical researcher and co-investigator on the Australian adult hybrid closed loop study  spoke to the group about clinical research and how it differs from lab-based research. Dr McAuley spoke about building successful teams for clinical research and the type of expertise required.

What’s next for the participants?

Each of the seven Future Research Leaders has been connected with senior research leaders, who will take on a mentor role. This relationship will help each of the participants   develop their own networks to include key stakeholders such as patient groups, regulators, government, industry and media. The mentors will also assist as  each participant develops their own innovative grant application.

The group of seven participants is already showing promise of becoming its own cross-disciplinary network, which is expected to drive innovation in the participants’ future careers in research.

Participant Dr Sonia Saad, University of Sydney, said of the Program, “The Future Research Leaders Program has assisted everyone here in extraordinary ways– it is a very positive thing”.

Dr Kirstine Bell, University of Sydney, echoed this, “This Program is very unique and has challenged me to consider collaborations differently – I could work with people that I wouldn’t normally have anticipated. It’s also made me realise that you have to create your own opportunities.”


More about JDRF/Macquarie Group Foundation Future Research Leaders Pilot Program

This Pilot Program was made possible thanks to a three-year grant from the Macquarie Group Foundation, to establish a 12-month career development program for emerging research leaders in type 1 diabetes in Australia. You can read about Program in this blog post from the pilot launch in April 2017.

The second round of the Program will launch later this year.


Stay tuned to the blog for further profiles of the participants and updates on their progress.


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