Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowships

Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowships

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WEHI's Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowships program provides funding support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers to undertake research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

The fellowships support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers to leverage the expertise of a WEHI laboratory and associated research infrastructure to advance their research and develop their scientific skills and experience. Fellows will be part of a workplace that is actively committed to inclusion and enabling all our people to flourish.

The Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship program forms part of our commitment to support the career development and progression of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers. It is one aspect of WEHI’s reconciliation program.


The Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship program will support up to two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers each year for a period of 3-24 months.

Applicants may be working on any aspect of biomedical science, and can apply to join any laboratory at WEHI.

Fellows can range from PhD students who have completed their confirmation of candidature, through to mid-career researchers. Clinicians with an interest in research are also welcome to apply. Researchers not currently employed/enrolled to study at WEHI will be given preference.

Fellowship structure

The Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowships are designed to provide flexible support that can match the needs of the recipients.

Fellowships will be awarded for up to $300,000 over a two-year period ($150,000 pa) for a duration between three and twenty-four months, to be negotiated as appropriate to the career stage and the costs of the project. The fellowship start date is flexible.

The fellowship can be used to cover costs including:

  1. Stipend appropriate to the researcher’s level; this will be negotiable depending on whether the fellow suspends employment at their previous employer, or continues to receive financial support during their fellowship. Funding may also be utilised to employ a research assistant if the fellow cannot relocate to the Institute for the duration of the project, and if suitable arrangements can be made with the host laboratory head.
  2. Consumables and scientific support for the project.
  3. Relocation expenses (if moving to Melbourne) and travel support for the researcher to make return trips home during the year.

Selection process

Applications will be reviewed by a steering committee with a majority of Indigenous voices, comprising researchers and others with an understanding of health and medical research. The selection committee will be chaired by the joint chairs of WEHI’s Reconciliation Committee, Associate Professor Sant-Rayn Pasricha and Associate Professor Tracy Putoczki.

Selection criteria (relative to opportunity):

  • Current or future potential for scientific, professional, clinical and/or cultural leadership.
  • Research achievements as evidenced by track record of publications and/or scientific presentations and/or technical reports and/or health policy documents.
  • Able to commit to a research program at WEHI either directly, or to coordinate a program remotely in partnership with the collaborating laboratory head.
  • Able to propose a scientific program for the duration of the fellowship that aligns and builds upon their own research interests (based on previous experience).
  • Fit of the proposed scientific program with the research program of the hosting laboratory.

How to apply

Applications are currently open for the Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship program, in which up to two fellowships will be offered per year.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest

Applicants should download and complete an Expression of Interest form and send to

The Expression of Interest form for 2021 includes:

  • Applicant details
  • Project title and project summary
  • How the fellowship and partnership with WEHI will complement the project
  • How the fellowship will help to enhance your career
  • Brief curriculum vitae

Expressions of interest are currently being accepted. Please note there is no fixed deadline for 2021 applications

Stage 2: Refinement of shortlisted projects

Based on the Expressions of Interest, the steering committee will shortlist applicants and seek to partner the shortlisted applicants with a WEHI laboratory head based on the scope of the project.

Stage 3: Submission of shortlisted research proposals

The shortlisted applicants will then submit a full application which will include a description of their project, how it aligns with the host laboratory, and a budget proposal within the scope of the fellowship program.

Upon submitting an Expression of Interest, applicants will be consulted about a reasonable timeframe for submitting their full application.

The fellowship selection committee will select up to two Indigenous Visiting Research Fellows on the basis of the research proposal and an interview with the applicants.

The fellowship start date is flexible.

The Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship program has been established to promote equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under the special measures provisions in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. Therefore only Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are eligible to apply. Gender equity will be a consideration in the selection of Indigenous Visiting Research Fellows.



Dr Sant-Rayn Pasricha and Dr Tracy Putoczki

Co-chairs, WEHI Reconciliation Committee 


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