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SAiGENCI EMBL Australia Group Leader

Adelaide, Australia
$125, 537 to $165,698 per annum plus an employer contribution of up to 17% superannuation
Closing date
2 Apr 2023

(Level C) $125, 537 to $144,368 per annum or (Level D) $150,639 to $165,698 per annum plus an employer contribution of up to 17% superannuation may apply

Fixed term, full-time position available for five years

Exciting opportunity to join EMBLAustralia and SAiGENCI as Group Leader in Cancer Research

Further information regarding this opportunity can be found here:

Applications are invited from exceptionally motivated scientists with an ambitious and original vision for research that aligns with South Australian immunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI) core research programs. SAiGENCI is excited to be offering the opportunity for a Level C Senior Research Fellow or Level D Associate Professor (Research) to join its dynamic research leadership. SAiGENCI welcomes applications from individuals who seek to make major transformational discoveries running their independent research program and who wish to accelerate their scientific research career as an EMBL Australia Group Leader.

SAiGENCI operates as an independent institute within the University of Adelaide and in alliance with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN). SAiGENCI supports and promotes collaborations with other cancer research centres in Australia. SAiGENCI aims to develop the highest quality scientific program to achieve its chief goal of making discoveries to decrease the burden of cancer, by attracting and retaining brilliant biomedical and clinical researchers.  The Institute will also have a global reach by collaborating with likeminded centres of excellence across the globe.

SAiGENCI will provide a focal point for cancer research in the South Australian Biomedical Precinct and through this, enable South Australian participation in the developing Australian network of cancer institutes, and national and international clinical trials partnerships.  In so doing, SAiGENCI will help develop world-class and life-changing treatments and improve the outcomes of patients with cancer.

SAiGENCI will 

  • Have four core scientific programs; Resistance Prevention, Cancer Epigenetics, Computational Systems Oncology, and Tumour Inflammation and Immunotherapy. 
  • Have a core of high performing groups across its programs, with a distinct institutional culture.  Each Group Leader will be leaders at a state, national and international level as unique investigators while also supporting collaborations with other cancer research groups across South Australia and Australia. 
  • SAiGENCI and the University of Adelaide will provide Group Leaders early in their career with a supportive environment to achieve highly ambitious research goals.
  • Utilise the close links to the Australian Bragg Proton Therapy Beam, which is Australia’s first proton therapy centre and the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

We are now seeking to recruit an outstanding Research Group Leader who will head up an independent research team undertaking research within one of four program themes:

Resistance Prevention

The program will work on understanding the mechanisms underlying response and resistance to contemporary cancer therapies.  It is envisaged that laboratory findings will be translated directly from bench to bedside through clinical trials.

Cancer Epigenetics

The Cancer Epigenetic program, led by Professor Jose Polo, combines Cancer, Reprogramming and Epigenetics, using expertise in cellular reprogramming, epigenetics, stem cell biology and the characterisation of rare cell populations.  In the last 14 years there has been a revolution in this field, leading to an explosion in the use of reprogramming in potential cellular therapies.  This process can inform and help in cancer biology research.  Tools and analytical methods to facilitate the understanding of the epigenetic mechanism underpinning several tumorigenic processes will be developed, where epigenetic and reprogramming research will also allow the discovery of new targets and, ultimately, therapies.

Computational Systems Oncology

The expert Computational Systems Biologist and Bioinformatics program, led by Professor Melissa Davis will create a centre of research excellence in advanced computational systems biology, taking advantage of novel technologies and high-density data from the clinic and laboratory, to develop new methods and research programs that will form an integral part of all of the basic and translational research excellence at SAiGENCI. The team is proving to act as a catalyst for several important relationships in computing and data analysis, enhancing the existing strengths of the University through the Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML) and other partners at SAHMRI.

Tumour Inflammation and Immunotherapy

The Tumour Inflammation and Immunotherapy program, led by Professor Brendan Jenkins, will aim to manipulate both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, including augmentation of tumour antigenicity and modulation of the inflammatory response, as key strategies to suppress tumourigenesis. The program is seeking particular interest from leading researchers with expertise in NK and/or T cell-based immunotherapy or adaptive immunity. The cancer type to be targeted is not defined, with a tissue agnostic approach that has potential to apply to multiple cancers.

