News / 7 October 2019

Avnika Ruparelia

Congratulations to ARMI researcher Dr Avnika Ruparelia from the Currie group on receiving the Inaugural Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology (ANZSCDB) Early Career Researcher Award in Developmental Biology. The award has been established to encourage and support early-career researchers working towards independent research careers in the fields of cell and developmental biology.

“I’m honoured and excited to be recognised by the ANZSCDB,” said Avnika. “Their support and encouragement with this award will push me to further my research on muscle ageing using killifish as a model. The opportunity to talk about my work with Australian and New Zealand leaders in the field is invaluable.”

“I’m honoured and excited to be recognised by the ANZSCDB...Their support and encouragement with this award will push me to further my research on muscle ageing using killifish as a model. The opportunity to talk about my work with Australian and New Zealand leaders in the field is invaluable.”

It is well-known that the early-career stage in a scientist's lifetime can be a precarious time. It presents an exciting opportunity to lead a research project, to develop independence and maturity in scientific thinking and also to contribute to the next generation of researchers through teaching and mentoring. However, transitioning from a postdoctoral fellow to a junior team leader is one of the most challenging phases. And especially difficult for women. It has been recognised that researchers at this stage of their career need greater support to realise their potential fully. It is exciting to see the ANZSCDB introduce this award to celebrate research excellence and leadership, and to assist in attending the annual ANZSCDB National Scientific Meeting.

The award takes into account not only scientific achievements but also a candidate's leadership, engagement and mentorship (including public outreach, participation in peer-review, teaching and supervision), as well as profile (such as invitations, prizes, grants and appointments) among the research community. Achieving the perfect mix of these three criteria is a tough balancing act- Avnika is one of only a handful of scientists who have hit the mark on all three.

Avnika was presented with the award at the 2019 ANZSCDB National Scientific Meeting in Adelaide earlier last week. Congratulations Avnika!