News from the CRC Association

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Cooperative Research News
5 June 2013
CRCs are involved in research across many industries in Australia

New Career Planning Tool for
CRC Researchers

All researchers from CRC Association members have access to the 'gold standard' career planning tool from today. Developed by Vitae for the UK Research Councils and now endorsed by the European Union, the Research Development Framework (RDF) Planner gives researchers a powerful tool to gain insight into their career development.

CRC researchers already know that a deep intellectual base in their subject area is a vital ingredient for a successful research career, but is not enough on its own. Successful researchers have the necessary skills and knowledge to be personally effective, knowledge of the professional aspects of doing research like funding and resources and the ability to engage and influence in order to create an impact. The RDF systematically sets out these skills and traits and enables researchers to objectively look at their own skill set.

The Planner enables a researcher to:

  • keep a record of all professional development activities in one place
  • identify their expertise and capabilities to plan their career
  • print reports for discussions with mentors, supervisors, career advisors etc. 
  • identify learning and development needs and monitor progress
  • upload files such as CVs, conference details, testimonials to record achievements
  • view the attributes of successful researchers through a ‘lens' on employability, enterprise, leadership and more.

Due to an arrangement between Vitae and the CRC Association, the Research Development Framework Planner is now available to all CRCA Member researchers. Any student, researcher or employee of a CRCA Member organisation is entitled to use the planner, free of charge (all classes of CRCA membership are welcome). To gain access, send a request (quoting your CRCA Member’s name) to

Read more about the Researcher Development Framework



Profile – Ehsan Bafekrpour – Deakin University

With nano technology creating new frontiers in the development of lightweight composites for application in the transport, mining, aviation, marine and other sectors, this exciting area of materials engineering has the potential to make a major contribution to the advanced manufacturing sector. Seen as the material of the twenty-first century, cutting-edge research into carbon fibre composites could drive Australian manufacturing into new and sustainable growth areas in both the domestic and global marketplace.

Ehsan Bafekrpour, a PhD student at Deakin University’s Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation has been working on a strategic project investigating nano-enhanced carbon fibre composites. Over the course of his research, Ehsan developed the innovative concept of controlling the composition in nanocomposites for optimizing the mechanical performance; as well as tailoring the thermal and electrical properties for multi-functional applications. Naming these advanced materials Functionally Graded Nanocomposites, his PhD studied the effect of compositional gradients of nano-scale reinforcing constituents on thermo-mechanical, visco-elastic, and mechanical properties of nanocomposites.

For industry, Ehsan’s highly advanced research work may lead to the development of lighter stronger materials for use in engineering and structural applications such as automotive body and engine parts and mining equipment. ‘In these materials we can control the composition of the micro structure, which means we can optimise the mechanical properties,’ he says. ‘Lighter, stronger materials can contribute to positive environmental outcomes through fuel efficiencies and reduced engine emissions.’

Throughout his studies, Ehsan has been assisted by the Advanced Manufacturing CRC’s very successful PhD program. Having submitted his thesis, he has secured a position at Monash University’s Department of Materials Engineering where he will be working on hybrid and composite materials.

‘Thanks to the AMCRC for your excellent support during my PhD. It was an honour being an AMCRC PhD student. I hope we can continue our collaborations in the future.’ (Ehsan Bafekrpour)

Ehsan Bafehrpour

Cancer CRC’s Molecules to Medicine on-the job training extends its reach

The Molecules to Medicine business development intern program for early career biomedical researchers is set to expand from July to include more interns from major biomedical institutions and companies here and possibly overseas. In its first year, 2012/13, the program, which combines on-the-job training in business development essentials with a series of seminars on all aspects of commercialising biomedical advances, attracted 30 interns from nine major research organisations.

Interest in the program has already been expressed by medical institutes in Western Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand, as the seminar program can also be accessed remotely via a “moodle” learning platform.

Molecules to Medicine was set up with a three-year Victorian government grant under the auspices of the Cancer Therapeutics CRC, following a successful trial at the Walter and Eliza Hall institute to accelerate the translation of fundamental research into practical community and commercial outcomes.

Dr Toby Phesse, Senior Research Officer, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, says of the program:

“I joined the Molecules to Medicine course as a research-only scientist with very little knowledge of commercialisation of research output.  The course involves lectures from leaders in industry and clinical translation, which, along with assignments working with the business development office, give a great insight into the commercial bio-medical world.  As a direct result of attending this course I have been able to plan and construct a patent application, which has involved working with patent lawyers and several different groups at WEHI, facilitating a commercial aspect to my current research in colon cancer.“

Scientists who are involved in biomedical research with an interest in the development of biomedical devices or therapies are now invited to apply for next year’s intake, starting in July.  And there is an opportunity for a few fortunate early birds to attend an intensive introduction called ‘MBA in a Day’ on 21st May.

Interested applicants should apply through their research organisation’s Business Development Managers who will need to be able to provide suitable on-the-job experience and mentoring in tech transfer and business development to complement the comprehensive set of expert seminars that take place over the year.

For more information contact Program Manager, Tom Williams:; ph: 0419 868 911

New CRC Program website launched

The new CRC program website has arrived:

The site has been restructured to improve accessibility and provide a range of new features including search functionality, enhanced navigation, dynamic menus and quick links to the latest news, events and strategic partners’ sites like the CRCA, Skills Connect and Commercialisation Australia.

