Researcher Development

The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) has launched a suite of initiatives to better support researchers with their research, career development and leadership. The strategy includes a series of development packages, training and funding.

Researcher Development Training

A suite of researcher development seminars is offered throughout the year to support early to mid-career researchers to engage with different funding opportunities, impact and research direction management. 


What is Vitae?

Vitae - realising the potential of researchersVitae is a networking tool designed to assist researchers and HDR candidates develop networks and support professional development. Vitae provides online tools for researcher development, tips on supervising researchers, training course options, and keeps you up-to-date with researcher news. It is an online researcher community with face-to-face options.

To use this tool you need to create your own login and register on the Vitae website (opens in a new window) (please note that you must use your Western Sydney staff email address to be eligible to join).

For more information, please contact Judy Foster at

RDF Planner

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Planner is a tool essentially for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who would like assistance in developing their research pathway. It can be used hand-in-hand with the MyCareer Online portal and provides online tutorials to assist with the development of your own tailored research pathway. It should be accessed regularly and can be shared with your supervisor to assist with your career development.

To gain access to the RDF Planner, contact Judy Foster at for a login. Please note that we would prefer that only ECRs request access as the University has limited licenses available for this service.

Please contact Judy prior to creating your Vitae login if you wish to have access to the RDF Planner.


Epigeum offers professional development courses for researchers. These courses equip independent academic, early-career and mid-career researchers with the skills needed for professional development in a higher education context. The courses provide comprehensive guidance on professional development from identifying individual development needs through to how best to communicate research results.

The University is currently piloting this program. If you would like more information, visit the Epigeum website (opens in a new window) for more details.

Internal Development Funding Opportunities

The Researcher Development funding scheme offers a suite of grants and awards focused on three key areas: early career development, gender equity and career interruption. .

Please note: All funds awarded must be fully spent by the end of the calendar year as there are no carry forwards.

For further information, please contact

Career Interruption

Career Interruption funding supports researchers who are on family or carer's leave for more than three months and provides access to funds to continue their research. This funding may be used for research assistance or other specialist personnel required to progress a research project, outcome or output. Funding up to $10,000 is available.

For further information please refer to the Scheme Guidelines (DOCX, 449 KB) (opens in a new window)

To apply, complete the Career Interruption EOI form (DOCX, 435.67 KB) (opens in a new window)

Applications for 2017 open on 5 September 2016 and close 1 August 2017.

ECR Fellowships

These awards aim to support Early Career Researchers juggle teaching and administrative duties while establishing a research profile. The support can be used for teaching, marking or administration buy-out or RA assistance. Awards of up to $20,000 per applicant are available. This award may or may not be linked to a project – but it should demonstrate the building of research capacity and research reach.

For further information please refer to the Scheme Guidelines (DOCX, 449 KB) (opens in a new window)

To apply, complete the ECR Fellowship EOI form (DOCX, 436.04 KB) (opens in a new window)

Applications are now closed for 2017.

Women's Research Fellowships

Women's Research Fellowship funding supports women researchers employed at the University at Levels B or C. This funding can be used to support your research in a variety of ways including teaching or administration buy-outs, travel and project costs. It is designed to be flexible and negotiated locally, and will provide funding up to $40,000 per successful applicant.

For further information please refer to the Scheme Guidelines (DOCX, 449 KB) (opens in a new window)

To apply, complete the Women's Research Fellowship EOI form (DOCX, 436.04 KB) (opens in a new window)

Applications are now closed for 2017.

Fulbright Specialist Program

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) supports Australian educational institutions through grants to bring U.S. Specialists in selected disciplines to Australia for a period ranging between two and six weeks. The aim of the FSP grant is to assist Australian educational institutions to exchange expertise and build collaborative linkages with U.S. faculty and professionals on curriculum and faculty development, institutional planning and a variety of other activities. For example, the Specialist may:

  • Develop and/or assess academic curricula or educational materials;
  • Take part in specialised academic programs and conferences;
  • Conduct needs assessments, surveys, and institutional or programmatic research;
  • Consult with administrators and instructors of post-secondary institutions on faculty development;
  • Present lectures at graduate and undergraduate levels;
  • Participate in or lead seminars or workshops. In accordance with the Fulbright Program's aim of promoting mutual understanding between Australia and the U.S. the Specialist may also have the opportunity to participate in activities organised by the U.S. Embassy in Australia, the Australian-American Fulbright Commission and the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association.

Past and Present recipients of a Fulbright award since 2003.

NameGrant YearFieldHome InstitutePrimary Host Institute

Professor Debra Moser

2003NursingUniversity of KentuckyWestern Sydney University
Mrs Tracey Steinrucken2015Biology (Plant pathology and ecology)Western Sydney UniversityUniversity of California - Berkeley
Dr Anthony Maeder2015Computer ScienceWestern Sydney UniversityKansas State University