Phenomics Australia CEO, Prof. Michael Dobbie, appointed Professor in Practice, National Research Infrastructure

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It is our great pleasure to advise that our CEO, Michael Dobbie has been appointed Professor in Practice, National Research Infrastructure by the Australian National University (ANU), in recognition of his outstanding leadership and work on behalf of Phenomics Australia.

We also take great pride in acknowledging and celebrating this achievement that contributes to the recognition of the role of Research Infrastructure Specialists (RIS) within the university system. Despite such specialists providing vital support to university and MRI activities, the nature of RIS roles and responsibilities often do not correlate well with the performance measures applied through Professional and Academic streams. This results in a failure to recognise and reward RIS staff and provide appropriate career development opportunities.

In a Position Paper prepared by a working group of NCRIS Directors, they propose the creation of a new, simple, and fit-for-purpose classification for RIS roles in higher education. This would be similar to the current academic scales, with the possibility for staff to pursue promotion without the need for a job reclassification or a substantial change in core duties. The KPIs for promotion should be tailored to the specific responsibilities and development pathways for RISs.

Signed by 22 NCRIS Projects, the Position Paper sets out the supporting arguments and presents case studies and overseas examples of ways that some institutions are currently tackling this issue.

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