The multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of Maurice Wilkins Centre research provides an excellent training environment for the young scientists and students who are our future science leaders. Emerging scientists like these are invited to join the Centre as affiliate investigators.
MWC Early Career Steering Committee
The Early Career Steering Committee (ECSC) was set up with the aim of supporting and facilitating the ongoing career development of early career researchers (ECRs) within the MWC.
The Committee's mission is to provide career development opportunities for ECRs by organising events and initiatives, and providing opportunities for ECRs to get together to discuss their research and build collaborative networks across New Zealand.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person ECSC activities were reduced in 2020 and 2021, however some initiatives were still able to go ahead including:
- A one-day ‘Mentoring and Equity in Research’ workshop in October 2020, aimed at providing practical advice and guidance aimed at enhancing the mentoring relationship. Talks from the workshop are available to MWC members in the Sign In section of the website.
- The MWC Future Science Day which provided over 50 ECRs with the opportunity to present research talks and posters to the wider MwC network in February 2021
- A Commercialisation workshop in June 2021, aimed at increasing understanding of the commercialisation process and providing opportunities for ECR’s to network with industry colleagues.
Flexible Research Seeding Programme
The Centre’s Flexible Research Seeding Programme, available to its investigators, helps seed ground-breaking early-stage projects that are collaborative, multidisciplinary and develop new lines of research. The aim is to spark new projects that will grow into highly innovative and sustainable research programmes. Over the last five years the scheme has supported more than 160 projects involving investigators around the country.
Opportunities to Access Specialised Training and Facilities
The MWC provides funding support for investigators to access specialised training and facilities both nationally and internationally. This support is targeted primarily at ECRs and to date 34 investigators have travelled to workshops and laboratories to train in cutting-edge technology.
In 2019, MWC supported more ECRs to access specialist facilities than ever before – 15 in total! Read about the experiences of three of our investigators, Ms Elyse Williams, Dr Matthew McNeil and Ms Alana Whitcombe, who travelled overseas for specialist training in our 2019 highlight story, or see here for stories from other MWC investigators who have accessed this support.
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, MWC investigators were unable to travel overseas to access specialised training and facilities in 2020 and 2021.
Future Science Day
The Centre’s annual Future Science Day, initiated in 2010, promotes networking and interdisciplinary understanding, and provides career advice for young scientists who are part of its network.
The most recent event ran from 11th-12th February, giving selected emerging scientists the opportunity to present their research, network and get expert technical advice on issues related to their work. In addition to the day programme, an evening poster and networking session was organised where over 30 high quality posters were presented.
The annual MWC Future Science Day is organised by the centre's Early Career Steering Committee (ECSC).
Image: The Early Career Steering Committee at the MWC Future Science day in February 2021. Left to right - Dr Catherine Tsai, Dr Euan Roger, Mr Rakesh Banerjee, Dr Simon Jackson, Dr Kate Lee (Chair), Dr Rebekah Bower and Ms Abigail Bland (not present).