Social Media for Science course,
discount for CRCA members

Long before you'd even heard of social media, intellectuals like Einstein recognised the importance of publicly communicating science and research. So it's not as new as you may think!

Scientists can find great reward in online media tools and resources. While some guides do exist out there, it can be pretty overwhelming. The virtual world can be daunting if you're unsure and don't have proper guidance such as through formal scientific channels like peer-reviewed journals.

Social Media for science looks to better familiarise researchers with existing internet resources and their effective use.

After this workshop you will be able to interact in online communities and look for tailored responses and outcomes that are enabled by social media platforms.

CRCA members are being offered a $50 discount ($250 instead of $300). Register here to receive the discount.

More details and dates are here.


Invasive Animals CRC Balanced Scientist (PhD) Program

The Balanced Scientist Program aims to provide comprehensive training and development programs to postgraduate students that result in highly skilled, industry ready graduates that will make a substantial contribution to invasive animal management.

Watch a video outlining the program. The program provides students with support, industry collaboration and extra training in areas such as commercialisation and leadership. The video includes interviews with previous students.

Read more about the Balanced Scientist Program.

Get involved

Round 16 CRC bids are nearing completion.

Many syndicates are currently discussing Round 17 and even Round 18 bids.

Contact the CRCA if you seek assistance in determining whether to bid for a CRC. We can assist members with a mini-workshop to discuss issues. We can refer you to others who can help you more extensively. We can help you network and let people know about your bid through these pages.

Talk to us about Membership

Collaborate | Innovate | 2013 Photos

Photos from the conference are now available to view online.

Email Karen with the photo number if you would like a high-res copy of any photo.


6-7 June 2013

The BIG Science Communication Summit - pathways to Inspiring Australia
A 2-day hands-on Summit to map out the next challenges for Science communication in Australia and to collaboratively address best practice solutions. An Inspiring Australia, TechNyou and Science Rewired event.

July–August 2013
Social Media for Science

Learn how to get the most out of social media.

Melbourne, 29 July
Brisbane, 12 August
Sydney, 14 August
Canberra, 16 August

Register here for CRCA member $50 discount

6-10 August 2013

Abstract submissions now open
Prostate Cancer World Congress

8-11 September 2013
Canberra; online

The First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation
The conference is directly relevant to CRCs, with its focus on methods for bringing together research findings, and driving change in policy and practice.

11-13 September 2013

ARMS Adelaide 2013 Conference
Stimulating Change: Inspire. Innovate. Engage
The conference will embrace the new way research is conducted with the shift in focus to end users of research, open access to intellectual property and the potential of e-research.

15-18 September 2013

CleanUp 2013
The 5th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference – Australia's premier conference for the contaminated site and remediation industry.

20 November 2013 Canberra
CRCA Members Parliamentary Event (TBC)

Associate Members

Essential Energy

Safeguarding Biodiversity CRC bid

CRC for Cyber Security bid

International Centre for Complex Project Management

Sleep and Alertness CRC bid

The C-ITS CRC bid

Affiliate Members

The Recruitment Alternative

Capital Hill Consulting

FAL Lawyers

Hynes Lawyers

Piper Alderman Lawyers

Queensland University of Technology


University of South Australia

CRCA on ARMS Accreditation Council

Dr Tony Peacock, the CEO of the CRC Association, has joined the Australasian Research Management Society's Accreditation Council. An update on accreditation for research managers is here.

Members of the Cooperative Research Centres Association

CRC for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Health
AutoCRC CRC for Advanced
Composite Structures
Advanced Manufacturing CRC Australian Seafood CRC CRC for Low Carbon Living
Antarctic Climate &
Ecosystems (ACE) CRC
Deep Exploration
Technologies CRC
CRC for Biomarker
Bushfire CRC Cancer Therapeutics CRC Capital Markets CRC
Smart Services CRC CO2CRC CRCMining
Future Farm
Industries CRC
CRC for Contamination
Assessment and Remediation
of the Environment (CARE)
CRC for Infrastructure
and Engineering Asset
Management (CIEAM)
Dairy Futures CRC DMTC Ltd Energy Pipelines CRC
The HEARing CRC CRC for Mental Health Invasive Animals CRC
Biosecurity CRC
CRC for Optimising
Resource Extraction
Young and Well CRC
Oral Health CRC CRC for Polymers High Integrity Pork CRC
Poultry CRC CRC for Rail Innovation CRC for Spatial Information
CRC for Sheep
Industry Innovation
Wound Management
Innovation CRC
CRC for Remote
Economic Participation
Vision CRC CRC for Water Sensitive Cities  
Cooperative Research News is published fortnightly by the Cooperative Research Centres Association and distributed free of charge. The CRC Association welcomes contributions but does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material published, or in any linked site. The material in this Newsletter may include the views or recommendations of third parties, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the CRC Association, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. Editorial responsibility is accepted by Professor Tony Peacock, Chief Executive, Cooperative Research Centres Association. Inquiries about publication should be directed here.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

CRC Association, Engineering House, Tel: (02) 6270 6524, Fax: (02) 6273 1218, Email:


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