Project Officer – Centre For Population Genomics

The Opportunity

We are seeking a highly motivated Project Officer with expertise in ethics and governance submissions, a passion for operational efficiency, meticulous attention to detail, and proven experience in communicating with diverse and geographically distributed stakeholders.

The Project Officer will be responsible for planning, tracking and ensuring the successful delivery of genomic medicine projects within the Centre, with support from the Project Management Lead and the broader Project Management Team. In addition, the Project Officer will be responsible for championing the development and implementation of the Centre’s strategy for ethics and governance submissions and playing a key role in upskilling Centre staff in these processes. As the Centre grows over time, it is expected that there will be opportunities for the Project Officer to take-on increasing responsibility including through progression within the team structure and delegation to other Project Officers within the Project Management Team.

This role will report directly to the Centre’s Project Management Lead, who is responsible for leading a team of Project Managers, Coordinators and Officers. The Project Management team will develop and implement a strategy for the successful orchestration of the largest population genomic initiatives in Australia, ultimately spanning more than ten thousand Australians from diverse communities. This is a unique opportunity to play a key role in a new Centre that will shape the future of genomic medicine in Australia, and build resources with global impact.

The Project Officer can be located at either the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne or the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. To adapt to the impact of COVID-19, the Centre is launching under a completely remote model – all staff will begin their employment working from home and can begin their work without needing to relocate to Melbourne or Sydney.

This is a three-year full-time role with a high possibility to extend.

Your Role

  • Champions ethics and governance within the Centre by:

    • Contributing to the development of the Centre’s ethics and governance strategy.

    • Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans and other legal and regulatory guidelines governing the conduct of research in humans, particularly those with a bearing on medical research involving genetics and genomics.

    • Ensuring compliance with the above guidelines including by providing advice on the preparation of research application documents (Protocols, Information Statement & Consent Forms, Applications etc.).

    • Monitoring and identifying process improvement opportunities to ensure optimal efficiency in the Centre’s ethics and governance operations.

  • Manages multiple competing and evolving, individual and project team priorities to ensure no task gets forgotten or unduly deprioritised.

  • Coordinates projects from grant submission to delivery within the specified timelines and budgets, with appropriate support from the Project Management Lead.

  • Independently prepares the structure and content of research applications (i.e. tender and grant submissions, ethics and governance applications) and reports (i.e. status updates, Executive Committee papers) from draft to final stage, requiring minimal editing by the Project Management Lead and other reviewers.

  • Independently prepares for and supports the facilitation of internal and external meetings/workshops with project teams (including internal and external collaborators) to communicate project requirements, champion cross-functional collaboration, and ensure the completion of projects in alignment with set goals.

  • Identifies and escalates project inefficiencies, risks and issues to the Project Management Lead in a timely manner.

  • Negotiates and manages stakeholder expectations in relation to project delivery timeframes, budgets and risks with appropriate support from the Project Management Lead.

  • Contributes to the development and continual refinement of robust workflows and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for participant recruitment, sample intake and management, and data sharing.

  • Quickly learns the Centre’s project management and sample/data tracking software(s) and identifies ongoing opportunities for improved use.

  • Actively invests in building and maintaining a positive, supportive and high-performing culture within the Project Management Team and the Centre more broadly.

  • Contributes to broader Centre operational projects or tasks as required.

About You

The key skills and experience include:

  • Passion and enthusiasm for the implementation of genomic medicine.

  • Proven success in medical research project management.

  • Experience and/or training in research ethics and governance.

  • Highly organised with meticulous attention to detail.

  • Unwavering commitment to continuous quality improvement in both organisation and personal performance.

  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently.

  • Demonstrated ability to plan workflows, prioritise activities and meet deadlines in an ever-evolving environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement new policies/procedures in a complex environment.

  • Comfortable communicating with both technical and non-technical people at every level, including managing upward.

  • Proactive in engaging with diverse and geographically distributed stakeholders, both within and external to the Centre.

  • Highly effective written communication skills, with the ability to prepare concise and technically sound grant and tender applications, ethics and governance applications, status updates and other project communications.

  • Ability to thrive in an interdisciplinary team setting including academics, geneticists and biologists, data scientists, software engineers, and project management staff.

  • Familiarity with spreadsheet software, and a willingness to rapidly learn new systems for tracking projects and workflows (e.g. Airtable).

  • Postgraduate degree(s) in biomedical science, research methods and administration, and/or related disciplines.

About Us

The Centre for Population Genomics, a new multi-institution initiative planned for a formal launch in August 2020. The Centre will focus on the development of cutting-edge tools and resources to facilitate the conversion of genomic data into improved diagnosis and treatment for Australians, the field known as genomic medicine. Ultimately, the Centre will generate and manage the largest sets of genomic and clinical data ever assembled in Australia, and apply these to solve a wide variety of scientific and medical problems. The Centre’s staff will operate from two physical sites: The Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research brings together world-leading clinicians and basic and translational researchers to break down barriers between traditional scientific disciplines and find solutions to disease. Founded in 1963, Garvan’s mission is to harness all the information encoded in our genome to better diagnose, treat, predict and prevent disease.

Our scientists work across four intersecting research themes: medical genomics, epigenetics, and cellular genomics; diseases of immunity and inflammation; cancer; and diseases of ageing affecting bone, brain and metabolism. In addition, three major Centres: The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, and the Centre for Population Genomics.

How to Apply

Australian/NZ citizens or permanent residents with full working rights can apply only. All applications must include a detailed cover letter along with your resume stating why you are interested in this role and share at least two referees. We are reviewing applications as they are received, so if this position is of interest to you, please apply quickly.