Research Assistant, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Melbourne, Australia
19 Sep 2019
End of advertisement period
06 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Work type: Fixed Term
Location: Parkville
Division/Faculty: Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Salary: $102,967 - $122,268 (Level B)
Role & Superannuation rate: Academic - Part time - 9.5% super

The MACH is an NHMRC-accredited joint venture between Victoria’s top healthcare providers, medical research institutes and the University of Melbourne.

At the MACH, our responsibility is to facilitate collaboration between academia and healthcare to accelerate the translation of innovative research into clinical care and better patient outcomes. We do that by convening theme-driven committees made up of leading experts from across the MACH network, among other activities. The Women’s and Newborn Health (WNH) subcommittee is comprised of obstetricians, gynaecologists and paediatricians and has a mandate to guide innovative research programs leading to improved care and health for mothers and babies.

The WNH has recently received a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant to undertake an innovative research project exploring how at-risk mothers and babies are identified and tracked after delivery: the “Find and Follow” project. During pregnancy, there is no standardised approach to identifying and following up infants after a prenatal diagnosis of congenital abnormality. After birth, there is no standardised approach to identifying and following up high risk newborns. Both groups are at risk of poor outcome, yet there remains a disconnect between this research knowledge and clinical practice.

A Research Assistant with experience in multidisciplinary research, health services and guideline development is required to work on this MRFF-funded project. We need to know what is currently happening with follow-up of ‘high risk’ pregnancies and ‘high risk’ newborns, many of whom will be cared for in MACH hospitals. This will involve interviews and surveys with both health care practitioners and families. This is key to capturing the unmet health needs of these at-risk groups, in order to offer targeted surveillance and care. This is the aim of ‘find and follow’.

This information is key to developing (i) standardised database, (ii) clinical algorithm and (iii) education programs. This will inform care, streamline follow-up services, improve quality of follow-up, and improve patient and family satisfaction. These findings will inform care and follow-up of high-risk pregnancies and newborns, applicable across/beyond MACH sites.

Identifying current gaps in care will enable us to:

  1. Develop a standardised approach to families with congenital abnormalities. This will optimise pregnancy care, and ensure seamless newborn follow-up;
  2. Streamline current follow-up services for high risk newborns. Education of health services will result in more timely targeted interventions and optimise child outcomes.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for working across all MACH sites (and partners in the private sector) to scope existing gaps in ‘finding and following’ high risk fetuses and newborns, in addition to high risk pregnancies. This person will need to summarise the gaps and assist with development of an evidence-based guideline for implementation through education. This project may inform the development of finding and following up other projects relevant to women’s and newborn health. Other administrative duties will include, but are not limited to: developing surveys and questionnaires, development and maintenance of the database, liaising with relevant clinical leaders in the MACH centres, and with the project leads.

The University of Melbourne acts as the administrative and infrastructural support for the MACH and thus you will be a University of Melbourne employee. University employees working for MACH are required at all times to continue to adhere to University policies, procedures, regulations and statutes, as well as to MACH policies and procedures, but the University’s policies and procedures shall prevail in the event of any inconsistency. For the period of participating in activities at MACH, you will be subject to the reasonable control and direction of MACH and its project leaders. You consent to the University disclosing to MACH your personal employment information solely for the purposes of facilitating your secondment to MACH, and that such disclosure will not be a breach of any of your privacy rights.

This position reports to the Principal Investigator Professor Sue Walker, Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne and Head of Perinatal Medicine at Mercy Health.

Position Description


Applications close: 06 Oct 2019 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time