The successful applicant will also participate in the collegial, collaborative culture of SAiGENCI as well as the EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network (PLN). They will actively support the development of the PLN by participating in the various programs aimed at increasing research excellence and internationalisation.

EMBL Australia and The University of Adelaide are committed to supporting a gender-diverse and inclusive work environment, ensuring equal employment opportunity to attract and retain the best in their field. Attractive conditions and benefits are offered to ensure a flexible and family-friendly working environment.

About EMBL Australia

Australia is the first Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). EMBL is an international research organisation that fosters excellence by providing a highly collaborative environment that benefits the research of all its scientists, whether at the graduate, post-doctoral or group leader level.

A key initiative of the associate membership is an EMBL Partnership Programme established in 2010, entitled ‘EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network’. The partnership of EMBL with Australian host institutions provides long-term funded research-only positions for early to mid-career researchers to pursue ambitious research programs. This position is modelled on the ethos and support offered by EMBL within its European network of research laboratories. It also aims to seed a dynamic, highly collaborative culture across Australia, conducting research of the highest international standing. In general, the PLN appoints Group Leaders early in their career and provides them with a supportive environment to achieve highly ambitious research goals. The successful candidate will exhibit a strong motivation to work in the multidisciplinary and collaborative environment of the PLN and a willingness to grasp the opportunity to interact with many other research groups across the network. The candidate will also be expected to actively participate in the development of the PLN culture by contributing to various programs such as scientific summit and student programs aimed to raise scientific excellence.

This research leadership position will lead a group for an initial period of five years at SAiGENCI, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide.

Appointments will be made on merit and classified at the relevant level according to the skills and experience of the successful candidate.

For more information about the EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network and its research groups visit


  • Dedicated research leader position as an independent laboratory head, and EMBL Australia Group Leader
  • Provision of very generous core research funding and research management support
  • Critical mass of outstanding researchers within a collaborative scientific environment
  • The opportunity to foster excellence and deliver leadership in a range of research projects and to supervise graduate students
  • State-of-the-art laboratories and access to leading edge core research facilities
  • Competitive terms and conditions including an EMBL Australia Group Leader loading and payment for relocation
  • Access to EMBL Australia development activities (e.g. scientific retreats, reviews, selection panels and student programs)
  • Provision of visas and working permits for successful candidates and their families

Enjoy an outstanding career environment

The University of Adelaide is a uniquely rewarding workplace. The size, breadth and quality of our education and research programs - including significant industry, government and community collaborations - offers you a vast scope and opportunity for a long, fulfilling career.

It also enables us to attract high-calibre people in all facets of our operations, ensuring you will be surrounded by talented colleagues, many world-leading. Our work's cutting-edge nature - not just in your own area, but across virtually the full spectrum of human endeavour - provides a constant source of inspiration.

Our culture is one that welcomes all and embraces diversity consistent with our Staff Values and Behaviour Framework and our values of integrity, respect, collegiality, excellence and discovery. We firmly believe that our people are our most valuable asset, so we work to grow and diversify the skills, knowledge and capability of all our staff.

We embrace flexibility as a key principle to allow our people to manage the changing demands of work, personal and family life. Flexible working arrangements are on offer for all roles at the University.

In addition, we offer a wide range of attractive staff benefits. These include: salary packaging; flexible work arrangements; high-quality professional development programs and activities; and an on-campus health clinic, gym and other fitness facilities.

Learn more at:

If you have the talent, we'll give you the opportunity. Together, let's make history.

Click on the link below for a copy of the selection criteria and to apply:

Please ensure you submit a cover letter, resume, and upload a document that includes your responses to all of the selection criteria for the position as contained in the position description or selection criteria document.

Applications close 11:55pm, 2 April 2023.

For further information

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

Professor Christopher Sweeney
Director, SAiGENCI

You will find a full position description and/or selection criteria below: (If no links appear, try viewing on another device)

The University of Adelaide is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. Female applicants, people with a disability and/or and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who meet the requirements of this position are strongly encouraged to apply. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at time of application.

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