Mitigating the impact of extraordinary personal circumstances on academic careers
MDHS Momentum Fellowships support the research momentum, career progression and retention of Level B and C research fixed-term and continuing (research contingent) academic staff with extraordinary and compounding personal circumstances.
This includes staff whose disability, chronic health conditions and/or disproportionate caring responsibilities have significantly impacted their capacity to progress their academic career.
Examples may include but are not limited to: staff who have experienced the impact of losing a partner and becoming a primary carer; or caring for a loved one with high needs; or undergoing treatment for a serious illness; or having a disability or chronic condition that impacts on their capacity to drive their research program.
The Fellowships help staff to maintain their research momentum at pressing points in their careers and to develop strategies and plans to obtain external research funding.
Providing employment security and support to enable ongoing success
The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences awards up to two Momentum Fellowships each year.
Two fellowships are available and include a maximum award of up to $100,000 per year for salary and research-related expenses over a maximum two-year term.
Fellows retain their existing appointment with the Faculty for the duration of the Fellowship.
They are expected to develop and agree on a plan to achieve research independence and sustainability with their supervisor and Head/Director and to apply for external research funding during this term.
Eligibility criteria, recognising the impact of extraordinary and compounding personal circumstances
Eligible staff include Level B and C academics who are employed on short-term/non-secure contracts (eg. fixed term or continuing-research contingent) in the Faculty, and whose extraordinary and compounding personal circumstances, including disability, physical and mental health conditions and markedly disproportionate caring responsibilities, have significantly restricted their capacity to maintain and progress their career.
This includes their capacity to:
Undertake research and research training activity, including severely impacting their ability to publish their research, supervise graduate research students and apply for and obtain competitive external funding
Undertake key engagement activities with relevant disciplinary communities and government, business, professional or community organisations that are critical to enhancing excellence in their research and research training and enhancing their competitiveness in their field
Contribute to cross-disciplinary collaborative research projects and teams that are key to maintaining their research momentum and competitiveness
Build their leadership and service profile as well as making vital contributions to the advancement of their discipline within and beyond the University
Note: 1. To be eligible to apply, applicants must at the time of application, hold a short-term salaried, fixed-term or continuing (research contingent) academic appointment in MDHS; 2. Eligible applicants may submit a maximum of one application in a single round; 3. A Momentum Fellowship can only be held once.
Selection criteria, guiding the values-based assessment of applications
In assessing the Fellowship applications, the Selection Panel will consider:
The impact of and extent to which relevant extraordinary personal circumstances have compounded and restricted the individual's capacity to secure external funding
The applicant’s overall ability through evidence of their capacity to develop and sustain an academic career consistent with a leading university
The applicant's effective demonstration and promotion of our Faculty’s values as well as Faculty’s expectations for appropriate behaviour, including upholding the Faculty’s commitment to a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace
Other Fellowship or salary-related financial assistance the staff member may be receiving
Apply for a Fellowship following these key dates and instructions
- Monday 5 September 2022
- Monday 10 October 2022
- Monday 14 November 2022
Outcomes advised to applicants
Explore the Fellowships
Read this Fellowships website in detail, including the:
- Overview, including terms of the Fellowships and expectations of Fellows
- Eligibility criteria and selection criteria
Discuss the potential of your application:
- Discuss the potential of your application for a Fellowship with your supervisor, Head/Director, as well as with mentors and trusted colleagues
Prepare your application
Commence your online application form:
Draft your written application, responding to the eligibility and selection criteria on this website:
- Include a summary paragraph describing the reasons why you are seeking a Fellowship (maximum 200 words)
- Include an overview of your personal circumstances and describe how these have impacted your academic career to date (800 words)
- Include an overview of how this fellowship will assist you with developing and maintaining your career trajectory (maximum 500 words)
- Include a a brief statement demonstrating your alignment with Faculty values (300 words)
Commission and attach one letter of support:
- Include one letter of support from a senior academic colleague who can speak about your capacity for success in academia (maximum 1 A4 page)
Note: It would be helpful for the assessment panel if this includes relevant information regarding the impact of your personal circumstances on your career trajectory and/or research outputs. If the letter of support is not from your Head of Department, Centre Head or Head of School, we will contact them to seek endorsement and support of your application for a Momentum Fellowship. Please ensure they are aware of your application.
Prepare and attach a curriculum vitae:
- Include an abbreviated, up-to-date copy of your curriculum vitae (maximum 5 pages)
Attach optional supporting material:
- Maximum 5 A4 pages
- Clarify the reason for including supporting material in your written application
Submit your application
Complete and submit your application online:
- Submit your completed application online by 5.00pm on Monday 10 October 2022
- Note the online application form strictly enforces word limits, and page limits should be adhered to—additional pages will not be considered by the selection panel
- Note all applications are confidential
Conditions of award, including expectations of Fellows
Up to $100K per year over two years will be awarded as a contribution towards salary plus on-costs of the applicant. Applicants who will be coming off externally funded fellowships in the next 6 months, and those without any external fellowship support will be priortised for support.
Awards are available up to a maximum period of 24 months. Funding is intended to be nominally for the period 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023. Under exceptional circumstances (e.g. significant illness, maternity leave/carer leave etc), a request to the Associate Dean (Diversity and Inclusion) may be made to extend remaining funding beyond the two year duration.
