Rita Cornforth Fellowship - Professor/ Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry

Canberra, Australia
$129,049 - $190,180 per annum plus 17% superannuation
01 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
09 Oct 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

Classification: Academic Level C (Senior Lecturer), Academic Level D (Associate Professor), Academic Level E (Professor)
Salary package: $129,049 - $190,180 per annum plus 17% superannuation
Term: Full time, Continuing

Rita Cornforth Fellowship

The Rita Cornforth Fellowship was established to honour the pioneering contributions of Lady Rita Cornforth (1915-2012), one of Australia’s most important chemists of the last century. She pioneered the synthesis of important natural products such as penicilliamine, steroids and the stereochemistry of molecules involved in the biosynthesis of cholesterol. In recognition of her work, in 1996 the Research School of Chemistry established the Rita Cornforth Fellowship, dedicated to promoting women in science.

The Opportunity

Biological Chemistry, including biocatalysis, biophysics, protein engineering, and synthetic biology are fast-moving, growth areas with demonstrated impacts in health, food and environmental sciences. The Research School of Chemistry is a key player in this area, with multidisciplinary links that span engineering, medical research, biology, materials and the social sciences. The Biological Chemistry cluster in the RSC hosts two Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence, shares teaching of the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with the Research School of Biology (RSB) and is also jointly leading the cross-disciplinary ANU SynBio Initiative. 

To further expand our capabilities, we are seeking candidates with expertise in protein chemistry, structural biology, biochemistry, biocatalysis, biophysics and/or protein engineering. The new appointees will share outstanding in-house research infrastructure for protein production, purification and analyses (bioreactors; high-field NMR and EPR spectroscopyhigh-resolution mass spectrometry) and collaborate with word-leading scientists across biological chemistry at the RSC and beyond. The candidates will also have access to the excellent infrastructure including the recently acquired state-of-the-art cryo-EM and confocal microscope platforms at ANU’s Centre for Advanced Microscopy and high-throughput drug screening facility at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (

The appointment is available only to candidates who identify as women or non-binary at Academic Levels C, D or E (Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor or Professor). To support the identified areas of research focus for the School, preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated track record and active research program in the fields defined above. Rita Cornforth Fellowships will be offered for 5 years to further support women and non-binary scientists. Candidates will be considered on their merits including the impact of any career breaks. The primary criteria for selection will be academic excellence and achieving a gender diverse workforce. 

Are you an exceptional candidate?   Can you demonstrate that, relative to your career stage:

  • you are, or have the potential to become, a world-class researcher in biological chemistry, with strong, independent research programs funded by external grants;
  • your research and teaching reflect the latest advances in their fields, with a clear commitment to teaching excellence;
  • you are interested in dimensions beyond research and teaching; for example, public outreach, engaging with industry, science communication or tertiary science pedagogy; 
  • you are collaborative and collegial, and will be accessible to colleagues, research students and undergraduates; and 
  • you have a high-level understanding of and commitment to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and access in a University context.

For further information about these positions please consult the candidate information booklet or contact the Director of the Research School of Chemistry, Professor Penelope Brothers (  Appointees will be supported by a package that may include a contribution from the ANU Futures Fund, designed to attract outstanding faculty to the ANU.  Note that this position will be advertised simultaneously with a second Academic Level B or C (Lecturer or Senior Lecturer) position to which applicants at this career stage are encouraged to apply.

The Research School of Chemistry

The ANU Research School of Chemistry is located within the ANU College of Science and hosts 20 continuing academic faculty and over 100 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from around the world.  Our research is supported by outstanding equipment, infrastructure and professional staff, and is funded by an extensive range of external grants.  The School conducts research, PhD research training, and Masters and undergraduate education in a wide range of chemical sciences.  Our research activities are organized into three broad clusters: chemical synthesis, materials science and biological chemistry.  Our research is supported by excellent infrastructure and facilities, including Mass Spectrometry, Magnetic Resonance, X-ray Diffraction, Separation Science, Polymer and Biopolymer characterisation, and Lasers and Photochemistry, each managed and supported by a dedicated professional scientist, and an in-house electrical and mechanical workshop. Our researchers collaborate widely within the ANU, Australia and around the world. Our graduates go on to jobs in academia, industry, public service and entrepreneurship. The RSC also encourages and supports translational research and the establishment of start-up companies.

ANU provides support to staff with a range of lifestyle, financial and non-financial rewards and programs, including on-campus childcare facilities, to support staff in maintaining a healthy work/life balance whilst encouraging success in reaching their full career potential.

ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. People with a disability are encouraged to apply.

Application information

In order to apply for this role please upload the following documents.

  • A statement addressing each of the selection criteria and which includes:
    • a statement of your research vision for the next 5-10 years, including the potential for collaborations within RSC and the ANU (1-2 pages);
    • a statement of your teaching and supervision philosophy (1-2 pages); and
    • a statement addressing your contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and service, and your approach to achieving engagement and impact (1-2 pages).
    • an optional statement which clearly articulates any personal circumstances which should be taken into consideration when assessing your achievements.
  • A list of your top 10 publications, each one with a short description of its impact and your contribution.
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV) which includes the names and contact details of at least three referees (preferably including a current or previous supervisor).  If your CV does not include referees, you can complete these online when prompted in the application form.

Selection criteria

Detailed selection criteria for Academic Levels C, D or E (equivalent to Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor or Professor) are given in the candidate information booklet.  The selection panel will be chaired by the RSC Director, Professor Penelope Brothers, and all panel members will undertake appropriate training in equity and diversity and avoiding bias.

The selection panel will consider each application according to the selection criteria using the principles of capability-based selection, to develop a holistic assessment of the recruitment case.  The panel will focus on each candidate’s potential for future achievements across several dimensions:

  • quality and impact of achievements;
  • adaptability and the ability to learn or create;
  • commitment, purpose, and drive to be engaged in the advertised role;
  • stage of the applicant’s career and their career trajectory; and
  • impact of personal circumstances during the course of their career.

If you require adjustments to participate in any of the above assessments, please contact our HR team at E: or T: +61 2 6125 9708. Any adjustment request or the disclosure of disability will not be communicated to the selection committee without the candidates consent and it will not having any bearing on hiring decisions.

For examples of common reasonable adjustments please click here.

Please note: he successful candidate will be required to undergo a background check during the recruitment process. An offer of employment is conditional on satisfactory results.

 Closing at: Oct 9 2023 at 23:55 AEDT