Project Leader: Professor David Paterson (Director, UQ Centre for Clinical Research)
Project Manager: Ms Anne Louise Bulloch (Manager, Research and Research Training)

Project Background and Outcomes

Current situation

The current project is concerned with recruiting and retaining a greater proportion of Research Fellows. In the Strategic Plan, there is reference to the Faculty experiencing a ‘substantial exodus’ of Fellows.  Key findings as recorded in the supporting document to the Strategic Plan (Meeting the Need and the Challenge: What Decadal Future for the Faculty of Medicine) are as follows:

  • There is a challenge in recruiting and retaining Fellows who are at ‘Early Career’ and ‘Career Development’ stages specifically
  • The Faculty is currently acting as a ‘mere training ground’ for Fellows with other institutions then reaping the benefit of Fellowship development years
  • A shift is needed to ensure a net retention of Fellows.

Specific recommendations outlined in the Meeting the Need and the Challenge document were as follows:

  • Improve the quality of mentoring and support afforded to Fellows;
  • Articulate the career pathways and opportunities open to Fellows within the Faculty and its research partners;
  • Improve the attractiveness of the opportunity ‘package’ on offer to Fellows once they have completed their studies – stability and continuity of earnings should be key features.

A key strategy has been developed and implemented – the introduction of a Fellowship Enhancement Scheme. Beyond this, there are opportunities to better support and mentor Fellows and provide greater clarity on career pathways and opportunities for Fellows within the Faculty and its research partners. The focus of this project will be to support the embedding of the Fellowship Enhancement Scheme and also identify other strategies to recruit and retain Fellows.

Expected outcomes

The Recruitment and Retention of Fellows project will:

  1. Review and recommend refinements to the Fellowship Enhancement Scheme (FES), following the first round of applications and outcomes in 2018
  2. Develop an appropriate communication strategy to promote the Fellowship Enhancement Scheme across the Faculty of Medicine
  3. Identify other initiatives that could support the recruitment and retention of Fellows
  4. Identify career pathways for Fellows: to articulate the options and mechanisms for the Faculty to support Fellows at the end of their Fellowships (NB. this is especially significant in light of planned changes to the NHMRC funding model)

NB. This project will consider the issues and opportunities for improvement in relation to the recruitment and retention of Fellows across different stages of career development (e.g. Early Career; Mid-Career; Senior).