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Venture Scientist, WEHI Ventures

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Melbourne (Suburb), Greater Melbourne (Inner) (AU)
Salary is negotiable and commensurate to experience.
Closing date
1 Mar 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

An excellent opportunity is available for a Venture Scientist to join the newly created and growing WEHI Ventures team at WEHI, Australia's pre-eminent biomedical research institute.

About the Position
WEHI's mission is mastery of disease through discovery. Improving health outcomes and maximising impact of WEHI's discovery science requires the development of innovative products and services. Spinout company formation and licensing WEHI intellectual property to spinouts, as well as licensing WEHI intellectual property (IP) to industry players are the pathways that WEHI is using to commercialise its discoveries.

Through WEHI Ventures, we aim to create the conditions that maximise opportunities for WEHI to enter commercial transactions, to generate value to WEHI, increase the impact of WEHI's research by orders of magnitude, and benefit patients around the world. We also aim to support WEHI's ambition to be more financially independent through the generation of substantial income from commercial transactions. This income will be returned to WEHI to help fulfil its research mission and contribute to its long-term financial sustainability. WEHI Ventures will achieve these goals through the deployment and management of its committed 66ten Fund ($66M over the next 10 years).

Within WEHI Ventures, Venture Scientists develop commercial projects starting with the development of plans, then leading and implementing data generation activities to support commercial transactions - either industry partnerships or formation of a spin-out company.

Several laboratories at WEHI are developing innovative projects including novel therapeutic approaches in a variety of modalities and therapeutic areas, as well as other technologies for innovative products or services aiming at improving human or animal health. The Venture Scientist position brings an exciting opportunity to accelerate the development of those projects with a commercial endpoint in mind and view to progress the assets into the clinic, and to advance and develop additional, alternative emerging projects.

Internally, the position will work with the WEHI Ventures team, with Business Development and with the scientists, to expedite the development of the novel projects towards the clinic. This will include accelerating the development of pre-clinical data packages and commercialisation plans that consolidate the unique points of differentiation, benchmarking activities, safety and manufacturing considerations to progress to clinical trials.

Externally, the position will work with investors, VC firms and other strategic partners to explore and ensure the most suitable commercialisation and development paths and to maximise outcomes from established partnerships.

Selection Criteria
Personal Qualities:

  • Excellent attention to detail, ensuring that data, methods and theories are accurate, of high-quality and accessible to other staff as needed
  • Ability to manage time effectively and be reliable and approachable
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills with the capacity to drive internal and external linkages.
  • Adherence to the highest standard of integrity and of scientific practice. An individual who leads by enthusiasm, energy, and maturity, and is deeply committed to WEHI and its broader goals.
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and manage relationships with a broad range of academic, commercial and clinical stakeholders, together with the aptitude to interact with both technical and non-technical groups
  • Strong presentation and public speaking skills
  • A proven track record of high level analytical, conceptual, problem solving and research project management skills
  • Focus on patient outcome rather than technological/methodological/academic advance

Key Relationships:

  • Laboratory staff and students - to inform, manage, and get the best out of them
  • Co-founder(s) - to confer on research direction and performance, contribute to shared plans, collaborate on resources, and focus on intellectual property and POC data generation
  • Business Development- to coordinate all investor and business-related activities, manage confidentiality, raise profile of new company, establish agreements, to gain an always up-to-date overview on patent literature, identify and protect intellectual property, generate branding
  • Leading scientists in the area - to develop knowledge, links, and collaborations
  • Clinician scientists and other experts - to keep focus of development on unmet clinical need

Knowledge and Skills:

  • A PhD degree in a science-based discipline relevant to the pharmaceutical or biotechnology areas with significant laboratory research experience and significant experience in a commercial setting
  • Demonstrated capacity for leadership of a group, ability to influence stakeholders
  • Industry Research and Development experience is a must. Outstanding performance in a role along the therapeutic product development path (pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry) is ideal.
  • Outstanding performance in roles equivalent to Senior Research Officer or Senior Research Fellow.
  • Record of high-quality research achievements, measured by publications and/or translational outcomes.
  • Established network of contacts and recognition in business development and industry collaborations.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills to gain cooperation and influence others in achieving scientific goals and building collaboration.

Terms of Appointment
This position is a five year appointment in full time capacity. Salary is negotiable and commensurate to experience. Up to 17% superannuation and very attractive salary packaging options are available.

General enquiries can be directed to Anne-Laure Puaux.

How to Apply
Please apply via the WEHI Careers page by uploading your CV, cover letter and a document addressing the key selection criteria in pdf format: -

Application Closing Date: 1 March 2024

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