Research Assistant

Melbourne, Australia
01 Jul 2020
End of advertisement period
22 Jul 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Work type: Fixed Term
Location: Parkville
Division/Faculty: Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Salary: $105,232 - $124,958 (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. The MACH focuses on integrating medical research with systems and infrastructure to improve the understanding of patient needs and the quality of care provided to those patients. We do that by convening theme-driven committees made up of leading experts from across the MACH network, among other activities. Improving consumer and community involvement in health and medical research is an important part of our mandate as well as our partners’, which include the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research (WEHI), a leading biomedical research organisation with a special interest in current major health challenges such as cancer, immune health and infection, and development and aging. Research at the Institute ranges across basic, translational and clinical research.

WEHI’s Consumer Buddy Program pairs consumers (in this context, individuals affected by the ‘disease’ being studied) with medical researchers to focus efforts and provide personal insights. Consumers in the program contribute their life experience to researchers, assist researchers with communicating in plain language, provide insight into how research can affect the community, and become an active part of the WEHI community by attending events and seminars. Findings from the Buddy Program are communicated to the Consumer Advisory Panel, which advises the Clinical Translation department on involving consumers in research.

The MACH has recently received funding through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) in order to carry out an evaluation project on the Consumer Buddy Program and is already liaising with WEHI to begin this evaluation. This will fulfil the MRFF funding stipulation that the project should identify “innovative approaches for community and patient involvement in setting research priorities, and facilitate system-wide learning and collaboration”.

This project will be comprised of a mixed-methods analysis including the following activities:

  1. Participant (researcher and consumer) interviews, building upon and updating previous interviews conducted.
  2. Surveys across stakeholders (researchers, consumer buddies, external consumers).
  3. Qualitative data from thematic analysis by focus group, including within and between consumer categories (e.g. novice, experienced, patients/carers).
  4. Synthesizing qualitative data for key recommendations.
  5. Coordinating input from and feeding back to the MACH’s national research translation partners.

The output of this project will be a report outlining what success looks like, the challenges faced, guidelines for use among MACH partners and potential integration as a model for use across Australia.

A dedicated Research Assistant is vital for the success of this project. Under the supervision of the MACH (academic and administrative) and WEHI (Consumer Buddy Program coordinators and Consumer Advisory Panel), the RA will coordinate all research activities and will require a high level of independence.

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 Dr Lorraine O’Reilly (WEHI and University of Melbourne).

Position Description


Applications close: 22 Jul 2020 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Standard Time

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