The total amount awarded may be pro-rated based on the applicant’s preferred time fraction (FTE) to hold the Fellowship. If applicable, the Fellow’s position end date will be extended to cover the duration of the Fellowship. If there is a salary shortfall between the amount covered by the Fellowship and the position, this shortfall must be met from other sources (eg: external funding, department/local support). If salary and on-costs require less than $100K per year (or the applicable pro-rated amount), remaining funding may be used to support other research costs.
If applicable, the MDHS Momentum Fellowship will commence from the time external fellowship support ends.
Fellows are expected to apply for external research funding during the term of the Momentum Fellowship.
Momentum Fellows who subsequently secure external salary support should take up the external salary funding at the earliest possible date and must not defer in order to complete the duration of the Momentum Fellowship. The Associate Dean (Diversity and Inclusion), will consider requests to repurpose Momentum Fellowship funding on a case by case basis.
Awardees cannot hold both a Faculty Momentum Fellowship and another internal fellowship concurrently.
Fellows are expected to develop and agree on a plan to achieve research independence and sustainability with their supervisor and Head of Department/School.
Fellows are expected to provide appropriate acknowledgement of University support when communicating research outcomes.
Fellows will be subject to the University conditions of employment.
Twenty days (pro-rata) annual leave per annum must be taken during the term of the Fellowship to avoid the budget division incurring additional costs at the conclusion of the funding. If leave is not taken during the term of the Fellowship, the administering Department/Centre will be responsible for the additional costs.
Leave of absence may be taken within the period of tenure of the award, but the period of absence will not be added to the duration of the award. (Noting exceptions referred to in clause 2)
Fellows are required to provide a written report using the template provided after the first year of the Fellowship, and then on completion of the Fellowship. This report should provide information on the research achievements, publishable outcomes, and details of applications submitted to external funding bodies.
It is an expectation that researchers awarded internal MDHS funding will participate as mentors in Faculty led mentoring programs (e.g. the Dean’s Fellowship Review panel) or as reviewers for other internal funding schemes.
Have a question about the Fellowships?Contact us
Dr Vanessa Ferdinand
Dr Vanessa Ferdinand is a researcher in Computational Cognitive Science in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. The Momentum Fellowship will support Vanessa to progress a new collaboration with the Melbourne Centre for Data Science, specifically on predictive processing in human behaviour and the extraction of causal features from complex data. The Fellowship provides Vanessa with research independence and resources to complete existing projects and develop new collaborations that focus on her career development.
Dr Claudia Marck
Dr Claudia Marck is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Claudia's research focuses on improving health outcomes for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic neurological disease, most commonly diagnosed in young women. This Fellowship will enable Claudia to increase her research outputs and re-build national and international collaborations. It will also enable her to undertake knowledge translation and exchange activities including, for example, developing materials for clinicians with the aim to improve practice.
Dr Alexandra Devine
Alex Devine is a leading disability researcher in the Disability and Health Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Alex has led innovative disability-inclusive research and development projects in Australia and Internationally. Her research focuses on improving people's experience of engaging with complex disability systems and services such as Disability Employment Services (DES) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Momentum Fellowship will support Alex to progress research focusing on people with psychosocial conditions, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities and how they engage with these complex systems.
Dr Emily Karanges
Emily Karanges is a Research Fellow in Youth Substance Use and Mental Health in the Centre for Youth Mental Health. With a background in behavioural neuroscience and pharmacoepidemiology, Emily's research focuses on early intervention and youth-focused treatment development for problematic cannabis use and withdrawal. The Momentum Fellowship will enable Emily to develop a program of research on cannabis use disorder and its treatment in young people. The fellowship will support Emily in growing her expertise in clinical trial and cannabis use research, generating critical pilot data to support funding applications, strengthening collaborations, and building leadership capacity.
Dr Sheila Patel
Sheila Patel is a Senior Research Fellow based in the Department of Medicine at Austin Health, Melbourne Medical School. Her research identifies novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. The goal of her research is to use personalised medicine to prevent or delay cardiovascular disease and its complications, by developing new treatment strategies in cardiovascular disease. The Momentum Fellowship will support Sheila's research goals, enhance her competitiveness for funding applications and research independence and build her leadership capacity.
Dr Jess Heerde
Jess Heerde is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics (Melbourne Medical School), Research Fellow (Westpac Scholars Trust) and Honorary Research Fellow (Centre for Adolescent Health, Population Health Studies of Adolescents, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute). She is a research leader in youth homelessness. The Momentum Fellowship will help Jess to progress and build momentum for subsequent funding applications and enhance her capacity for her ongoing research and advocacy in this field.
Dr Kate Filia
Kate Filia is an emerging leader in the field of social inclusion and mental health. Based in the Centre for Youth Mental Health, Kate has developed a novel measure of social inclusion, and a research program dedicated to understanding differences between, and improving, social inclusion across psychiatric diagnoses, developmental stages, in caregivers and at-risk population groups. Kate has experienced significant career interruptions and this fellowship will enhance her capacity to pursue opportunities as an independent researcher, as well as leverage opportunities for future funding support.